A qualitative approach to investigating online strategic decision making

A qualitative approach to investigating online strategic decision making Purpose – Companies operating on the internet need appropriate metrics to make strategic marketing decisions. This paper applies established qualitative research methods to the online environment to evaluate how web managers generate and incorporate web metrics to inform strategic marketing decisions. Design/methodology/approach – Initial theories were developed using a comprehensive literature review as well as exploratory interviews with New Zealand companies. Applying a mixed methodology, the exploratory research used interviews to assess current practice within the industry, refine the research questions and set up the research design. An in‐depth case study in the USA evaluated best practices and highlighted issues that affect the use of web metrics. The main data collection utilized case studies to generate the in‐depth information necessary for theory building. Findings – The exploratory results showed that companies currently measure web site performance and consumer behaviour online but are still uncertain how best to use those metrics to inform strategic marketing decisions. The in‐depth case study showed how web metrics can be used when sufficient resources are available and measuring performance is a priority. Owing to the initially recognized low level of web metrics use, the main research was expanded purposively to selected participants who make greater use of web metrics. Originality/value – This paper applies traditional qualitative research methods to the online environment. Analysis of the case studies and continued research will address the research gap and provide recommendations to web managers as well as attempt to illustrate best practices, solutions to issues and industry benchmarks. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

A qualitative approach to investigating online strategic decision making

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1352-2752
DOI
10.1108/13522750510575444
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Companies operating on the internet need appropriate metrics to make strategic marketing decisions. This paper applies established qualitative research methods to the online environment to evaluate how web managers generate and incorporate web metrics to inform strategic marketing decisions. Design/methodology/approach – Initial theories were developed using a comprehensive literature review as well as exploratory interviews with New Zealand companies. Applying a mixed methodology, the exploratory research used interviews to assess current practice within the industry, refine the research questions and set up the research design. An in‐depth case study in the USA evaluated best practices and highlighted issues that affect the use of web metrics. The main data collection utilized case studies to generate the in‐depth information necessary for theory building. Findings – The exploratory results showed that companies currently measure web site performance and consumer behaviour online but are still uncertain how best to use those metrics to inform strategic marketing decisions. The in‐depth case study showed how web metrics can be used when sufficient resources are available and measuring performance is a priority. Owing to the initially recognized low level of web metrics use, the main research was expanded purposively to selected participants who make greater use of web metrics. Originality/value – This paper applies traditional qualitative research methods to the online environment. Analysis of the case studies and continued research will address the research gap and provide recommendations to web managers as well as attempt to illustrate best practices, solutions to issues and industry benchmarks.

Journal

Qualitative Market Research: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2005

Keywords: Internet; Marketing strategy; Strategic planning; Qualitative research; Case Studies

References

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