e-Business management assessment: framework proposal through case study analysis

Published date23 November 2019
Date23 November 2019
AuthorPedro Isaías,Luisa Cagica Carvalho,Nildo Cassundé Junior,Fernanda Roda Cassundé
e-Business management
assessment: framework proposal
through case study analysis
Pedro Isaías
University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Sydney, Australia
Luisa Cagica Carvalho
Institute Polytechnic of Setúbal and CEFAGE,
University of Évora, Évora, Portugal, and
Nildo Cassundé Junior and Fernanda Roda Cassundé
College of Production Engineering, Federal University of São Francisco Valley,
Petrolina, UK
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to propose an e-business assessment framework for
organizations that aim to enhance the effectiveness of their online presence and maximize the benets
that result from it. The framework is based on three main pillars derived from the academic literature
research: e-marketing strategies, customer relationship management (CRM) strategies and business
model strategies.
Design/methodology/approach This paper reviews the literature from e-Marketing, CRM and
business model strategies, leading to the generation of an e-Business assessment framework. Second, it
takes 19 case studies and analyzes them using ATLAS.ti, through qualitative content analysis, to validate
that framework.
Findings Pragmatic advice for practitioners derives from research results considering that this
framework enables managers to characterize the company in terms of its e-business approach, making it
possible to determine the level of depth of competitiveonline strategies. Lessons for an improved e-business
approachcan be derived from this paper.
Originality/value This study proposes a novele-business framework to assist organizations that want
to have an online presence.This framework is comprised of the factors identied in the literature review that
contribute to dene andscope that online presence. The framework is thenvalidated through the collection of
19 case studiesof companies that have this online presence,validating the theoretical ndings.
Keywords CRM, Strategy, e-Marketing, Business models, Qualitative content analysis,
Case studies, Online presence, Framework, e-Business
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Nowadays it is possible to afrm that internet inuenced a set of cultural, economic and
social changes, mainlyin the beginnings of 21st century. The client comes as the focusof the
attention from the business activities and they are the targets of the entrepreneurial
strategies, with the increaseduse of internet as interface for e-business.
The traditional marketing, considered as a way to identify the needs of the individuals
and society, allows the exchange between costumers and enterprises to create value and
welfare to the costumers(Kotler et al.,2016).
Received27 September 2019
Revised31 October 2019
Accepted31 October 2019
Journalof Information,
Communicationand Ethics in
Vol.18 No. 2, 2020
pp. 237-254
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JICES-09-2019-0107
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Nevertheless, attending to the marketing dynamics and global evolution, marketing
change in the past years, and diversify their approach, tools and techniquesapplied. In this
context, the modern marketing tools found on the information and communication
technologies (ICT) the integrationof business strategies and models to allow improvements
in competitively.
This paper aims to propose an e-business assessment framework for organizations
wanting to have an effective online presence and relatedbenets. To achieve these aims, we
analyze 19 selected casestudies as examples of e-Businesses in depth.
The present paper is structured as follows. First, we shed light on the nature of
e-businesses basedon the academic literature,covering the topics of e-marketing (see section
2), customer relationship management (CRM) strategies (section 3) and business models
(BM) (section 4). Second, based on the literature, we propose an analytical framework for
assessing this kind of businesses(section 5). Third, we explain the method of collecting and
analysing the data, reaching a framework based on the case studies analysed (section 6).
Finally, we conclude with a discussion on the ndings and some suggestions for further
research studies(section 7).
2. e-Marketing
The new digital economy supported by the internet and ICT, introduced a large range of
marketing tools, which nowadays, have become more available and affordable for any
company, including smaller rms. Marketing,by nature, should be a creative and adaptive
discipline and managementtool that is incessantly regenerating itself (Brownlieet al.,1994).
The internet and ICTs induce the appearance of new concepts, and genuinetransformation
is taking place in relationship marketing (Sheth and Parvatiyar, 1995;Tzokas and Saren,
1997). Recent studies propose that organizations can develop customer acquisition and
retention by incorporating ICTs into their marketing practices to foster rich interactions
with their customers(Coviello et al.,2001;Brodieet al.,2007;Olomu et al.,2016).
e-Marketing capability represents a rms competence in using the internet and other
information technologies to facilitate rich interactions with customers (Trainor et al., 2011;
Markoski and Janeska, 2018). According to Brodie et al. (2007), e-marketing technologies
extend beyond internet-based advertising and communications to include technologies
supporting several marketing functions including CRM, sales activity, customer support,
marketing research and planning (Brady et al.,2002), hence, most companies have found
that online presence is essential to satisfy customers through all possible means (Sheikh
et al.,2018).
e-Marketing has the capability to create value (Trainoret al.,2011), by providing a close
association to a companys business processes, providing the customers with direct access
to the rms resources and also to create valueby allowing employees to develop their focus
on the customer by synchronizing activities and information throughout the organization
(Trainor et al.,2011;Markoski and Janeska, 2018). Valuable, outside information can be
integrated with other customer records to improve overall sales productivity and
organizational efciency (Kim and Jae, 2007). Furthermore, this valuable customer
information can be used by marketers looking to better understand their customers
expressed and latent needs to develop a real market orientation (Slater and Narver, 1999;
Marino and Lo Presti, 2018). Trainor et al. (2011)conceptualized e-marketing capability as a
multidimensional construct comprising three critical and complementary resources: First,
the authors consider IT resources as the deployment of technology infrastructure
supporting e-marketing initiatives. Second, human resources represent any managerial
support for technological initiatives and an organizational culture that embraces and

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