Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited
Marketing and the Internet – Conceptual foundations
Eloise CoupeyPrentice Hall New Jersey 2001362ppISBN 0130169757£25.99
Keywords: Marketing, Internet, Marketing planning
This new book from Eloise Coupey goes some way to addressing the imbalance between practitioner-targeted books that operationalise Web marketing and those academic tomes that focus more on the broader area of electronic commerce and its implications for business generally.
This book is structured in five sections. Section 1 proposes a conceptual framework for marketing and the Internet, with Section 2 building on this framework by examining consumer, marketer, technology and public policy issues with respect to the new Internet environment. Sections 1 and 2 work well together and provide a solid foundation for lecturers and students looking for more than just another "how to" book regarding Internet marketing. Coupey's choice of title is deliberate – it is not Internet Marketing, but rather Marketing and the Internet; two very different things. The founding chapters establish this difference establishing the need for a framework through which the reader can better understand the impact of the Internet on marketing. This leads to a high degree of rigour in the learning experience but, just as importantly, it illustrates to students the importance and role of such a framework. The traditional marketing exchange model forms the basis of this framework with the varying impacts of technology being examined through it.
Section 3 explores the areas of marketing environment and marketing planning, perhaps the latter a little prematurely. It would seem best to look at planning after market research, for example, which does not appear until Section 4, along with the role of the Internet as a resource in terms of both content, communications and channel management. Since planning involves the allocation of internal resources to external market opportunities it would have seemed logical that planning was looked at subsequent to these interesting sections. That said, it is a minor criticism in a book which does much to further not only our understanding of marketing and the Internet but, more importantly, it gives us ways to understand such an interface more effectively.
The last section (6) entitled "Exchange relationships in the Internet environment", is excellent and includes two of the book's best chapters – one on B2B Internet exchanges and the second on the crucial and difficult area of fostering relational exchange with the Internet. In the latter, a strong section introduces students to the rationale of relational exchange and the move from transactions to relationships. However, again the author returns to B2B as a context for showing the Internet's impact on such relational activity. I would have liked to see more B2C and, indeed, C2C issues explored in this chapter as the generation of on-line trust, branding and the role of new interfaces such as WAP and iTV in attempting to facilitate greater consumer adoption levels in various markets is important and contemporary.
Marketing and the Internet is a strong book. It would be an ideal text for advanced undergraduate marketing or business programmes or for master's level marketing studies. It is well written in a measured and logical way and while an American perspective does dominate it does not do so to the extent of becoming a distraction. Each chapter ends with key terms, review questions, thinking points and suggested reading so the book is also ideal for the autonomous learner who wants to explore the area more fully alone or for group activities in classroom situations. The logical and pedagogically-sound approach would also make the book a strong contender for adoption as a text for electronic or distance learning programmes, as it sits comfortably within the structure of most marketing syllabi.
Mark DurkinUniversity of Ulster