The author of this paper - Nicholine Hayward - describes it as 'my Masterclass - a comprehensive, step by step guide to the online
research methodology' - and I think she is under-selling it!
Elsewhere on this site you will find that I am less than complimentary about
[see some academic papers are simply
worthless in the real world]. Well, this is a perfect example of what
I am talking about. This is a paper that doesn't just investigate an
element of e-marketing by giving questionnaires to a few students and
lecturers - this is the real deal. Excellently researched, analysed and
presented ... this is a paper that I wish I had written!
Perhaps should is wrong - could is better. But, then again, no - I'm not that good. What I am trying to say is that I
read nothing in this paper that is new to me. Some of the content I practice [in my website metrics], some I've written about and some
I've taught [in class and consultancy] and yet this paper is so clear it is like reading about a new subject.
Following an established strategic model of answering four basic questions ...
- Where are we now and how did we get here?
- Where do we want to be?
- How will we get there?
- How will we know when we have succeeded?
... the paper takes the reader through all the key issues of researching the market and the environment in which
products, organizations and brands exist - and how the Internet can be used to address these issues. All of the technology is freely
available, and easy to use - though some practice will be required to master some of the applications.
Whether you follow the paper through all of its examples for your organization or project [or if you are a student, your assignment]
or just dip in for specific sections, make sure you print it out and keep it somewhere safe - this is a seminal paper
on how to use the Internet for market research.
As a footnote I should add that this paper benefits from its author being a marketer, not a techie - something my students
will testify is a real bug of mine - and I fully agree with her proclamation at the beginning of another paper she has written:
'Internet marketing is still marketing'
I could not agree more - and I allude to such throughout this website!