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.
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.
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.
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.
Weischedel, B., Matear, S. and Deans, K.R. (2005), "A qualitative approach to investigating online strategic decision making", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 61-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/13522750510575444Download as .RIS
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