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THE IMPACT OF ONLINE MARKETING ON SALES: A CASE OF PROCTER AND GAMBLE

Abstract

Online marketing is a marketing tool that has been used by most of business organisation to promote their services and products in competitive market place. The content of the research states the Impact of online marketing sales: A case study on P&G to make comparative study on online online marketing. The reason for conducting this study is to find the effectiveness of online marketing that influence customers on purchasing products from online. The study has attempted the importance of online marketing by creating brand image and building brand awareness. Moreover, it has benefited the researcher in analysing the activities which are undertaken to study the literature review. In fact, since P&G is a UK oriented organisation, therefore the study has sated appropriate data in content to online marketing sales and its influence over the customers as well as organisation.

The researcher uses positivism philosophy along with descriptive design and deductive approach. Moreover, the primary and secondary data collection has helped the researcher to go in depth of the research topic and understand the concept. It also helped in gaining knowledge from quantitative data analysis techniques from the customers. The qualitative data from the magers helped the researcher in knowing the organisation more prominently.. The sample size selected was 50 employees and 3 Managers of P&G. moreover, the analysis done over the quantitative data has helped the researcher to interpret with literature review section. However, interpretation of findings proves that online marketing of P&G needs to be improved which their strengthen their present market position by retaining more customers. Therefore, the findings has evaluated the impact of online marketing sales that has built brand image and retained customers in competitive market place. 

Acknowledgement

It provides me utmost contentment to make the final submission of the research, which concentrates on THE IMPACT OF ONLINE MARKETING ON SALES: A CASE OF PROCTER AND GAMBLEIt is from the very beginning of the dissertation to the submission that I have gained a chance to make an extensive as well in-depth research on the online marketing that influences customers to purchase products.

I do want to thank a number of people who have assisted me in preparing the work.  To begin with, I want to show my gratitude towards my supervisor who has helped me through the study and the dissertation may not have been possible without the guidance. Moreover, I also show my gratefulness towards the respondents of the surveys as well as for the interviews without whose co-operation, the collection of data may not have been possible. Special thanks to my peer group and my classmates for their unending support.

Thanking you all,

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction:

The research study is assigned to identify the impact of online marketing on sales. The study demands discussion on the main objective of the organizations that is influenced by marketing. Marketing has a huge effect in the development of any business organization. The present scenario demands the adaptation of marketing strategy that can be issued through digital communication. People presently are engrossed with internet to fulfil their daily requirements. It has become an effective strategy for the business organizations to use online marketing to reach out to maximum customers to introduce their products and services. Marketing contributes to the recognition of the organizations and brands with their prospective features and services to the customers. Online marketing has the ensuing benefit of reaching out to customers through various medium.

The proposed topic of the study engages the assessment of the improvement of sale that is influenced by online marketing. In this case, the study involves the case study of Procter and Gamble to see its sales improvements. P&G is known to be a company of multinational consumer goods that is headquartered in Ohio, United States. The revenue it created in the year 2015 is US$ 76.27 billion (Us.pg.com, 2016). The company issues production of various consumer goods with the likes of personal care, cleaning agents, foods etc. The number of employees working in P&G as per 2015 survey is approximately 1, 10,000.

1.2 Background of the study:

Business organizations have the main objective of how to improve the dimensions of sale with the progression of years. Various aspects are responsible within the context of a company or organization that stands behind its development. Amongst them marketing has the first impact in a business in terms of its proper recognition in the market. The study engages the business prospects of Procter and Gamble to identify and assess the measurement of the impact of online marketing on sales. The main problem statement of the study is to identify the activities related to online marketing and the way it contributes to the improvement of sales.

1.3 Research Rationale:

What is the issue- The issue remains in the proposed topic of the study with the fact related to the identification of the impact of online marketing on sales. The business organizations have been so far unable to implement the online marketing strategically to extract substantial sales. The issue accords with the business context of Procter and Gamble regarding how it can attain commendable improvements on sale by implementing online marketing.

Why is it an issue- The companies have to compete in the market with numerous rivals those are having same features and products. It has been identified that the companies face serious trouble in executing proper marketing strategies. This is due to marketing is not being adequately implemented to reach out to the wide range of customers. The Procter and Gamble with the lack of implementing various marketing strategies had to face a market decline of 5.6% in the year of 2015. The circumstance demands effective development in marketing strategies.

Why is it an issue now- It has presently become an issue, as the people are so engrossed with the functions and services of internet. The organizations need to think of the use of social media, web publishing of advertisements, email to demonstrate the information and details regarding their products and services (Weidman et al, 2015). It has been apparently mandatory for the business organizations to issue online marketing to reach out to maximum number of customers from all over different regions.

What can the research shed light on- The proposed research can shed light on the importance of online marketing. It projects the reason behind the improvements of sale implementing different activities and tools in online marketing. The study puts concentration on the discussion of extracting different benefits from online marketing and how customers can be attracted by implementing sophisticated strategies. It has also concentrated on how customers from various regions can be reached out through online marketing.

1.4 Research aim:

The aim of the research is to evaluate the impact of online marketing on the sales rate of business organizations. The research is dedicated to identify how companies can well reach out to its customers with the demonstration of their products and services through online marketing. However, the principal aim of this research is to identify the importance of online marketing on sales in the case of Procter and Gamble.

1.5 Research objective:

The research objectives are developed to help the researcher directing the research towards its proposed intention. The objectives in this study are as follows:

       To analyse the activities related to online marketing for Procter and Gamble

       To critically assess the sales growth being improved by online marketing for Procter and Gamble

       To identify the challenges faced by P&G in incorporating online marketing to promote its business

       To provide some recommendations for Procter and Gamble to avoid the challenges and difficulties it faces

1.6 Research questions:

The research questions are formed in order to execute the research to propose possible solutions against the problems and inquisition emerged in the present topic of the study. The questions are furnished below:

       What are the online marketing activities that Procter and gamble continue?

       What impacts does online marketing have on the sales improvements for P&G?

       What are the possible challenges faced by P&G in introducing online marketing?

       What can be the possible recommendations to make solutions for those challenges?

1.7 Significance of the research:

The significance of the research lies in the identification of the importance of online marketing. It stepped up to the cause of finding various prospects and benefits of internet marketing communication. The research attempts to assess how organizational sales can be improved through implementation of improved marketing strategies. The research also pointed out different execution of plans and methods in online marketing that can well communicate the potential customers.

1.8 Purpose of the dissertation:

The purpose of the dissertation is to highlight the importance of adopting updated marketing ability that can invariably increase the sales measurement. The purpose also issues capturing of customer base within business contexts by implementing effective marketing strategies. It has the main purpose of enhancing the marketing ability in business contexts to attract customers.

1.9 Dissertation structure:


Figure 1: Dissertation Structure

(Source: Created by Author)

1.10 Summary:

The introduction chapter introduced the beginning of the research that is commissioned to evaluate the impact of online marketing on sales. The discussion in this chapter involved the background of the study and research rationale. The aims and objectives have been developed in order for the study to be directed in its proposed way. Research questions have been formed to make solutions of specific problems addressed in the topic of the study. The significance of the research and the purpose of the dissertation have also been analysed in this section.

 

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction:

The scholarly papers introduce literature review in their study to discuss the relevant issues by pursuing secondary research. The section introduces the facts what have already been researched in order to well support the proposed topic of the present study. The present study is going to analyse the importance of online marketing and its impact on the improvements of sales. However, the research attempts to identify the need to introduce online marketing and its respective activities. It is also going to discuss how marketing has a huge impact in attracting customers and thereby developing the context of any business organization.  

2.2 Previous research works:

Various researches have been pursued on the relevance of online marketing and its impact on sales. Hu, Du and Damangir (2014) analysed in their works regarding the importance of advertising. They worked on the topic of how the fruits of advertising can generate the interest of customers and how subsequently it can be converted into sales. The work has been pursued to highlight the importance of advertisement on various components.

Zhang, Ma and Cartwright (2013) attempted their discussion regarding the investigation of online user reviews on sales search goods. It has issued discussion on the development of business context depending on the online user remarks and feedbacks. Their work has been an attempt to highlight the the understanding of impact.

On another note, Dale Wilson (2013) gave statement regarding the availability of online direct marketing databases. His work discussed about the fact that the marketing professionals get abundance of opportunities in the implementation of improved marketing strategies and tactics. The work has illustrated the importance of online databases that consequently guides the sales authorities through numerous ways to seek different customers and develop substantial sales leads. Overall the study discussed about the use of online marketing databases impacts over generating sales improvements.

2.3 Conceptual framework:

The conceptual framework is developed to outline the key points attached to the present topic of the study related to the evaluation of the impact of online marketing on sales. The framework is developed in order to have the crucial points based on which the discussion is directed. The conceptual frame is considered to be providing transparent ideas and thoughts regarding the ongoing research.


Figure 2: Conceptual Framework

(Source: As created by Author)

2.4 Analysing the concept of online marketing:

Business organizations cannot be satisfied with only increasing the quality of their products and services. They essentially need marketing strategies to make introduction and recognition in the market. A business is developed from its acquaintance in the market and how the customers engage their attitude towards it. Marketing is an important tool in business that addresses a company’s existence and activities. As defined by Zhu and Zhang (2010, p.138), online marketing is a strategy where the companies or brands digitally communicate with the customers. The customers need to get thorough information regarding products of their choice. Through advertisements the business organizations put the details of the products including their services, discounts, price and features.

In the contemporary time, people are engrossed in internet activities in any purpose. People as well as customers can well be reached out from the digital communication and online public relation strategy. The organizations implemented the idea of ebusiness, ecommerce, internet marketing that can benefit the overall business. Internet marketing always has the benefit of detailing information of products and services that the customers wish to buy. They check over internet to view the products and services. During the time purchase where the high involvement of the customers is attached they always want hands on experience to make decisions on their purchase. In that case, the online marketing has hardly any effectiveness.

 

Stegemann and Sutton-Brady (2012, p.3) analysed that online marketing issues digital advertising, campaigning, public relations that have a sophisticated psychological impression in the minds of the customers. Various organizational authorities find it fruitful to take hold of online activities related to marketing to reach maximum number of potential customers. People nowadays extensively use social media, email and they come across a number of websites everyday for their personal purpose. Online marketing is strategized to be focused on various websites, social networking sites, emails where people can get close to the informational demonstrations issued by various companies and organizations (Tankosić, A. and Trnavčevič, A, 2011, p.150). They can get access to their desired material anytime they wish. In order to execute sales promotion and expect customer attraction, the companies need to arrange attractive prizes and convenient discounts. The organizations plan sales promotion in the objective of expanding the product and service acquaintance to the customers. E-Commerce has facilitated the business contexts to make faster and hassle free transactions. The organizations implemented the idea of ebusiness, ecommerce, internet marketing that can benefit the overall business. Numerous factors are there why the activities related to web have been accelerated and the overall interest and awareness amongst the customers have risen.

The organizations here afford to personally communicate and persuade the potential buyers to purchase their products. Once the business authorities have constant contact with the potential customers, they can easily persuade them to choose product from their productions and services. It has become easy for the advertisers to reach out to the maximum number of customers from various regions to let them know the detailed information regarding any brand or company. Online marketing has the first and foremost aspect of issuing advertisements of various products and services. The customers need to get thorough information regarding products of their choice.

2.5 Measuring the importance of online marketing in business context on sales:

Improving sales and creating increased revenue are the only objective of a business organization (Varadarajan, 2012, p.44). A business is developed keeping in mind of various strategies with the likes of providing quality products and services, monitoring on pricing, taking competitive advantage in the market and marketing ability. As commented by (Vojtko, 2014, p.215)Marketing is such an important tool in a business that helps the business organizations constructing positive image in the market. The contemporary market is so competitive that it requires positive activities from the business organizations to substantial attention of the customers. Presently online marketing plays a vital role in reaching to the customers more than any other modes of marketing.

Internet marketing has the blessing of developed technology where the customers can get access of all their desired material in the comforts of their home and anywhere (Wang and Nadda, 2015, p.98). The business organizations choose to demonstrate the nature and services of their products through internet where the customers can get all the details regarding various brands and products. Effective marketing has the ability to construct positive consumer behaviour and thereby determining  the buying decisions of the customers. Sales are improved through effective demonstration of products with clear implementation of strategies. It is not always possible for the organizations or companies to reach to various regional customers to make acquaintances of their respective products or services. People can best be made aware of  different requirements of their choice through the benefits of internet marketing. The customers can easily commit their buying decisions checking all the information and details demonstrated in the pages of websites and other tools (Lagrosen, 2015, p.67).

Online marketing has numerous benefits to positively impact over the improvements of sale in the business contexts. The organizations can create a substantial customer base all over various regions. The companies have stores in various places what they need to do is to place advertisements of products and services in various portals, sites, emails etc. for the customers to check and choose their preference of purchase. They can easily avoid rush in the store and wipe out confusions regarding their purchasing materials. Some companies extend their service in ecommerce business where people can shop online and do not have to go to the doors of the stores to check and purchase their desired materials. The online marketing has the biggest threat in handling the fraudulent activities. People are often cheated by so many illegal authorities who open websites and publish advertisements similarly copying from the authenticated ones. It has become a serious issue nowadays where credibility issues regularly hit the customers.

Sales can be invariably improved as the organizations can reach as many as customers from all over various regions. They can create customers from outside besides having strong local customers. Thus substantial revenue can be created through effective implementation of marketing and creating strong customer base.

2.6 Describing the activities executed through online marketing:

Digital marketing issues various activities in the objective of implementing various marketing strategies.

Advertising- Online marketing has the first and foremost aspect of issuing advertisements of various products and services. The customers need to get thorough information regarding products of their choice. Through advertisements the business organizations put the details of the products including their services, discounts, price and features. The organizations should make sure to promise sameness between the advertised products and available in terms of price and quality (Pashkevich et al., 2012, p.453). This is how the credibility from the customers can be earned. Online marketing afford to publish advertisements in various medium of internet that has a sophisticated impact in the minds of people. It is essentially the quality of advertisements that make first impression in the minds of the customers in terms of making their buying decisions.

Sales promotion- Amongst the online marketing activities sales promotion is another important aspect through which companies promote their products and services. As mentioned by Pera, Qumsiyeh and Ng (2013, p.191), in order to make substantial improvements in creating customer base, the companies need to engage PR activities, temporary price reductions, telemarketing, door-to-door calling. In order to execute sales promotion and expect customer attraction, the companies need to arrange attractive prizes and convenient discounts. The organizations plan sales promotion in the objective of expanding the product and service acquaintance to the customers.

Public relations-  Dale Wilson (2013, p.392) argued that public relations strategy is another important part of integrated marketing communication where the organizations maintain favourable attitudes towards other organizations and their products. The main objective of this strategy is to maintain good relationship with the customers, stakeholders and other concerned professionals. This is one of the most important ways how marketing can well be executed. According to Lin and Liao (2010, p.271), effective public relations are maintained in order to expect positive consumer behaviour and the organizations can earn substantial credibility from the customers on their products and services. Integrated marketing communication has a huge impact in the implementation of marketing. Maintaining public relations is considered to be an important prospect in marketing as it substantiates positive image of an organization in the market.

Personal selling- As mentioned by Alberta, Berry and Levine (2013, p.401), online marketing has the objective of making potential customers aware of various products and services and substantiating position in competitive market. Personal selling is one of the important activities of online marketing communication. The organizations here afford to personally communicate and persuade the potential buyers to purchase their products. Business companies demonstrate the nature and features of their products and services through digital communication by which the loyal customers are persuaded to buy products (Northup and Mulligan, 2013, p.71).

2.7 Analysis of different tools used in online marketing for sales increase:

Different tools are used to execute online marketing that can be able to catch as many people for the service and products of the organizations to be marketed. The important and hugely used tools are as follows:

Display advertising- Display advertising is an effective tool in online marketing that creates significant effect in revealing a message regarding a particular business organization. The organizations use display advertising to make significant impacts in the minds of the customers creating visual impacts through graphics, photographs, animations, logos, texts etc (Emiliani, 2014, p.531).

Web page advertising- Online marketing generally use the tools of publishing advertisements in the web pages. Organizations choose rich media to publish their desired contents in the web banner through audio, animations and other interactive materials.

Search Engine Marketing- Organizations take the option of marketing through various search engines. The search engines generally communicate results as per the queried search with sponsored and non-sponsored search results (Haley, 2012, p.76). The differentiation is definitely there between the two results with sponsored results having visual cues maintaining relevance with the queried search.

Social media marketing- Social networking sites have become everyone’s daily companion. The business organizations use social media to post their respective advertising contents. People unknowingly can get in touch with different kinds of products and services with their extended features. The business organizations take the benefits of the pages of social media to promote their products to reach out to maximum number of customers. Companies generally market frequent updates and special offers of their products through social media pages.

Mobile Advertising-  Alvarez, Taylor and Rauseo (2015, p.241) stated that online marketing also issues the advantage of mobile advertising by which the customers are communicated through short service messaging and multimedia messaging displaying various advertisements. The customers can get every detail regarding offers, features, stores of brands and companies.

Email Advertising- Email marketing is another effective prospect of online marketing. The business organizations use electronic mails to publish their prospective advertisements. As commented by Dholakia (2015, p.121), in contemporary time, people have constant companionship with email for various purpose. It has become easy for the advertisers to reach out to the maximum number of customers from various regions to let them know the detailed information regarding any brand or company.   

2.8 Analysing the advantages in online marketing:

Online marketing is defined as a type of marketing strategies that are used through various medium of internet marketing like email, pay-per-clicks and banner advertising Lili and Grover (2014, p.290). On the contrary, there are various advantages that are enjoyed by the online marketers. The most significant benefit of online marketing is that it is globally distributed. Moreover, Rose (2012, p.23), stated that it can target large amount of people in buying products. Thus, potential customers gets influenced from purchasing products and as a result it increases sales of an organisation. However, it is quite beneficial as it reduces cost which is a major advantage for the firm as it can save costs. For the business it can reduce staffing cost as very few number of staffs are needed. Moreover, it improves cash flow of the company. According to Bitner and Gremler (2011, p.89), online marketing allows the business to find out online competitors.

On the other hand, online marketing helps the customers in sharing experience. The customers can share their experience about how far they have liked the products and can give their feedback comments. Zhang et al. (2013, p.1115) argues that when a customer purchase products online products they have to give price before they receive it. In online ASOS website helps the consumers to keep track of their purchase. The online marketing gives a platform in targeting specific customers demographically to purchase product.  Wu (2015, p.906), stated that is also gives every details information about the products before they make decision in purchasing products. In addition, it can provide the companies with two-way communication which in turn increase customer satisfaction and build credibility. However, internet marketing is quite faster in empowering their advertisers so that they can improve their campaign.

2.9 Disadvantages of online marketing:

Online marketing has all the benefits and positivity that both the customers and the business organizations can be benefited. As argued by Blakeman (2012, p.63), the present market demands the implementation of effective online marketing that helps in acquiring market benefit for a business organization. Having abundance of benefits of online marketing, there are some unavoidable limitations also.

The first of all factors to worry about is the matter of cost that the online marketing involves. With the help of online marketing, the advertisers and the business authorities can widely reach to the customers from various regions. In this respect, the start up costs to publish advertisements online through websites are high. Initially it can pose as a great hindrance for the companies or organizations to implement the online marketing strategy. Smith and Catalano (2011, p.93) stated that the websites to publish advertisements and other marketing aspects need specifically required software, hardware and other maintenance. The costs of these have to be maintained at a regular basis.

Internet marketing always has the benefit of detailing information of products and services that the customers wish to buy. They check over internet to view the products and services. During the time purchase where the high involvement of the customers is attached they always want hands on experience to make decisions on their purchase. In that case, the online marketing has hardly any effectiveness.

According to Levinson and Rubin (2011, p.69), different potential customers are there in the market who are not still that much accustomed to use internet to get close to the online advertisements and other informational details. These customers cannot have the access to any promotional details, offers, discounts of any product. Thus, the companies are more likely to lose this section of customers.

The existing rules and regulation in internet marketing are subject to frequent changes. Scott (2014, p.78) argued that the advertising authorities need to be updated with the information to make required changes in time. They have to make sure that the strategy which is applied does not go out of date.

The online marketing has the biggest threat in handling the fraudulent activities. People are often cheated by so many illegal authorities who open websites and publish advertisements similarly copying from the authenticated ones. It has become a serious issue nowadays where credibility issues regularly hit the customers. They are often misguided with fraudulent online payments and other monetary engagements. Technological curse also emerged in stealing of personal confidential data related to different organizational business contexts (Ginty, Vaccarello and Leake, 2012, p.98). The hackers regularly enter the personal confidentialities of various business organizations what is considered to be the most threatening disadvantages of online publishing of advertisements.

Online marketing is completely one of the business strategies that is monitored by technology and mechanism. There is no human touch attached with with it like the salesperson giving demonstrations. It consequently hinders continuation of healthy business relationship that can earn a positive consumer behaviour. The customers here may not repeat the commitment of their purchase.

Another unavoidable complication arises when some technical faults come in as a major problem in the implementation of online advertisements. As defined by Etzel, Walker and Stanton (2014, p.84)The customers are deprived of viewing the contents of advertisements with major technical faults as the internet marketing is totally dependent on technology and mechanisms.

 

2.10 Documenting the E-commerce readiness in contemporary time:

Online marketing has been thought upon on the basis of the increase in number of internet users. It has been identified that in the past ten years the number of people using internet in most of their necessities has substantially increased. Electronic facilities have gifted both the customers and the business organizations. E-Commerce has facilitated the business contexts to make faster and hassle free transactions. The organizations implemented the idea of ebusiness, ecommerce, internet marketing that can benefit the overall business. Numerous factors are there why the activities related to web have been accelerated and the overall interest and awareness amongst the customers have risen. As mentioned by Hofacker (2011, p.92)The present business scenario took abundant steps ahead to make effective business and it constantly makes use of the benefits of the internet to reach out to the wide range of people and at the same continue effective business strategies. The factors are as follows:

The contemporary situation allows easy access to the internet and the authorities as well as the customers do not find any major complication to get the access of internet. The internet usage  has presently become one of people’s daily necessities and that helps the whole activities having uninterrupted continuation.

People tend to increase the use of internet with the help of substantial reduction of costs in getting an internet connection. Internet has become more or less everyone’s cup of tea as they can avail it with moderate costs. The business authorities make the most use of it implementing it in any aspect wherever it can be applied.

In this present time. It has become under everyone’s affordability to possess personal computers. With personal computers the customers can get the access of their desired material as per their convenience. This is another important factor why electronic activities in the business context has got substantial responses.

As stated by Steinbock (2010, p.79)Though primarily, the initial start up for publishing contents of marketing in websites involves high monetary engagements, the opening of websites and making use of specific softwares and hardwares have exemplarily been reduced than it used to be. It has been presently convenient for the advertisers to use personal websites to promote their products and services.

Another factor that fuelled the awareness and interest of the customers and the business authorities to increase the web related activities is the availability of supporting tools that engage the effort of hosting the websites. Various portals have been launched that provide facilities of e-commerce and electronic transactions (Marketingdonut.co.uk, 2016). The companies have stores in various places what they need to do is to place advertisements of products and services in various portals, sites, emails etc. for the customers to check and choose their preference of purchase. They can easily avoid rush in the store and wipe out confusions regarding their purchasing materials.

Presently, the e-commerce readiness has been increased as people are so much engrossed with their personal involvements of work that they hardly get any time to make hands on experience of their desired products and services (Webopedia.com, 2016). The customers want to avoid hassles and congestion and therefore the necessity of bringing the facility of online payments and home delivery have been made successful. The consumers responded to these activities well as they can avail products in the comforts of their home.

2.11 Documentation of online marketing through Sales Funnel:

The objective of online marketing is to strategize marketing through digital communication. The customers are attracted to the products and services by making them aware and informed through sophisticated online advertisements (Chevalier and Mayzlin, 2016, p.350). By constantly visiting websites and signing up to the mailing lists of the companies or organizations the organizational authorities manage to build up a relationship with the customers. Once the business authorities have constant contact with the potential customers, they can easily persuade them to choose product from their productions and services. The online marketing sales funnel issues a visual description of step wise occurrences beginning with the customers being aware of the brands and their products and services. Subsequently it leads the customers searching over and being engrossed with respective websites and finally it leads to sales improvements.

As defined by Christou, E. (2011, p.818), the activities of the sales funnel principally include four stages that communicated about the starting process of online marketing and how it contributes to creating revenue. The four stages are generating leads, improving conversion, repeating business and increasing revenues.

 As in the first step of an online marketing, the organizational authorities need to choose the the mediums and platforms of digital marketing. The primary objective is to gather as many customers to take informations and get aware of the brands and organizations through internet marketing. The customers have to be first made interested towards the companies through advertisements and promotions. The leads are expected to be generated through various platforms of online marketing with the likes of email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing. Marketing through online via customers’ personal email ids, social media pages, informative newsletters are enough to entice a customer to earn attention. The organizations can directly interact with the potential customers regarding compliments and drawbacks through facebook, twitter etc. It can simultaneously helps building relationship between the authorities and customers.

With progressing towards the second stage it can be understood so far that the customers are introduced to make use of the internet marketing in terms of getting aware of various products and services. The major aspects of this stage called improving conversion is to create well designed website and having the facility of E-commerce. The advertisers and the organizations need to publish their contents of advertisements through a well equipped website where the credibility from the customers can easily be earned. With making informational advertisements, the customers are easily enticed to sign up to the mailing lists through which the authorities get the chance to have constant contact with the customers to extract positive behaviour from them. Consequently, they can easily make their buying decisions in times of their purchase. Having the facility of e-commerce within a business context helps curbing the problem of hopping to the stores when the customers wish to purchase anything. With the help of e-commerce and e-business, the persons attached can accomplish their activities sitting at the comforts of their home. The customers can check online products they wish to buy and can shop online. They can simultaneously share products with their friends and relatives.

The step three communicates with the necessity to maintain relationship with the potential leads attached with a business context. Zhang, Ma and Cartwright (2013, p.1126) stated that it is not always possible for the business organizations to make personal contacts with the customers and at the same time to continue an effective business the customers need to be communicated with their personal inquisitions. This urgency essentially requires the activity of autoresponders through which the customers can get their respective information of solutions. The customers can even be sent the emails and newsletters automatically issued by the organizations and companies. Lead database should be created in order to differentiate the potential leads for future market segmentation (Marketelements.co.nz, 2016). The organizations can also put up a scoring system in accordance to the nature and movements of the potential leads.

The last step called increasing the revenues is the consequence of the cultivation of all the three steps. The organizations have to make the customers interested towards the prospective products and services. Then they have to be introduced with the facilities. As mentioned by Wiesel, Pauwels and Arts (2011, p.605), different potential leads need to monitored with the aim of maintaining a long-term relationship. Finally the time comes to make sale and create revenues. In times of making sale the organizations need to present their products and services with their beneficial sides. For immediate sale of products, the companies should offer discounts and convenient offers.

2.12 Summary:

The research study presents the discussion related to the evaluation of the impact of online marketing on the improvement of sale. The literature review section involved the discussion related to the importance of internet marketing in contemporary business scenario. It also showed how online marketing influences creating substantial revenues. The activities of online marketing through internet marketing communication have been analysed. It has also been discussed regarding the various tools used in online marketing. The benefits and limitations of online marketing have been specified along with the present readiness of e-commerce facilities in business contexts. The online marketing sales funnel has been described to analyse four stages that ultimately leads to create increasing revenues.

Chapter 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

The chapter of research methodology has serves as an important section while conducting the research study. Alvar and Crooks (2014, p.54), stated that it consist of various tools and techniques that helps in achieving appropriate objectives for the research study. The proper selection of research methodology solves every problems that arises in the study O’Guinn et al. (2015, p. 689). A proper methodology is very necessary for the researcher to evaluate correct techniques as well as prevents from creating any error. 

3.2 Research Outline

According to Lancaster (2012, p.1245), research outline describes about the findings in which appropriate selection of methodology has been described. Positivism philosophy has been selected from research philosophy whereas, deductive approach has been selected as a research approach to evaluate the theories that are obtained from primary research. Both primary and secondary data has been collected. In addition, quantitative data is collected from the survey questionnaire  of 85  customers from where 50 customers were selected for questionnaires whereas, 5 managers from Procter & Gamble for qualitative data among which 3 managers were chosen for interview round.

3.3 Research Onion

There are many layers in research onion that gives a systematic structure for carrying out the research in proper manner. According to Saunders et al. (2009, p.12) , research onion is an important tool that guides the researcher in clear direction for completing the research. 


Figure 3.1: Research Onion

(Source: Saunders et al. 2009, p.10)

The layer of onion describes the philosophy of research, approach selected for doing the research, strategies and research techniques and procedure for achieving a desired outcome.  The final and last layer exhibits collection of data and data analysis that need to get final outcome. 

3.4 Research Philosophy

Research philosophy is an important source that mainly deals with the knowledge that are gained while carrying out research study. There are three types of research philosophy such as, positivism, realism and interpretivism that helps in underpinning the topic Crowther  and Lancaster (2012, p.98). Positivism philosophy deals with collecting data with scientific research. It is done mainly on the basis of realities that take place in social standpoint. On the other hand realism does not highlight on scientific research but on human perception whereas, interpretivism focuses on observation and scientific test. 

Justification for the selection of Research Positivism

The researcher has selected positivism philosophy as their methodological tool. The reason for selecting such philosophy is make logical and theoretical investigation that is based upon the research topic. This gives stable evidence and facts. On the other hand, realism focuses on human perception that is only used to investigate the problem that has arised in the research but positivism analyse those problems to find out truth and facts. Moreover, this research topic does not deals with any scientific testing hence, interpretivism proves to be an inappropriate philosophy for this study.

3.5 Research Approach

Cooper and Schindler (2010, p.34), commented that there are two types of research approaches that can be taken while conducting the study that is inductive approach and deductive approach. Both this approach of research are based on different direction that are selected as per the requirement. In inductive approach  serves as a beneficial approach that helps the researcher in building new theories that aligns with the research topic.  It helps in gaining suitable information and helps the researcher to set relevant hypothesis for building some new theories. On the other hand, deductive approach serves as an advantageous approach for the researcher that helps in verifying the existing theories and obtain relevant data to verify those theories. 

Justification for the selection of Deductive research approach

The researcher has selected deductive approach for this study is for gaining knowledge and experience over the existing theories, models and concepts that underpin the topic. Moreover, deductive approach supports in data collection process and evaluates the past studies over the recent theories.  The primary collection will help in understanding the role of online market over any organisation. Henceforth, inductive approach only brings theories from the data collection method that are not required in the present study therefore, the researcher selects deductive approach out of inductive approach.

3.6 Research Design

The design of research is an academic work which, is mainly done in three bases such as, exploratory, exploratory and descriptive Leedy and Ormrod (2012, p.67). Explanatory designs helps in gaining information regarding the research study. On the other hand, explanatory design is selected by the researcher when the issues that arises in research work are not clearly mentioned. Moreover, it helps in establishing a common relationship between the variables that helps in reviewing the causes and effect. In addition, descriptive design helps the researcher to carry out the research work successfully by identifying the issues of research work.

Justification for choosing descriptive design

As per the researcher descriptive design plays an important role in providing clear picture of research problems. Descriptive design supports the objectives and data collection method that are set for this research work. Moreover, other two design is inappropriate the background information about the research topic is enough to resolve research issues. 

3.7 Research Strategy

Research strategies are of various types like survey, interview, case studies and it is chosen as per the researcher. According to Bryman and Bell (2011, p.409), survey tends to be receiving data from the selected population efficiently and effectively. Moreover, survey is also done vis online and offline basis. On the other hand, survey is also done as case studies where the researcher gives his own knowledge that was collected from secondary data. 

Justification for the selection of Research Strategy i.e Survey and Interviews

Survey strategy is selected as research strategy as because wide range of data can be collected from the customers that reviews their personal views and experience. In addition, authentic way of collecting the data helps in understanding the research topic properly. On the other hand, interview strategy has been chosen to get specific information about P&G regarding their services through online marketing. Henceforth, survey and interview tends to be most appropriate way for getting relevant data.

3.8 Selection of Sampling Methods and Sample Size

Two types of sampling methods are there that is probability sampling and nonprobability sampling. The data are collected from the entire population based on few features like age, occupation that are related with buying P&G products, 50 customers were selected through random sampling method. When random probability sampling is taken for selecting customers it helps the researcher in receiving authentic information that underpin research topic and to get answers of the questioners set by the researcher. In addition, the question will be based on online marketing that will help the researcher to clear confusion regarding research topic. On the other hand, 3 managers were selected by non-probability sampling method.

3.9 Data Collection Method

Data can be collected by using primary data collection source or secondary source. Primary collection method involves quantitative and qualitative method  that helps in analysing data and the researcher gains knowledge from overall research topic. On the other hand, secondary data are collected from existing sources like books, journals, articles, web page and newspaper.

3.10 Data Analysis Process

There two types of method for analysing data that is qualitative data collection and quantitative data collection process Bernard (2011, p.38). In this researcher the researcher has undertaken both the process to gather information. It is presented in a statistical form by drawing tables, charts and graphs. Quantitative method is cost effective  and the researchers gets huge amount of data through this process. Moreover, it checks the relationship between independent and dependent variables that includes correlation and regression analysis. On the other hand, qualitative process gives fair opportunity by meeting taking telephonic interviews from the managers.

3.11 Ethical Issues

While conducting the research study the researcher comes across various problems that declines quality and the information of research topic. Researcher has made sure of Data Protection Act 1998 while conducting interview and asking questions to the selected customers. Moreover, confidentiality is maintained in interview round. However, the researcher makes sure that the questions will be asked based on academic topic.

3.12 Research Limitation

The research limitation consist of several factors that stands as an obstacle for the researcher to carry out research work. The amount of budget and time is one of the limitation that does not allow the researcher to carry work in relevant way. Problem has been also faced while interviewing the manager of P&G.

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