Marketing Research Project Essay Example

  • Category:
    Marketing
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    1145

Online Marketing: Case Study of Amazon.com’s Marketing Strategy

1. INTRODUCTION

Amazon.com is one of the global businesses that have used online marketing extensively to reach their targeted customers. Online marketing is defined as the process of placing a business or product on the Internet so that millions of users can turn the website into a strong tool to maximise sales as well as business potential (Spruce Goose Enterprises, n.d, p. 5). But online marketing involves much more than merely putting a company’s advertisements online. Like conventional marketing, the process has to include areas such as communicating with customers, promoting the business or product on the online platform, as well as making sure that the content of the website is not only useful but also up to date (Spruce Goose Enterprises, n.d. p. 5).

The proposed research seeks to investigate Amazon.com’s approach to online marketing. It is a known that fact that Amazon.com was the first firm to move the retailing of books from the bricks and mortar industry online (Mellahi & Johnson, 2000, p. 448). Additionally, no other corporation so far has done more to depict how the web overturns conventional assumptions about distribution than Amazon.com (Mellahi & Johnson, 2000, p. 448). The research thus seeks to find found out the reasons why Amazon.com has attained such tremendous in the online marketing platform. Also, the fact that the company has been successful does not necessarily mean that there are no challenges in online marketing. The research will delve into some of the challenges in online marketing and which Amazon.com is facing or is likely to face.

1.1 Research problem

It is a fact that e-commerce is strongly and savagely competitive (Mellahi & Johnson, 2000, p. 445). To succeed in this area, a business must be able to engage its customers, deal with existing competition, and manage any challenges that come with online marketing. As stated above, the objectives of the research are to determine Amazon.com’s success factors in online marketing and to find out any pitfalls that the company may be facing or likely to face with regard to online marketing. The findings will help to determine the factors that contribute to the success of online marketing activities and provide lessons on how other businesses can manage their online marketing activities to deal with the inherent challenges in this modern way of marketing.

1.2 Research questions

  • What factors have contributed to Amazon’s success in online marketing?

  • What are the key elements that Amazon.com focuses on which give the company an edge over its competitors?

  • Are there any challenges that Amazon.com is facing or is likely to face in future in the area of online marketing?

2. METHODOLOGY

The research will involve a secondary research (qualitative) approach to achieve the targeted objectives. The qualitative approach will help in examining the factors that have made Amazon.com achieve success in online marketing and also help determine the challenges that the company may be faced with as stated above. According to Katie (2013, p. 28), a qualitative research approach implies that the research will rely on pre-established assumptions to establish the relationships or causations between variables established in the study. This will be done by reviewing literature on online marketing and since Amazon.com is one of the first companies to rely on the online marketing platform as a way of reaching its target market, information about it will be helpful in understanding online marketing in general as well as in particular reference to the company.

The research design for the study will be the case study type focusing on Amazaon.com as the subject of the case. According to Saunders et al (2003, cited by Katie (2013, p. 28), the primary objective of using case studies in research is to find out what is fit for a particular setting or case under certain circumstances. By carrying out the study on the aforementioned company, the study attempts to understand the subject of online marketing using a real example of an organisation that started as a small firm but whose growth has been catapulted by online presence.

The research will adopt a single case study research model since it will just focus on one company – Amazon.com. Essentially, a case study is expected to capture the complexity of a single case (Johansson, 2003, p. 2). In addition, according to Johansson (2003, p. 2), for a subject to qualify to be used as a “case”, it should have some key characteristics: it should be a complex functioning unit, it should be studied in its natural context with many methods, and it should be contemporary. Amazon.com fits these requirements because it is a large organization, there is much literature about the company, and it is a modern organisation that uses the latest technologies in marketing.

Since only one company will be studied in the research, the approach is regarded a single case study strategy (Mellahi & Johnson, 2000, p. 447). Single case study is the method that is probably best suited to analysing a phenomenon such as large-scale use of online marketing. With a single case study, a researcher looks for an average or a case that is a typical example of a particular phenomenon (Mills, 2010, p. 61). Amazon.com is selected because it is one of the first movers in online marketing (Mellahi & Johnson, 2000, p. 447). Various sources of information about Amazon.com will be used including books, journals and Internet materials.

The biggest strength of the case study method is that it involves detailed, holistic analysis (for example all aspects about an organisation) and makes use of several measurement tools. In addition, data can be collected over a long time, and the information is contextual – that is related to a particular industry. Further, history written about a given organisation can be assessed and documented (Katie, 2013, p. 29).

The downside of using the case study method however is that the method can only be used to collect the little information that is available in literature and hence conventional empirical tools cannot be used. Even where they are used, their application may be limited because the data available may not be sufficient for statistical analysis (Katie, 2013, p. 29).

References

Johansson, R. (2003). Case study methodology. A key note speech at the International Conference “Methodologies in Housing Research” organised by the Royal Institute of Technology in cooperation with the International Association of People–Environment Studies, Stockholm, 22–24 September 2003.

Katie, J. (2013). Why banks fail: A case study of Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers, and Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). Munich: GRIN Verlag,

Mellahi, K. & Johnson, M. (2000). Does it pay to be a first mover in ecommerce? The case of Amazon.com. Management Decision, 38(7), 445-452.

Mills,
A. J. (2010). Encyclopedia of case study research: …, volume 1. London: Sage.

Spruce Goose Enterprises (n.d.). 21st century marketing. Spruce Goose Enterprises (online).