Interactive Marketing

Running Head: Interactive Marketing
















Date: September 2nd  2010

Interactive Marketing

Executive Summary

Website auditing involves the evaluation of a company’s website to determine its overall content, performance and security. Websites are usually are created by companies, to improve their overall productivity. According to the Australian National Audit Office (2002), carrying out an audit will help them determine if the website is achieving its chief purpose. Website auditing is very important because it allows a company to determine, whether their website is working suitably, as well as the changes that ought to be made so that they can get the most out of it. According to Miles (2010), the main reason why website auditing is carried out is, to search for ways to optimize the performance of the website, without breaching the privacy laws applicable in this field. There are different tools that can be used in web auditing. This paper will explain two tools that can be used to carry out an evaluation of five different websites.

Website auditing usually tackles several areas of the site. The first area that is addressed is the person who created the site. Different sites are created in various ways. Creation can be done by, the domain owner, an employee within the company or by an independent contractor. According to Miles (2010), if it is established that the website was created by a third party, the auditor has to verify whether a web design agreement was reached between the involved parties and what it contained.

The next step to be taken would be to carry out an assessment of the content found on the website. According to the Australian National Audit Office (2006), in most cases if the content that appears on the site was created solely by the site owner and not a third party, it is not necessary to audit this site. Nevertheless, if the contrary is true and a third party created the content, then this will necessitate auditing. Auditing has to be done in this case to establish whether the information that appears on the site has received a license for it to be viewed.

Evaluation Tools

According to Molenaar (1996), several evaluation tools can be used as benchmarking tools during website auditing. However, this paper shall only tackle two major tools: the servqual tool and the 7C’s tool. Before any auditing can begin, it is important that the auditor first take some time to familiarize them self with the company and what the website in its entirety aims to achieve.

Tool 1: Servqual Tool

According to Molenaar (1996), this model was developed to help in the measurement of the quality of service, by following a series of steps. Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry developed this model. It concentrates largely on the idea that, quality of a product is usually perceived. A product of perceived quality usually refers to the judgment, which a consumer has towards a certain product. A customer’s minimum expectation and their individual perceptions of the website are taken. According to Basri (2001), the difference then has to be determined. The gap analysis that is established after, will act as a guide for the company so that they can know the areas that require changes to be made. This in the end will lead to an improvement in the quality of the website. According to United States (2007), however, this evaluation tool has its flaws and modifications have to be made to it in order for it to be efficient. There are some key dimensions, on which this methodology is based upon. These are:

  • Tangibles: This refers to the overall appearance of the website.
  • Reliabilities: This refers to the website’s ability to achieve the purpose that it was created to achieve.
  • Responsiveness: This refers to the website’s ability to serve the client. Does it meet a clients needs?
  • Assurance
  • Empathy

Tools 1 Analysis and Evaluation

This website is well laid out, making it very attractive and easy to use. It will beautifully market the company and the products that it has, therefore achieving the purpose it was created to achieve. It also does meet the essential needs that a client might have when it comes to travelling however if other needs do come up, it may lack in this areas.

The website is appears well laid out at first glance. However the there is much information that is provided making it look clustered. The website does achieve its intended purpose and it is also very responsive. Any need that a client could have is considered.

This is a striking site however with little to offer in terms of its reliabilities and its responsiveness. However it does capture a client’s emotional side through the picture.

This site is unattractive, unreliable; and unresponsive. When all the errors that can be found in website creation are rolled into one this is the kind of website that is produced.

This website is everything that a website is all about.  It is appealing in every essence of the word. It also reliable and responsive, also giving its clients much assurance of it products. This website is the epitome of what a good website should look like. It represents the products and the company well. The information that is provided is also very useful to the customers. It is also a commercial, community as well as an interactive site.

Tool 2: The 7C’s Tool

The 7C’s tool refers to the elements that are used in customer interface. According to Forrest & Mizerski (1996), seven elements include context, content, community, customization, communication, connection and commerce. Context refers to the sites’ design and layout. The content is all the information contained on the web pages. The content that appears on the website should be able to achieve certain purpose. First, it should present its clients with a variety of things. It should be very appealing, logical, realistic and emotional. Community is the ability of a website to promote communication between one website user and another. According to Basri (2001), the website should allow customers to be able to make updates and generate content as well.

Customization is a site’s ability to be personalized depending on the user. According to Coderre & Ebooks (2009), it should also be tailored in such a way that it is able to meet the preferences that customers have. Communication refers to the ability of the website to allow a two-way communication to be carried out. According to Australian National Audit Office & Martin (2008), this makes the site interactive. Commerce refers to a websites ability to facilitate commercial transactions. Such features allow a customer to trade online. All these feature when added within a website make it much more attractive to customers. According to Roso (2007), this tool of evaluation is considered a strong benchmarking device.

Although all the websites are air travel websites, each has a layout and design that is distinctive of them. The 7Cs tool can be used to evaluate these sites in the following way.

Tool 2 Assessment

The 7C’s web benchmarking tool can be compared and contrasted to another marketing tool known as the 7C’s market space matrix. This tool is also used in the analysis of a company to determine the strategy it ought to take. It focuses mainly on formulation of strategies so as to gain competitive advantage over their rivals. Space is the acronym for strategic position and action evaluation.

The 7C’s web benchmarking tool has several advantages. It provides a web auditor with the necessary guidelines to be able to audit the website meticulously. It focuses wholly on web quality and how the necessary elements within the website can be used to achieve the objectives that the organizations has for it. It however also has it disadvantages. This is because it is sometimes difficult to carry out an analysis, because there is no specific measurement for it. It is based on a person’s perception of the website. Different people do have different views on the same thing. This makes it hard.

On the other hand the 7C’s market space matrix also has its advantages. This is because it goes on to target the market place in its entirety. However it is disadvantageous because it hardly includes any resources that can be used for website auditing

Tools 2 Analysis and Evaluation

This website belongs to the Qantas Airline. The website has a good way of presenting it products. It shows the various travel destination sites that they have to offer and the different packages they have for their customers. The content provided on the site is well laid out making it much easier for the client to access the information that they require. It is also a commercial site as transactions such as booking flights can be done online. The site however does have its down falls.  It does not work in partnership with other websites. Therefore you cannot access information from a different site. It cannot also be changed to fit an individuals needs. This website is only controlled by it administrator and no contributions can be made towards it.

The product presentation is excellent as it provides a lot of information that the client has to use. The company has used the website as it own marketing tool. The sites look is very welcoming despite its clustered look and the content, very informative. Apart from also being a commercial site it is also community site. This is because it holds partnerships with other sites that are of great help to the customer. However, it is not and interactive site.

The jet star website is a very simple site. Although it provides information, this is usually very limited. It overall outlook is good however that is as far as it goes. There is hardly any product or company representation and information

This website is not in any way appealing. It does not contain any information and neither does it serve the purpose of marketing a company. It is a poorly created website.

This website is the epitome of what a good website should look like. It represents the products and the company well. The information that is provided is also very useful to the customers. It is also a commercial, community as well as an interactive site.


There are some elements that are most important when using any benchmarking tool to carry out website auditing. This means that they cannot be ignored at any point. When carrying out website auditing for airline companies, the best components I would say tool 1 has are the tangibles and the reliabilities elements. On the other hand tool 2’s best elements are the content and the context. These are very crucial in any website and no organization can succeed if their website lacks this.


Although both tools are good benchmarking devices, the 7C’s tool stands out above the Servqual tool. This is because it offers a broader angle from which auditing can be carried out. On the other hand the Servqual tool is restricted in the aspects it seeks to bring forth within a website.
















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