Adam, S., Mulye, R., Deans, K. R., & Palihawadana, D. (2002). E-marketing in perspective: a three country comparison of business use of the Internet. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 20(2), 243-251
A massive revolution of the worldwide web has been witnessed in the last few decades. The internet is no longer a luxurious item accessible to a reserve few, but is now something that a huge chunk of all members of the human race has access to. Currently, about 2 billion people in the world currently use the internet. This is indeed a huge improvement given that, in the 1990’s, only a few million people in the global population used or even had access to this vital technology. In fact, the internet was only popular in developed countries such as the US and the UK, but currently, the internet has become a popular feature even in third world countries. As mentioned before, the number of internet users in the world is over 2 million. A huge chunk of this figure comprises business owners who in recent times have found out the enormous power of the internet in relation to business activities. The business owners have relied that if utilized properly, the internet is a very powerful tool that can help to propel the businesses to high performance levels
It is in light of these facts that I decided to look for an article exploring the diffusion or spread of internet usage in business and commerce. I particularly wanted to find out the differences in the rates of internet connectivity in households, as well as online business transactions in various countries. After an extensive research on several on-line databases and libraries, I finally settled on this article because of its explicitness and conclusiveness in exploring the issue at hand. I believe that this article titled “E-marketing in perspective: a three country comparison of business use of the Internet” will greatly aid me in my research because of several reasons. One the article uses very fluent and clear language that everyone understands. Secondly, the article is based on comprehensive research conducted on the three subject countries whose results are accurately documented. Therefore, I can be rest assured that everything that is talked about in the article is true and accurate. The third reason why I think this article will come in handy in my research is because apart from providing information about the issue I wish to explore, it backs up this information with relevant examples and explanations. The final reason which is most important touches my research question to its core. It explores the rates of internet usage in commerce and business across different countries that are the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Apart from looking at the rates of internet usage in these countries, the article also explores the different functions of business that the internet is used in these countries. For instance, the internet is used for relationships management, gaining competitive advantage, marketing communication, public relations, advertising amongst others. At this stage, it would perhaps be wise to explore the contents of the article in detail.
E-marketing in perspective: a three country comparison of business use of the Internet is an article that reports on the rates and the different ways in which the businesses use the internet. The article forces on three countries and these are the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The article commences with a general exploratory commentary on the growth of internet usage in business and commerce for a period of eight years. It looks at how the usage of the internet by businesses has grown. The article also reviews various researches that have been conducted on this subject and reports on their findings. One of things for instance that this research has looked at is the benefits of web usage and the different online marketing strategies adopted by different businesses. Competitive advantage is also explored in terms of how business uses the internet to gain competitive advantage. After this brief commentary, the article then dwells on two researches that have been conducted on the three subject countries.
The first research focused on Australia and New Zealand and is called “The Australia and New Zealand WebQual Audit”. This WebQUAL audit study is a longitudinal, probabilistic and multistage study of government’s and business use of the internet in the two countries. This audit comprise of three crucial phases. The first phase involved an online web form and email survey of some sample of New Zealand and Australian organizations that had officially registered domain names. These organizations were selected randomly. The 2nd second phase involved a comprehensive content analysis of the Websites that had responded. The third and final phase involved personal interviews with specially respondents.
The second research had the United Kingdom as its subject. This research had two key objectives. The first objective was to establish the characteristics of business firms that had adopted the web in their business to business marketing. The second objective was to evaluate and examine the various uses of the internet in business. The article also aimed to examine the degree to which the web was used by UK business to business organizations in marketing. This research utilized a sample of 560 UK firms extracted E-marketing in perspective: a three country comparison of business use of the Internet from the UK’s business directory. Questionnaires were the emailed to the willing participants of the study.
The results of the two studies were wide and varied as will be seen later in this paper. There were significant differences in terms of internet usage on the subject countries. However, the most pronounced difference between the subject countries was in the strategic web usage to acquire competitive advantage, improve cost effectiveness and also in regards to relationship management. In all these aspects, the UK companies hugely outdid their compatriots from New Zealand and Australia. The authors of the article state that this finding is attributable to the fact that UK businesses have been using the internet longer that counterparts from New Zealand and Australia. There were however, some similarities in terms of how businesses use the web in various countries particularly in regards to 4 major groupings of responses that are” strategic responses, marketing logistics, marketing communication and finally relationship management. The main implication however, from this research is that is that in the use of the internet varies from the UK to New Zealand and Australia and indeed to all countries. It is up to an individual business to decide how it will use the very important tool that is the internet in its business functions that is whether for marketing communication, marketing transactions or even relationship management.
As mentioned earlier, one of the article’s strong points is its fluency and clarity. The research questions and issue are clearly laid out in a language and diction that is under understandable even to the layman. This is depicted at the article's beginning where the authors clearly state the intent of the article. They state that the purpose of the article is to provide comparisons of business use of the web, specifically from the viewpoint of utilizing the web as a crucial part of competitive marketing strategy. The article further states that it will prove this comparison by through the use of sample bases, questions, similarities and time frames present within the marketing environment. In addition, the authors give the importance of the comparisons, and this is that systemic differences in terms of internet usage, household computer ownership and online purchasing are exhibited by different countries. It is therefore, necessary to know if all these differences reflect the differences in strategic web use by organizations in these nations. For instance, there may be reasons that are unique to Australia that bring about the differences between the fraction of the country’s population that is willing to conduct business through the internet.
As mentioned before, the article at its premise touches on various theories and literature that pertain internet usage in business and commerce. For instance, the article provides statistics on worldwide internet usage relying on data obtained from webstatistics.com 2001. In regards to this, it is shown that North America leads in the number of internet users in the world where it accounts for about 151 million people (or 40% of all web users). A third of this is in the US. Japan comes a distant second to North America. The article also touches on the literature of researchers such as Poon and Swatman (2009) who conducted studies in Australia and Ng and company who conducted studies in the UK n business use of the internet. The article also touches on the findings of Anderson Consulting (1998) that found a set of results pertaining to the use of the internet in business. Here, it was found that very few business owners use the internet channel for transactional services like procurement, order taking, payment or even product delivery.
One prominent theory that the article touches on is the one brought forward by Michael Porter in regarding technology. In their research, Poon and Swatman (1999) found out that small firms were disillusioned when it came to the marketing effectiveness of internet. In many instances, the sales were lower than the target and the small companies did not therefore, gain any competitive advantage. The authors state that this point acts as reinforcement to Porter’s assertions on using technology to acquire sustainable competitive advantage. In his assertions, Michael Porter discredits various myths such as the one suggesting that profitability is bound to accompany first movers onto the internet or that technology in any way provides competitive advantage. This is because the web delivers a lower entry cost to business competitors than any other form of information technology.
The evidence that is used in this article is obtained from the two research mentioned above as well as other support research. One outstanding aspect of the article is the way the authors demystify every single element of the data or evidence by expounding it to the core. The authors were also very effective in choosing the research on which to base their article, because at the end, they were able to explore the issue of internet use in business conclusively. The choice of the subject countries was also very effective because these are countries where the usage of the internet is still growing.
The research form this article has a lot of implications for both knowledge and management practice. The research findings show that both similarities and differences exist when it comes to how different countries (in this case, UK, Australia and New Zealand) use the internet. However, a major conundrum or a dilemma is developed. Does it mean that the buying behavior exhibited by the New Zealand and Australian consumers is a consequence of the lack of business there to utilize the web to its full advantage or potential? Alternatively, is it that businesses view the low online buying levels as a reason not to invest in the web? This is a question that management needs to ponder over. It cannot be denied that internet will be ever present in the foreseeable future. It is better that management figures out the best to use it to its advantage. The naivety and paranoia that many business managers have when it comes to developing online business transactions should be slowly wiped out and embracement of the internet be made fully. I believe that this article has a wealth of knowledge and information on internet usage in business that if utilized properly will lead to increased business performances across the world. The internet is very advantageous tool that every business should strive to utilize regardless of the geographical location that the business is situated in.
Adam, S., Mulye, R., Deans, K. R., & Palihawadana, D 2002, E-marketing in perspective: a three country comparison of business use of the Internet. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 20(2), 243-251
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