Resource analysis

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The internal audit will also include a resource analysis. This involves assessing the capabilities of the organisation to deliver its online services. Aspects that can be reviewed include:

• Financial resources - the cost components of running an online presence, including site development, promotion and maintenance. Mismatch between current spend and required spend to achieve visibility within the online marketplace should be reviewed using tools such as Hitwise and Netratings which can be used to assess online market share.

Resource analysis

Review of the technological, financial and human resources of an organisation and how they are utilised in business processes.

Portfolio analysis

Evaluation of value of current e-commerce services or applications.

Technology infrastructure resources - availability and performance (speed) of web site and service-level agreements with the ISP. The need for different applications to enhance the customer experience can be assessed (e.g. on-site search, customisation facilities or customer relationship management facilities).

Human resources - availability for an e-retailer includes service and fulfilment resources for answering customer queries and dispatching goods. For all companies there is a challenge of possibly recruiting new staff or reskilling marketing staff to manage online marketing activities such as web site services, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing and e-mail marketing. We return to this topic later in this chapter. Structure - what are the responsibilities and control mechanisms used to coordinate Internet marketing across different departments and business units? We again return to this topic later in the chapter.

Strengths and weaknesses - SWOT analysis is referred to in the next section where generic strengths and weaknesses are summarised in Figure 4.7. Companies will also assess their distinctive competencies. Chaston (2000) suggests a resource-advantage matrix should be produced which compares the costs of different online services against the value they provide to customers. These can then be evaluated to select strategic options. For example, a high-cost, low-value service might be terminated while a medium-cost, high-value service might be extended. This is a form of portfolio analysis where different e-commerce services are assessed for future potential. See also the strategy formulation section later in this chapter.


A web site in which a company has simply transferred ('migrated'] its existing paper-based promotional literature on to the Internet without recognising the differences required by this medium.

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