Introduction

Situation analysis

Collection and review of information about an organisation's external environment and internal processes and resources in order to inform its strategies.

Environmental scanning and analysis

The process of continuously monitoring the environment and events and responding accordingly.

All organisations operate within an environment that influences the way in which they conduct business. Organisations that monitor, understand and respond appropriately to changes in the environment have the greatest opportunities to compete effectively in the competitive marketplace. Understanding an organisation's environment is a key part of situation analysis for the Internet marketing strategy development process introduced in Figure 1.9 and covered further in Chapter 4. There is also the need for a process to continually monitor the environment which is often referred to as environmental scanning.

In the next two chapters we look specifically at how organisations can assess and understand changes to the digital environment they operate in. The need to 'sense and respond' is particularly important for online marketers because of the rapid changes in customer behaviour we introduced in the first chapter. Let's look at two more examples of rapidly changing behaviour. First, complete Activity 2.1 to see how online media sites have increased in popularity over the past five years. An example of the changes is indicated by Figure 2.1 which shows the increasing number of visitors to Handbag.com over the last 10 years. Marketers at client organisations or their agencies who aren't aware of these changes in media consumption are missing an opportunity not only to advertise to these audiences, but also to interact with them by engaging them in polls or quizzes or games on microsites or destination sites, yet many of the marketers and their agencies continue with the status quo.

Figure 2.1 Increase in traffic volume at Handbag.com in selected months when audited. Page impressions are pages served to visitors, visitor sessions are visits up to a maximum of 30 minutes and unique visitors is the number of individuals visiting the site in a given month

Source: Compiled from ABC Electronic (www.abce.org.uk)

Figure 2.1 Increase in traffic volume at Handbag.com in selected months when audited. Page impressions are pages served to visitors, visitor sessions are visits up to a maximum of 30 minutes and unique visitors is the number of individuals visiting the site in a given month

Source: Compiled from ABC Electronic (www.abce.org.uk)

Activity 2.1

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