The analysis of internet advertising and internet marketing across all platforms.

Chapter 1.        Data Analysis and Discussion

The findings are derived from the analysis of tools, which were used for data collection and measurement of data. The results are aimed to provide advance knowledge and to contribute to the understanding of the research as this analysis of data will be used to assist the hypotheses validation.

1.1.            How often do you use the internet? Used to shortlist data.

This was the first question in the survey questionnaire. The replies were as below. 
Value Count Percent
Valid Values Atleast once a week How often do you use the internet? 16 4.3%
Atleast once everyday 356 95.2%
Never 2 0.5%

Table 1: Percentage of internet users

 

There were 377 results collected by the questionnaire.

The qualifier indicated that there were only 0.5% of the responses which were redundant as they indicated that the respondents never used the internet. As we are only dealing with online marketing, the two responses of those who never used the internet were discarded for the further analysis.

The major chunk of people, which formed 95.2% of the responses, was of those who used the internet daily. This chunk with those who used internet at least once a week was used for further analysis.

1.2.            Question two:

Chart 1: Purpose of internet usage.

This question of the qualifier section aimed to filter those who went online but did not browse the internet. Chart 1 indicates that there was no-one who responded to the questionnaire and fell in the category where the users go online frequently but never browsed the internet. If there would have been any, then that data would have been discarded as this study would want to only analyse the crowd who are active on the internet.

The responses to this question also suggested that most of the people who use the internet use the social networking websites as much as they use the internet to get their mandatory jobs done. A very small population played games online.

 

Sections two:

Question one: AGE

The first question of the second section classified the respondents according to their age range. The findings were that almost half, which is 46.5% of the respondents, were 21 to 25 years old. There was almost nobody who was younger than 15 years. 16 to 20 and 26 to 30 formed the other major part of the respondents, as seen in the table 2, below.

                                       What age group do you belong to?
Value Count Percent
Valid Values 15 or below What age group do you belong to? 1 .5%
16 to 20 80 21.4%
21 to 25 174 46.5%
26 to 30 71 19.0%
31 to 35 31 8.3%
36 to 40 8 2.1%
41 to 45 4 1.1%
46 to 50 2 .5%
Above 50 2 .5%

Table 2: Age group of internet users.

1.3.            Nationality:

When the nationality was analysed it was found that almost 85% of the respondents were either British or Indian. The respondents from other countries formed a very small proportion and some countries like poland, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania only were represented with one or at most two respondents.

It would be illogical and misleading to use that data to study the behaviour of the whole country towards internet marketing campaigns.

Hence this data will be discarded and won’t be used for analysing.

1.4.            Question three: Educational qualification:

Chart 2: Educational qualification of internet users.

The chart 2 above exhibits the response to the third question of the second category. Again it is evident that the major contributors to this questionnaire were qualified with the university degree and this was followed by the post graduates.

Question four: Professional level

Chart 3: Professional level of internet users.

Chart 3 above shows that almost 2/3rd of the respondents were students and the rest of the population was e distributed at different levels of management. A tiny proportion which is only 3 percent were unemployed.

Question five: Interest / Expertise
Chart 4: Interest / Expertise of internet users.

The participants were also classified on the basis of their expertise and area of interests. And the result showed that the participants of the questionnaire were evenly distributed across all areas.  The one from the technical background formed the higher percentage while the ones from other science areas showed the least participation; though the difference across these areas wasn’t considerable.

Hence it can be argued that the people participating in this questionnaire did not belong to one sector or industry, and the responses collected were not homogenous, which is good as the responses wouldn’t be biased or an industry specific.

 

 

Section three:

PART ONE: Effort level

Introduction: This part consisted of questions which will be analysed and discussed together!

Section Two collected data to classify the respondents. However the third section actually sought answers to the research questions. The first question of the third section aimed to seek crowd’s involvement in that crowd sourcing campaigns which demanded minimal efforts, which were sometimes only a click, which we have termed as ‘low involvement’ campaigns.

 

 

Chart 5: Low effort level involvement of internet users.

The overall data collected suggested that almost everybody, which is    91%, were involved in these kind of crowd sourcing campaigns, and almost half of those involved participated very often. However, since the respondents belonged to varied demography, the above analysed figures only indicates the homogenous behaviour. This will be further analysed based on the classification of the demography as mentioned earlier.

The second and the third question were aimed to find the crowd’s participation in ‘high involvement’ campaigns which needed lot more than a click, for instance creating a tag line, writing a full article or creating an advertising campaign. Advertisers often use these campaigns to invite crowd to create or re-design campaign which means a lot of effort. Section 2.4 of Chapter shows that model 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 are high involvement campaigns.

The overall response showed that the majority of the population did not prefer to participate and 70% said that they do not blog and write articles or have participated in internet marketing campaigns, as it can been seen in chart 6 below.

Chart 6 also shows that only 5% of the overall population participated often in ‘high involvement’ internet marketing campaigns to blog.

 

Chart 6: High effort level involvement of internet users – blogs.

 Chart 7: High effort level involvement of internet users – contests.

These low and high involvement campaigns are further analysed by classifying the crowd.

Chart 8: Analysis of low involvement campaigns – based on age group.

 

The above graph shows the involvement of the respondents, in the low involvement campaigns, based on their age group. It is evident that the crowd belonging to the age group of 21 to 25 has the maximum participation, and it can been calculated that the 2/3rd population of this group were involved in this kind of campaigns. The age group of 16 to 20 followed with participation of almost 80% in this category. The third major contributors belonged to the age group to 26 to 30 with a participation of about 75 %. It was noticed that as the age of the respondents incresed their participation decreased.

 

Chart 9: Analysis of high involvement campaigns (blogs) – based on age group.

The campaigns where the participants need to write and blog and hence need to make higher amount of effert, showed an opposite pattern to that of low involvement campaigns. The graph above exhibits the participation in blogging and writing articles and as seen, as the age of the respondents increase their proportional contribution increases. Again as the statistics are expressed in percentage the amount of responses would not really matter. 21 to 25 years old have the large population who do not participate and this proportion decreases as the age of the crowd increase.

 

 

Chart 10: Analysis of high involvement campaigns (contests) – based on age group.

The explicit advertising internet marketing campaigns, that is the ones which made clear that the campaigns is  internet marketing in type and offered incentives explicitly – be it cash or kind, showed a mixed pattern when compared to the previous two campaigns. The campaigns had a good percentage of participation, of 71% percent, in the age group ranging 21 to 25 – as can be calculated from chart 10 above. However, it failed to attract that kind of proportion of population from the higher age group. However, it managed to maintain a good proportion in the  age groups of 31 to 35, as the proportion didn’t fall below 58%.

 

Section – Conclusion: low involvement campaigns – more participation from young crowd. High involvement campaigns – more effort from older crowd.

High involvement campaign, with incentives – effort from everyone.

The statistics taken were expressed in form of percentage and not the number of responses because it was intended to study the behaviour of each age group in proportion and not by the number of responses.

 

Low involvement campaigns – based on educational qualification

Chart 11: Analysis of low involvement campaigns – based on educational qualification.

Chart 11 above shows the analysis of the the participation of the crowd, based on their education qualification. It was noticed that the crowd with no, little or very high educational qualifications did not participate, and the population of crowd participating in this kind of campaigns were dominated by the college degree or masters degree holders and students.

 

High involvement campaigns (blogs) – based on educational qualification.

Chart 12: Analysis of high involvement campaigns (blogs) – based on educational qualification.

The participation of the crowd in the blogging and articles related campaigns were also similar to the the age group. It can be assumed that this is due to the logical deduction and it happens because education has direct proportion with the age. And this analysis shows that the margin of error is low as the analysis only strengthens the argument made above. However this cannot be verified in this study with imperical data and hence forms one of the limitations of this study.

The school going crowd never participated in these campaigns, about 50% of the college/university degree holders participated, about 80% with masters degree like to blog and a whopping 100% P. Hd. holders blogged – out of which 70% participated often.

Chart 12: Analysis of high involvement campaigns (explicit – contests) – based on educational qualification.

It was analysed that when it comes to the participation in the explicit advertising crowd sourcing campaigns the behaviour of the crowd was similar to what it was for the blog an article writing campaigns. As the educational qualification incresed the proportion of their participation also incresed.

The school going crowd never participated in these campaigns, about 60% of the college/university degree holders participated, about 67% with masters degree participated and a massive 91% P. Hd. holders participated – and they participated often.

Low involvement campaigns– based on professional level.

 

Chart 12: Analysis of low involvement campaigns– based on professional level.

When the participation in the low involvement campaigns was analysed it was found that the students exhibited a higher proporting of participation which fell non-linearly but showed a miniscule participation from the senior management.

Every body who was unemployed participated, about 3/4th of students participated and this proportion was same for the respondent working at the entry level management. This proportion showed 60 % participation from those working at the junior management level, 75 % from those working at the middle management level and only about  1/3rd respondence employed at the senior management level participated.

It can hence be conculded that as the professional responsibility of the individual increses his participation in online activities demanding low efforts decreses.

 

High involvement campaigns (blogs) – based on professional level

Chart 12: Analysis of high involvement campaigns (blogs) – based on professional level.

The respondents employeed at the senior management, however, showed a huge proportion of participation when it came to wirting blogs and submitting articles. And again this proportion fell as the professional standing of an individual descreased, with no participation, whatsoever, from those who were unemployed.

0% of unemployed respondents ever blogged or submitted article online. About 55% students participated with the same proportion of particiaption from those employed at the entry level management. 2/3rd respondents from junior management participated and this proportion rose to about 85% at the middle management level. The ones who were employed at the senior management level like to blog and submitt article online the most. This proportion was more than 95%.

 

high involvement campaigns (explicit – contests) – based on professional level.

Chart 12: Analysis of high involvement campaigns (explicit – contests) – based on professional level.

 

When the participation of the respondents in the explicit advertising crowd sourced campaigns was analysed then it did not show any linear relation with the respondents’ professional level, as seen in the other campaigns.

50% of those who were unemployeed participated while the others didn’t. 60 % of students participated with equal distribution amongst those  who participated often and those who seldom participated. 3/4th respondents at the entry level management participated. 60% from the junior level management participated while more than 65% from middle management level participated. This proportion was again the highest amongst those who were employeed at senior management level and this was a little more than 87%.

Section conclusion:

This study considers the online crowd and hence the demography of the respondents were noted, because the online crowd consists of people of different age, nationality, professional and educational back groud and with expertise in varied fields.

Also the research indicated the contibution to online activity and yet again the activity can be low involvement or high involvement.

Therefore this research was broken into various subparts and every permutation combination was considered to test it.

  Low involvement campaigns Blogging / writing articles Participation in online contests
Age Inverse proportion Direct proportion Everyone
Nationality NA NA NA
Education Inverse proportion Direct proportion Direct proportion
Professional level Inverse / mixed proportion Direct proportion Direct proportion
Expertise NA NA NA

 

Hence it can be seen that in the low involvement campaigns the participation is high. Figure above indicated that 91% of respondents have been involved in these kind of activities online however the major population belonged to the yonger generation, who obviously are still at lower level professional as their age is less and also have a lower level of education. This also means that because the population involved in these campaigns are younger and immature, the results cannot be trusted. So it can be argued that these campaigns are not a very good options for those advertisers who aim to actually get creatives from the crowd.

The high involvement campaigns like blogging, writing articles and participating on online contests inviting solutions, for instance like the one conducted by Peperami, by Ideabounty, as discussed earlier, fetch lesser participation. Only 25 to 30% of respondents participated however when this was further analysed according to the age group then it was noticed that the population participating in these campaigns are the one who have higher eduacation qualifications and belong to the higher professional levels. Hence it can be argued that these campaigns are a good option to be adopted by those advertisers who aim to generate high quality solution. They would have to compromise on the quantity but can atleast ensure quality.

1.5.            Rewards and motivators

 

When the respondents were asked what would they prefer as a compensation for the time and effort they invested, then cash topped the list. More than 2/3rd of respondents preffered it. The second closest was not even 50% preferred when compared to cash. It is intresting to note that the second preferred reward was also a source for cash, that is, employment. The respondents showed an almost equal intrest towards factors like recognisation and other attributes which would again save them some cash, which includes discount coupons , Freebees and free memberships. Only 7 % of the respondents said that they would participate even if there is no compensation.

It can hence be stated that those who participate in the crowd sourcing campaigns have making or saving cash as their primary objective.

The prime motivators that influenced and encourage the crowd to participate were the product, brand, the crowd’s knowledge about the product the country of orgion of the product, and the location of the decision making office. And as argued earlier it would also be approprieate to consider the reward as a motivator. Hence, these attributes formed the options of this question.

When the respondents were asked to report the motivating and encouraging factors which influenced them to participate in the contests then it was analysed the prime motivators were the product, the brand, the respondents’ knowledge about the product as the reward offered by the contest. The country of origin of the product and the location of the decision making office formed a very tiny proportion.

It can be argued that though the participants expect to get paid, it does not bother them or affect their performance efficency even if they are not assured of it. This means that, though the participants wants to be rewarded

1.6.            Analysis

As discussed earlier, campaigns like Wikipedia generate content from volunteers, who work without any monetory compensation. However after analysing the data it is evident that this will definitely not work in the advertising industry. The analyed information suggests that more than 90% of the crowd participating in advertising internet marketing campaigns expect some form of financial compensation. So, because the hypothesis used the word ‘free’, the hypothesis stands false.

It can be assumed that the cost involved might, most probably, be lesser than what it would cost if the advertisers created the advertisements the traditional way, however since there was no data collected for that and the study did not focus on that aspect, it would be inappropriate to comment about that.

 

However, it is worth noting that more than 2/3rd of the respondents said that they would participate even if they are not the winners. But again, it would be difficult to find out what kind of population form the the remaining 33%. If this is made of the young crowd with low educational qualification and low professional level then the quality of the adverts produced would also be low. This question remains unanswered and would be worth if studied further and sought answer to material for limitations & further scope.

As discussed earlier one of the objective of advertising is to increase the sales, the respondents were asked if they would consider buying the product, if they participate in the contests conducted by them. About 1/4th respondents stated that they would buy the product and only 13 % said that they wouldn’t. the remaining 60% said may be which means that with a little extra persuasion either the whole or some part of this population can be converted to generate sales.

Hence, it can be argued that when brands employ these crowd sourcing campaigns then they do work as a medium of advertising.

as discussed earlier  one of the other objective of advertising is to create brand awareness. The respondents were asked to check if they would spread the word about the brand and hence the product if they were the part of the internet marketing  contests.

It was analysed that about 1/5th respondents rejection that they would spread the word of mouth, however a considerable 81% said that they would spread the word. However, the crowd indicated that  they would act as evangalists under different conditions. 61% said that they would spread the word if they think that their peer group can also benefit from the contest. Hence, this means that the major chunk of the participating crowd welcomes competition. 24 % stated that if they cannot participate but if they are aware that the members of their peer group can benefit from it then they would spread the word.

28% of the crowd participates and spreads the word only to those members of their peer group who can not benefit from the contest. This would mean that this chunk like to spread the word of mouth but avoids competition.

Again, this strengthens the third hypothesis partially and confirms that that such internet marketing  contests do trigger viral marketing and word of mouth marketing.

 

 

As seen earlier McDonalds adopted a internet marketing  campaign to improve the brand perception, however it was important to know from the crowd if their perception about the image of the brand would improve with a well executed campaign.

About 1/3rd respondents agreed that a well executed campaign will improve the brand image for them and about half of their respondents suggested the positive probability for the enhanced brand image.

About 1/5th respondents disagreed with the idea of an improved brand image through a well executed campaign. This does not form the major population and hence it can be concluded that if the campaign is executed with care then it is a good opportunity to enhance the brand image. It can serve as a promotional tool for repositioning brands, especially in the time of crisis.

Hence it can be seen that these analysis strengthens the third hypothesis and hence it can be stated that when an advertising campaign is internet marketing, then irrespective of the product created by the campaign the advertisers can benefit from the process as the process itself serves as a promotional tool.

 

 

Chapter 2.        Conclusion

Advertising is a promotional tool which aims to achieve multiple functions As McDonald (1998) stated, that an effective advertising persuades the buyers to choose one brand over another, whilst Jones (1992) indicated that the primary function of advertising is to increase the sales. However, as we have seen earlier, it was evident that advertising works best when the consumers were involved.

The introduction of internet marketing in business process has opened doors to new opportunities for the advertisers. Internet marketing exists in many forms. Some require low effort from the crowd to participate, and hence provides low involvement, while some require high effort and hence proves to work as high involvement campaigns.

The low and high campaigns can be used by advertisers to achieve the various objectives. It is usually the younger crowd who participate in low involvement campaigns. Hence it may not be a good idea to use these campaigns to create intellectual property which can be incorporated in the campaign; however it would be a great idea to keep the crowd involved and hence increase the brand awareness.

This would also provide as a good option when a brand wants to execute a viral marketing campaign. As seen in the example of Doritos, the campaign’s overall effectiveness increased when the campaign went viral. With a gigantic user base in social networking websites like Facebook, if a brand goes viral then it is more likely to be heard than it would be otherwise. And once the brand goes viral then it can achieve excellent campaign effectiveness at a very low cost. And the best part is that the running cost of viral campaigns is almost none, as the crowd drives the campaign once it goes viral and not the brand.

Also, it was seen that some internet marketing campaigns like IMDB, where crowd rates the product (films, in case of IMDB) and hence the manufacturers know which products is more liked by the product. If the product targets younger population as their audience then it would be a good idea to implement a low involvement internet marketing campaigns and involve the younger generation. For instance, company like Coca-cola, which have more than 3300 products in the market would want to know which ones are more popular and are more liked by the teenagers. Though this will not help in creating the advertisement directly, it will definitely prove to provide an excellent market research and hence will ensure more effective advertising campaigns.

McQueen (1991) identifies five types of buyers. As seen earlier, in these categories the first two are Loyals and Rotators. And with a low involvement internet marketing campaigns, it will be possible to persuade these two types of buyers to start buying the product advertised. And as Hall and Maclay (1991) have indicated, involving consumers will have direct effect on the brand equity, sales and will enhance relationship marketing.

As seen earlier, the two functions of advertising is to first make people aware about the product and then persuade them to buy it. And this kind of campaigns can prove to be a good option to make the crowd aware of the product.

The limitation of this campaigns is that all the above mentioned benefits can only be achieved for the younger age group and if the products aim to advertise to the older age group then it is less likely to work.

The high involvement campaigns was found to be more popular in the older population. Also those with better education and professional background, if participated, participated in these campaigns. Hence, when the advertisers need to build intellectual property for their campaigns or brands then they should adopt and employ these campaigns.

Though this population will not spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, but if persuaded by the brand then they may blog about it. Also, websites like Wikipedia is built by users and it cannot get any better if the crowd starts writing articles and building content on such popular websites. Because, the more content is written about a product, the better the product performs in the Search Engine Optimisation. It can be concluded because, when a product is searched for in a search engine like Google and if has an article written on many websites and blogs then it will display many search results and hence the brand will appear more popular and trusted.

This kind of promotion cannot be achieved by the low involvement campaigns, but only through high involvement campaigns. Hence both the campaigns have their own pros and cons and have different areas where they excel. Advertisers should keep this in mind and should implement the campaigns depending on what they aim to achieve. If the choice is not correctly made then it may be difficult for the campaign to succeed.

Internet marketing campaigns does not reward all the participants, in fact, as seen earlier, they don’t even reward the participants all the time. The example of Wikipedia and Facebook shows that the crowd contribute for no financial gains. However, some campaigns when reward, reward only the few, who are declared winners, as the campaigns are usually conducted in form of contests.

This research was able to find out that the participants in internet marketing campaigns usually prefer cash, sources of cash, like employment, or those things that would same some cash, for instance discount coupons, free memberships and freebees.

Hence, this should be considered by the advertisers that if they have to entice crowd to participate then the prime motivator is financial compensation.

The limitation of this study was that it was not able to evaluate if this is uniform across all demography or if this pattern if demography specific. This form the area that needs further research. If a further detailed study is conducted on this then advertisers can find out what kind of participants prefer what, and since crowd of different prefer participating in different campaigns, hence advertisers can conduct campaign with appropriate motivators as reward.

It was further concluded that the participants prefer to participate in the contests if they are conducted by the products and brands that they are aware of. Hence it would be more difficult for newer brands to execute a successful internet marketing campaigns. However, only because it is difficult does not mean that it is impossible, because the example of Quirky, which was discussed earlier shows that even a new brand with an absolutely new product can execute a successful campaign. In fact Quirky was able to do this twice, earlier with the brand name of Kluster. So, it can be said that this cannot be a coincidence but was a result of a well-executed and well planned campaign.

The crowd also participates better when they are aware of what the competition is of the product that they are working for. Hence, it would be a good idea to made the contests as detailed as they can be. This will ensure higher participated and better quality of the results and creative collected.

With the advent of internet the world is shrinking and it was observed that the participating crowd is least affect by the country of origin of the brand and the location of the decision making office. So, a brand should remember that when they conduct such contests then they are catering to the crowd worldwide, which means that a well-executed would be able to get access to unlimited creativity and intellect.

The final area of research was able to conclude that when an individual participates in a internet marketing event then he/she is more likely to buy the product, he/she participates in the word of mouth marketing and the image of that brand is better perceived by him/her.

This is a huge achievement for a brand as it not only fetches short term gains but also is beneficial for a brand on its long term gains.

Hence, with numerous types of internet marketing campaigns and preference of people for some type or another shows that internet marketing have something for everyone. If they are wisely and carefully chosen, i.e. careful consideration after proper analysis then they can ensure high involvement, which is beneficial for advertisers in every way. Every stage of internet marketing contests, for instance, the promotion of the contest, the process of contest and the output generated; all can benefit the advertisers.

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I’m an eCommerce Project Director at an agency in London and a consultant for a number of eCommerce start-ups. I founded Think etc 9 years ago which now lets me share my research and experience with all the interesting brands, people, places and projects that I have been privileged to work with.

My work on crowdsourcing was published by Oxford as part of a journal article and I have been obsessing over eCommerce and Magento over the past several years.

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