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A cost benefit analysis of Social Media Marketing

A cost benefit analysis of Social Media Marketing

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Published by Dave Scanlon
A cost benefit analysis of Social Media Marketing (SMM) from the perspective of the Irish
SME is presented. SMM is the process by which a company can enable and engage in
meaningful bi-directional conversations with its customers within an online environment.
High profile examples of SMM include Zappos.com's use of the Twitter micro-blogging
service, Dell's Ideastorm customer forum, and Blendtec's "Will It Blend?" video series on
YouTube.
A review of the literature establishes SMM's position in the continuing evolution of
marketing practices. Further drawing from the literature, the benefits of SMM to a
company's performance are identified, namely: an improvement in customer acquisition
and retention performance; and an improvement in a company's Research and
Development or New Product/Service Development processes.
An online survey of those companies using SMM is detailed, and its findings presented
and discussed. The primary purpose of the survey was to determine the level and nature of
resources being committed by Irish SMEs to SMM, as well as to establish what business
benefits are being realised.
Results indicate that SMEs consider SMM to be more effective than traditional marketing
methods with regard to customer acquisition and retention, and that a significant majority
of respondents are likely to continue to include SMM in their marketing plans in the future.
SMM is also reported as making a positive contribution towards companies' Research and
Development or New Product/Service Development processes. The study concludes by
noting the suitability of SMM for the particular approach to marketing inherent within
SMEs, while emphasising the importance of developing and maintaining a comprehensive
business strategy to guide its use.
A cost benefit analysis of Social Media Marketing (SMM) from the perspective of the Irish
SME is presented. SMM is the process by which a company can enable and engage in
meaningful bi-directional conversations with its customers within an online environment.
High profile examples of SMM include Zappos.com's use of the Twitter micro-blogging
service, Dell's Ideastorm customer forum, and Blendtec's "Will It Blend?" video series on
YouTube.
A review of the literature establishes SMM's position in the continuing evolution of
marketing practices. Further drawing from the literature, the benefits of SMM to a
company's performance are identified, namely: an improvement in customer acquisition
and retention performance; and an improvement in a company's Research and
Development or New Product/Service Development processes.
An online survey of those companies using SMM is detailed, and its findings presented
and discussed. The primary purpose of the survey was to determine the level and nature of
resources being committed by Irish SMEs to SMM, as well as to establish what business
benefits are being realised.
Results indicate that SMEs consider SMM to be more effective than traditional marketing
methods with regard to customer acquisition and retention, and that a significant majority
of respondents are likely to continue to include SMM in their marketing plans in the future.
SMM is also reported as making a positive contribution towards companies' Research and
Development or New Product/Service Development processes. The study concludes by
noting the suitability of SMM for the particular approach to marketing inherent within
SMEs, while emphasising the importance of developing and maintaining a comprehensive
business strategy to guide its use.

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Published by: Dave Scanlon on Aug 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/13/2013

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A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FROM THEPERSPECTIVE OF IRISH SMALL-TO-MEDIUM ENTERPRISESIs Social Media Marketing a cost-effective tool for Irish Small-to-Medium Enterprises?David ScanlonA dissertation submitted to the University of Dublin in partial fulfilment of therequirements for the degree of M.Sc. in Management of Information Systems2009
 
Declaration
I declare that the work described in this dissertation is, except where otherwise stated,entirely my own work, and has not been submitted as an exercise for a degree at this or anyother university.Signed: ___________________ David ScanlonAugust 13
th
2009
Permission to lend and/or copy
I agree that the School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College may lend or copy this dissertation upon request.Signed: ___________________ David ScanlonAugust 13
th
2009ii
 
Acknowledgements
I would like to express my thanks to the individuals who participated in this research, withspecial regard to those who partook in the pilot questionnaire and provided such instructivefeedback.I also wish to thank my employers, Enterprise Ireland, for the sponsorship and supportafforded to me during the course of my studies. I particularly wish to thank my colleaguesin the eBusiness Unit for their support and encouragement, and the staff in the ClientKnowledge Services department for their help in sourcing articles for my research.I would like to thank my parents and family for their invaluable suggestions and proof-reading efforts, as well as their continuing support at each stage of my life-long journey ineducation.I wish to thank my supervisor Barry Collins for the guidance and feedback he providedduring the course of my work.Finally, a very special word of thanks to my wife Sinéad, who now knows far more aboutsocial media than she would ever have wished to. Without her endless patience, advice andinspiration this research would likely not have reached completion - an achievement madeall the more remarkable given the wonderful job she has done in raising our newborn sonFionn.iii

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