Felix Rimbach


The development of the Internet has significantly changed the face of established markets and operation approaches across a tremendous spectrum of different industries. Within the competitive environment of those industries, the opportunities and risks derived from the new platform are so ubiquitous that unused opportunities quickly translate into potential risks. Those opportunities and risks demand for a structured approach how to implement a sustainable Internet marketing strategy that targets clear business objectives. Marketing and strategic management theory describes very clear structural principles towards their operational implementation. Based on those principles an extensive literature review has been conducted which confirms the result from representative statistics that demonstrate the lack of a comprehensive framework for strategic Internet marketing. The distinct result of this research is such a comprehensive framework which has been directly derived from the illustrated principles of strategic management and Internet marketing. All major components of this generic framework are designed, evaluated in dedicated surveys and validated in extensive case studies. The main achievements of the research are: • A comprehensive review of the current state-of-the-art Internet marketing strategies • Conceptual specification of a strategic Internet marketing framework with generic applicability to profit organizations • Demonstration of the practical feasibility of the proposed framework at the implementation level (via several examples like the SIMTF and SIMPF) • Confirmation of the applicability of the framework based upon a survey of potential beneficiaries • Validation of the effectiveness of the approach via case study scenarios Changing the understanding of a former technical discipline, the thesis describes how Internet marketing becomes a precise strategic instrument for profit organizations. The new structured, complete and self-similar framework facilitates sales organizations to significantly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their marketing operations. Furthermore, the framework ensures a high level of transparency about the impact and benefit of individual activities. The new model explicitly answers concerns and problems raised and documented in existing research and accommodate for the current limitations of strategic Internet marketing. The framework allows evaluating existing as well as future Internet marketing tactics and provides a reference model for all other definitions of objectives, KPI and work packages. Finally this thesis also matures the subject matter of Internet marketing as a discipline of independent scientific research providing an underlying structure for subsequent studies.

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