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Marketing strategy for a Web Hosting Company

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This research project is geared towards determining an effective marketing strategy for a Web Hosting Company, taking into consideration the organisations strategic position. A mix of both quantitative and qualitative research techniques were utilized. Qualitative interviewing was employed to get an understanding of the strategic capabilities of this company, while a survey was done to evaluate client preferences. The analysis of present statistics offered further information to research major concerns in the environment. A research into the environment signifies a growing degree of (price) competition within the web hosting business. Application-specific hosting services are slowly and gradually replacing the interest in web hosting services. Non-business customers are extremely price sensitive and can quickly make a price comparison by making use of comparison websites. Coupled with minimal switching costs, this results in extreme competitive rivalry among web hosting providers. Business customers, however, are less price sensitive. Business opportunities arise from the trend towards outsourcing and the increasing interest in Software as a Service (SaaS). This company’s primary strategic capability is economies of scale. The corporation’s age and size, reputation and dedicated customer care facilities are also recognized as competitive advantages. Having said that, the absence of a clear marketing strategy and decreasing client satisfaction inhibit the company from coping with the concerns arising from the environment. This company’s in-house created control panel limits development that could deal with these concerns. They can add more features to their website hosting service to cope with the threat of substitute services. Sitebuilder functionality is a popular feature provided by competitors. This strategic choice is only feasible once the legacy software is substituted with commercial control panel software. Nevertheless, the human resource costs connected with the integration of commercial software are still quite high, therefore lowering the feasibility of this strategic option.

Contents

1. Introduction
1.1. Background
1.2. Research problem
1.3. Justification for the research
1.4. Outline
2. Literature review
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Strategic position
2.2.1. Environment
2.2.2. Strategic capabilities
2.2.3. Influence of stakeholders
2.3. Strategic choices
2.3.1. Identifying key issues
2.3.2. Developing strategy
2.3.3. Evaluating strategic options
2.4. Conclusion
3. Methodology
3.1. Qualitative interviewing
3.2. Unobtrusive research
3.3. Survey research
3.4. Conclusion
4. Research findings
4.1. Environment
4.1.1. Macro environment
4.1.2. Threat of new entrants
4.1.3. Threat of substitutes
4.1.4. Power of suppliers
4.1.5. Power of buyers
4.1.6. Competitive rivalry
4.1.7. Conclusion
4.2. Strategic capabilities
4.2.1. System administration
4.2.2. Customer service
4.2.3. Marketing and sales
4.2.4. Firm infrastructure
4.2.5. Development
4.2.6. Conclusion
4.3. Strategic choices
4.3.1. Continuation
4.3.2. Diversification
4.3.3. Product development
4.3.4. Conclusion
5. Conclusion
6. Limitations and further research
7. Personal reflection
8. Appendices
8.1. Definitions
8.2. Class diagram for conjoint measurement
8.3. Search volume for the keyword ‘web hosting
9. References

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Source: University of Twente

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