This article presents the thoughts that for business owners, having a Web site is no longer the one thing necessary for a successful online presence. Engaging customers through social and interactive features is fast becoming the new standard. These days, Internet marketing requires a coordinated, branded, cohesive approach. Internet marketing efforts yield little value if you cannot measure the results. The author discusses the various ways to find where a firm’s traffic is coming from, and more importantly, on which page it goes away. Sometimes people want to do business with you, but leave your Web site because they are confused. Determining your biggest exit pages allows you to refine their content until more people are converting to suspects, prospects and finally customers. Continue to work on improving your Web site by implementing a cohesive Web strategy and taking advantage of many elements to reach potential customers in whatever part of the Web they use. The costs are small and the profits large (Altschuler, 2009). This article was helpful by giving advice on how to choose web-based strategies to grow a business in size and reputation.
Andrewes, J. (2006). Developing an online press office for Cardiff Council: Principles of excellence. Journal of Communication Management 10(2), 156-173. Retrieved from Emerald database.
This article discusses the development of an online press office at Cardiff Council in the United Kingdom. It presents an analysis of key issues of public relations theory as they apply to the provision of an online press office. This is supported by a survey of journalists who have used Cardiff’s media service and enhanced by assessment of examples of existing best practice across local authorities in the UK. Andrewes states that there has been a considerable volume of work published on general internet usability and principles for communications, but there is little guidance for Public Relations practitioners on how to apply communications principles and best practice specifically to electronic communication with the media and none at all for local government. Indeed general media relations’ guidance for local government does not yet even take account of the advent and impact of the internet, with most recent publications dating back ten years or more (Andrewes, 2006). This article was helpful in discussing the need for PR practitioners to have a framework for the creation of an online media service based on public relation practices.
Barson, D. (2009). Leveraging Social Media to Grow Your Beauty Brand. Global Cosmetic Industry, 177(10), 22-23. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the need for a good social media plan. Such a plan can drive sales and build consumer relationships. The author believes that when creating the plan certain rules must be followed, not the least of which is maintaining brand image. Companies worldwide as well as those within the United States are utilizing social media to present their firms to an ever-growing connected world. Whether creating business pages on Facebook or sending out promos in 140 characters or less on Twitter, marketers are turning to the Web to both drive sales and build consumer interaction for long-term success. As the world of technology changes, businesses must adjust with the times and online media is a fascinating and effective tool for building a brand (Barson, 2009).
Berman, S. J., Abraham, S., Battino, B., Shipnuck, L., and Neus, A., (2007). New business models for the new media world. Strategy & Leadership 35(4), 23-30. Retrieved from Emerald database.
This article attempts to examine the conflict between new and traditional media and explore future industry competitive scenarios. Four primary business models are identified – traditional media, walled communities, content hyper-syndication and new platform aggregation. The research also found evidence of another developing conflict that it calls the media divide. The new media world has arrived. It’s a wild frontier market where youthful demographics are the prize and tech-savvy adventurists lead the way. In this digital gold rush, Internet successes such as YouTube and MySpace, and their associated audience growth rates, are the envy of broadcast TV and the rest of the entertainment establishment (Berman, Abraham, Battino, Shipnuck, & Neus, 2007). To examine the clash between new and traditional media and explore future industry scenarios, the authors conducted a study that included interviews with leaders of media companies and an in-depth analysis of the factors that are shaping the industry outlook. This article was helpful in highlighting two polar-opposite trends that mark the conflict between new and old media.
Bohi, H., (2010, January). To Tweet, or Not to Tweet? That is the question. Alaska Business Monthly 26(1), 80-81. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the popularity of social media marketing and networking and the mania surrounding the top media channels – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, blogs and other online communities. On Facebook alone, there are more than 300 million active users who are 35 or older and 50 percent of these log on daily. More than 8 billion minutes are spent on Facebook every day, worldwide. “Twitterholics” have more than 18 million followers and that number is expected to hit 26 million over the next year (Bohi, 2010). Social media marketing includes using social networks, online communities, blogs or any other collaborative Internet form of media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Although well-written, informative, and entertaining content remains critical, the difference between this method and older marketing tactics is social media is about engaging the customer, not simply giving them a sales pitch. This article provides insight into the many choices of social media marketing.
Brown, L., Gallagher, S.M., and Brown, C. (2008). How CEOs can promote a strong market culture. Strategy & Leadership 36(5), 28-33. Retrieved from Emerald database.
This article presents recommendations for executive priorities, focusing on changes in the realm of culture. The authors believe that corporate culture, if correctly aligned with the external environment, is the key to long-term organizational success. The paper aims to explain how CEOs can take an abstract concept like culture, visualize it, and take steps to harness its power to create enduring competitive advantage in the marketplace. The authors hypothesize that a strong market culture exhibits high ratings on six dimensions of corporate beliefs and behaviors related to: customer insight, competitor awareness, collaborative approach, criteria for decisions, CEO leadership, and a deep organizational commitment and contribution of all functions to creation of superior value for customers. A market culture is defined by: (1) how the overarching culture of a business focuses attention on markets, (2) the skills a business uses to create value for customers, and (3) the level of belief that the ultimate purpose of the business is to create superior customer value, profitably (Brown, Gallagher, & Brown, 2008). This article was helpful in discussing specific steps for leaders to take to foster growth in each dimension.
Fjeld, K. and Molesworth, M. (2006). PR practitioners’ experiences of, and attitudes towards, the internet’s contribution to external crisis communication. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 11(4), 391-405. Retrieved from Emerald database.
This paper aims to promote better understanding of how the internet is used as part of crisis communication. Today the web plays a significant role in disseminating information and that online communication allows organizations to achieve multi-level communication. The paper reports on data collected from in-depth interviews with ten senior Public Relation practitioners in order to understand their experiences and attitudes. The article identifies a range of attitudes of executives, formed by recent experience. Although generally preferred, two-way communication with stakeholders is not always practical. This, along with their preference for existing approaches, and ignorance about the internet formed their views about online communication. The result was that some regarded the internet as inferior in terms of its ability to achieve “traditional” tasks and because of its potential for undesirable dialogue. When the web was acknowledged as useful it tended to be considered as supplementary to existing approaches. There was little recognition of the need for online dialogue (Fjeld & Molesworth, 2006). This paper was helpful in articulating a range of positive and negative attitudes towards the use of the internet for crisis communication, based on the experiences of senior PR practitioners.
Getting the social media on your side: Marketing specialists must embrace the world of technology. (2010). Strategic Direction 26(2), 6-7. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the immediacy of the Internet and the effect it can have on a company and its relationship and reputation with its various publics. The authors use this article to explain that businesses ignore the power social media can exert at their peril, and must learn how to embrace them positively. The social media encompass an exceptionally wide path, combining everything from social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to business networking sites, Podcasts, news delivery sites and collaborative websites such as Wikipedia. They offer a huge challenge to companies which have been used for so long to coordinating and controlling their promotional efforts through such established, traditional channels as public relations, advertising, personal selling and direct marketing. Social media have brought into the mix a wide range of online, word-of-mouth forums which now play a massive part in influencing consumer behavior (Getting Social Media, 2010). This article was helpful in discussing how managers have lost control over the way information reaches the public while simultaneously giving ways traditional communication can be used to develop new strategies.
Gurau, C. (2008). Integrated online marketing communication: implementation and management. Journal of Communication Management 12(2), 169-184. Retrieved from Emerald database.
This article discusses the particularities of integrated marketing communication (IMC) in the online environment. Both secondary and primary knowledge are examined in order to identify the various meanings of the integrated online marketing communication, the opportunities and challenges raised by online communication, and the structure of an effective coordinated online marketing communication system. The author attempts to investigate the manners of implementing IMC in an online environment. Based on an analysis of the specific characteristics of the online environment and audiences, and on information collected through face-to-face interviews with managers of United Kingdom consumer retail firms, the meanings of the integrated marketing communication in the online environment, as well as the challenges and the opportunities created by the internet for the implementation of an online IMC process, are identified and discussed. The article was informative in that given today’s technological advances, using them is not always the first choice in form of communication of today’s managers.
Halepete, J., and Park, J. (2006). Competitive e-tailing strategies for fair trade organizations: Benchmarking against successful commercial organizations. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 10(4), 491-507. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
The purpose of this article is to provide competitive internet retailing strategies for fair trade organizations using a benchmarking approach. It provides valuable managerial implications for fair trade organizations focusing on web site operations. Information availability and strategic web site management can attract customers to make purchases on fair trade web sites and, in turn, enable organizations to sustain and grow in the competitive marketplace. This study was designed to provide competitive e-tailing strategies using a benchmarking approach. The benchmarking will guide firms to compare and measure their performance with outstanding performers, achieve the best business outcomes, and in turn, advantage producers and artisans in developing countries (Halepete & Park, 2006). The authors integrated classifications of information load on the web site that can influence customer shopping experiences and purchase decisions: company information, product information, distribution channels, customer service, and web site quality. This article was helpful in discussing benchmarking as a technique through which businesses constantly compare and measure their performances with outstanding performers and provides competitive advantages to businesses.
Harridge-March, S. (2004). Electronic marketing, the new kid on the block. Marketing Intelligence & Planning 22(3), 297-309. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article considers electronic marketing, using the familiar framework of the seven Ps of marketing – product, price, promotion, place, process, physical evidence, and people – in an attempt to evaluate electronic marketing and its potential contribution to marketing in general. The author concludes that while not every marketer embraces the use of the Internet, this newcomer has become an accepted part of marketing activity. The article concludes that while electronic marketing does not yet have the potential to replace traditional marketing efforts, it should be seen as a valuable and complementary tool, and managers should embrace new technology in order to create greater value for customers. Issues such as branding, public relations, direct marketing, advertising, personal selling and information seeking are considered in an attempt to evaluate electronic marketing and its potential contribution to the marketing practice. The author states that in the United Kingdom by 2001, over a third of adults in Great Britain who accessed the Internet also purchased goods or services through it, meaning, of course, that two-thirds do not shop online, and some writers cite uncertainty and/or risk as preventing consumers from doing so. Some companies have been criticized for apparently thinking that all Internet shoppers are the same, instead of realizing that there are many reasons why a customer may visit a site. This results, particularly, in a lack of commitment for the purchase of high-involvement goods in this way (Harridge-March, 2004). This article was helpful in recognizing that for every potential customer trusting the provider sufficiently to enter into a transaction is paramount, and communicating trustworthiness remains a challenge
Hearn, G., Foth, M., and Gray, H. (2009). Applications and implementations of new media in corporate communications: An action research approach. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 14(1), 49-61. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
Jensen, M. B., (2008). Online marketing communication potential: Priorities in Danish firms and advertising agencies. European Journal of Marketing 42(3/4), 502-525. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses where resources should be directed to utilize online marketing communication (OMC) further, including the identification of the diversity of OMC adoption, prioritization and future potential. The internet has had a tremendous impact on many processes in companies. Marketing is probably one of the areas most affected due to the possibilities offered in online communications. Thus, OMC has grown to be an important part of a company’s promotional mix. Whereas OMC in its early days was limited to mainly the implementation of corporate websites, greater possibilities exist today. OMC today consists of multiple activities (Jensen, 2008). This article was helpful in giving details on the diversification of the implementation of online marketing communication, the future potential, and where resources should be directed to utilize OMC further.
Kane, G.C., Fichman, R. G., Gallaugher, J., Glaser, J. (2009, November). Community relations. Harvard Business Review 87(11), 45-50. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article describes the changes wrought by social media platforms and shows how organizations can make the most of new media frontiers. With social media, society has moved beyond the era of stand-alone, static web pages. Today’s communities actively post and vet information. Users increasingly treat these venues as their first stop in gathering data and forming an opinion. A recent Pew study found that nearly 40% of Americans say they have doubted a medical professional’s opinion or diagnosis because it conflicted with information they’d found online. If users put that much faith in what they learn on the internet, what will they be willing to believe if members of a social media forum start trashing your organization? And are you prepared to handle it when it happens? (Kane, Gallaugher, & Glaser, 2009). This article was helpful in informing that a company’s social media team must develop policies and strategies for managing online communities, both to abate negative consequences and to foster positive relations.
Karagozoglu, N. and Lindell, M. (2004). Electronic commerce strategy, operations, and performance in small and medium-sized enterprises. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 11(3), 290-301. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article explores the electronic commerce involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in terms of the strategic, operational, and performance aspects. SMEs tend to pursue e-commerce strategies associated with customer base expansion and customer service consistent with their bricks-and-mortar competitive strategies and build e-commerce operations consistent with their e-commerce strategies. These e-commerce strategies also contribute to the SMEs’ sales growth and profitability. Adoption of e-commerce has evolved from rudimentary simple Web site construction applications to more sophisticated customer service and personalization models (Reynolds, 2000). Competitive advantage and profit considerations in the adoption of e-commerce are crucial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in that they have limited financial slack to experiment with new approaches and limited cushion for failure. A plethora of failure by the pure dot-com companies with unproven business models have constituted a caveat for the bricks-and-mortar companies to exercise due diligence in venturing into e-commerce. This article was helpful in explaining the effects of e-commerce on brick-and-mortar businesses.
Making Your E-voice Heard. (2008). Wearables Business, 12(3), 28. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses that companies in nearly every market, from book publishing to bridal wear, are jumping on the YouTube and blogging bandwagons and taking advantage of the Internet’s ability to spread information quickly through channels such as e-mail and social networking. Whether a highly produced, TV-quality Webcast or something shot with a handheld camera, video can make a big splash online. Some businesses are putting such content on their Web sites and making it available on YouTube or social networking sites like MySpace, with remarkable success (Making Your, 2008). This article was helpful in explaining how viral-marketing can be used to spread information in short time with little effort.
Martinsons, M.G. (2006). Strategic management lessons from e-commerce. Handbook of Business Strategy 7(1), 337-340. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article explains the importance of a sound business idea, good market knowledge, long-term planning, external relationships, and balanced business development. The emergence of a new technology typically brings both opportunities and risks. With the emergence of the internet, both the opportunities and the risks have been enormous for entrepreneurs, business managers, investors, consultants, and others. Hundreds of thousands of new enterprises have been started all over the world with the hope of capitalizing on the opportunities that has emerged from the commercialization of the internet (Martinsons, 2006). This article was useful in summarizing the first internet-driven ventures, and highlighting important lessons for strategic management.
Palmer, A. and Koenig-Lewis, N. (2009). An experiential, social network-based approach to direct marketing. Direct Marketing: An International Journal 3(3), 162-176. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the direct marketing challenges and opportunities associated with the emergence of social network media. Companies need to address target audiences both directly and also indirectly through social media. The purpose of this article was to provide a review of the changing media landscape of direct marketing, and proposes a model of direct and indirect targeting of buyers. While many in the marketing community are scratching their heads wondering how the recent generation of web-based social media will generate profits, this paper takes the perspective of direct marketing by asking why and how a message sent by a company may be more effective if it is targeted at individuals through social network media. In particular, the notion is explored that users’ experience of using social media will predispose them to look more favorably upon a company sponsored message when it is embedded in social media, rather than targeted directly at the individual. The challenge for direct marketing is how to achieve a position at the center that combines the seller, the buyer and the community (Palmer & Koenig-Lewis, 2009). This article was useful in explaining how the experience of someone using a social network site can be mutually beneficial to both the buyer and seller.
Rowley, J. (2004). Just another channel? Marketing communications in e-business. Marketing Intelligence & Planning 22(1), 24-41. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the role the Internet plays as both a marketing and communications channel. Some practitioners and academics have dismissed the Internet and the current level of business interest in the Internet as hype, arguing that the Internet does not offer any new business models, or new opportunities for creating customer value. This position denies the central significance of relationships in business activity. Relationships are important at both individual and organizational level. Relationships within the value chain both within organizations and between organizations are crucial to the creation of competitive advantage and the generation of unique propositions regarding customer value (Rowley, 2004). This article was helpful in exploring the establishment and maintenance of relationships between consumers and companies as being the heart of customer attraction and retention.
Rowley, J. (2004). Online branding. Online Information Review28(2), 131-138. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
The role of brands and branding in the new economy that is characterized by digitization and globalization are attracting considerable attention. Taking the organizational perspective the challenges for branding in online environments relate to: the message capacity of Web pages, the need to integrate branding and marketing communications across different channels, the trend towards organizational value propositions, brands as search keys, and the opportunity to link and develop brand positions, globalization, and the increased engagement of the public sector with branding. Online branding is discussed in nearly every book on e-marketing or e-business. In an electronic shopping environment where physical interaction is reduced and product qualities and benefits must be distilled and captured in a way that can be communicated over the wires, online branding may be increasingly important. Others argue that with the wealth of information on the Web at their fingertips, coupled with intelligent agents and search engines to help them locate the information, products and services that they need users will no longer need to rely on the shorthand of brand. Instead they will gather detailed information on products and services and make their own judgments on the suitability of a product making brands superfluous (Rowley, 2004). This article was helpful in explaining some of the unique aspects of online branding.
Srivastava, M., & Sharma, M. (2008). The Role of Emotional Appeals in Internet Advertising: A Study of the Contributing Factors Involved. ICFAI Journal of Management Research, 7(9), 27-36. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses online media and how its increasing usage rate has changed the marketer’s world. Internet advertising has captured the imagination of marketers, who see in it an enormous potential to raise the profile of their brands. Companies are moving online across the spectrum of marketing activities, from building awareness to after-sales service. In the light of the widespread use of the Internet, the marketers and advertisers target their consumers by developing an emotional connection. Today, most of the Internet advertisements are created on the basis of emotional integration appeals. The evolution of online media and its increasing usage rate have changed the marketer’s world. The spread of wired Internet networks has opened new vistas for advertisers to earn more revenue by exploring its vast and growing reach. Adoption of Internet advertising has become a key component of marketing strategy. Internet advertising provides a popular avenue to interact and communicate with the customers (Srivastava & Sharma, 2008). This article was helpful in providing insight into the factors responsible for developing emotional appeal, and ways in which Internet advertising can contribute to the formation of emotional bonding between consumer and company.
Tench, R., Bowd, R., and Jones, B. (2007). Perceptions and perspectives: corporate social responsibility and the media. Journal of Communication Management 11(4). 348-370. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the importance of developing understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Media. Reports on differing media interpretations, perceptions and perspectives of CSR and how they are prone to shift and change in part depending on the perceived definition and issues are discussed. Public Relations practitioners and policy makers should find how the media interprets and understands CSR of interest. Existing concepts and frameworks have the potential to be further developed and informed by these practice-based findings. “Real-world” application has the potential to shape, guide and inform theoretical constructs. Increasing media interest in CSR and the primary data while forming frameworks also furthers understanding of the concept from academic, business practitioner and stakeholders’ perspectives (Tench, Bowd, & Jones, 2007). Further details on other strategies are offered.
Vonder Haar, S. (2008). It’s all about integration. Streaming Media, 5(1), 31-38. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the growing intersection of web-conferencing and videoconferencing technologies illustrating the increasingly important role that online multimedia is playing in the development of integrated communications strategies for businesses. Among companies that have deployed online audio and video technology, the two most frequently deployed applications integrating multimedia are executive presentations and employee training. Historically online multimedia has uniquely addressed the communications challenges that large companies face in distributing information to far-flung networks of employees. Web audio and video provide a forum for large company leaders to communicate directly with a global workforce on a cost-effective basis. As a result, today’s enterprise multimedia sector is largely tuned to address the internal communications needs of these large corporate customers who have illustrated the most willingness to invest in online audio and video capabilities (Vonder Haar, 2008). This article was helpful in explaining that not only is the process of communication considered essential but, in this case, the content of the communications is vital as well.
Vrasidas, C. and Zembylas, M. (2004). Online professional development: Lessons from the field. Education & Training 46(6/7), 326-334. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.
This article discusses the lessons learned from applying a framework for the professional development of teachers, drawing on three interrelated theoretical areas: constructivism situated and distributed cognition, and communities of practice. Online environments are rapidly expanding as a venue for professional development in education, business, and industry. One of the more pressing questions faced by the teaching profession today is whether this idealized vision of professional development can be realized “online”. The demands of work and family life for teachers, many of whom are women, underline the need for professional development activities that can be delivered anytime, anywhere. Distance education has been predominantly based on approaches which emphasized a linear and objectivist approach to learning and teaching. Given that technology increases the opportunities for interaction among tutors, learners, content and technological tools, it is important to design relevant learning environments for rich interaction in the context of e-learning (Vrasidas & Zembylas, 2004). This article was helpful in analyzing the need in preparing instructors to teach online classes and what that involves.
Wilenius, M. and Malmelin, N. (2009). Towards sustainably managed media organizations: reflections on the future of responsible business in media industry. Business Strategy Series 10(3), 129-138. Retrieved from Emerald database.
This article offers insight into the future of responsible business in the media industry. The focus of analysis is on the views and opinions of leading CEOs in media companies in about responsible business and the social and organ