2003:138 SHU BACHELOR’S THESIS Integrated Marketing Communication and Tourism A Case Study of Icehotel AB CAMILLA KULLUVAARA JOHANNA TORNBERG Social Science and Business Administration Programmes INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS PROGRAMME Department of Business Administration and Social Sciences Division of Industrial Marketing Supervisor: Tim Foster 2003:138 SHU • ISSN: 1404 – 5508 • ISRN: LTU – SHU – EX – – 03/138 – – SE Acknowledgments This bachelor’s thesis is the result of ten weeks of research and writing during the spring of 2003.
It has been an interesting and learning experience. We are thankful for the guidance and help from our positive supervisor PhD Candidate Tim Foster at the division of Industrial Marketing, Lulea University of Technology, during this time. We would also like to thank our families and friends for support and for always being there. Finally, we give a special thank to Monica Sansaricq, marketing assistant at Icehotel, for her cooperation and positive spirit that helped and inspired us in our writing. Lulea University of Technology, June 9, 2003
Camilla Kulluvaara Johanna Tornberg Abstract The increasing communication options in recent years have contributed to the clutter the world is experiencing today. This has made it important for marketers to integrate their marketing communication and break through the barrier of noise to reach the target market. Furthermore, the heavy competition within the tourism industry has made it necessary for organizations to focus more on marketing and in particular communication. In 1993 a new concept called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) was introduced.
This new concept has generated a great interest among academics and practitioners, although research concerning its implementation is limited. The purpose of this thesis is to gain a better understanding of Integrated Marketing Communication in the Swedish Tourism Industry. A case study of Icehotel has been conducted to investigate how the IMC strategy and use of communication tools can be described. Furthermore, this study shows that Icehotel is successful with the integrated communication strategy, as the message is kept consistent throughout all the communication, reflecting the image of Icehotel.
This study also shows that in the use of the communication tools, traditional advertising has been replaced to a great extent and emphasis lies mainly on public relations and product placement. To let the product, ice, speak for it has lead to a lot of publicity for Icehotel all over the world. The ice follows as a read thread throughout all of the communication of Icehotel. Finally, Icehotel has built a strong brand identity and image through their choices of cooperators with similar brand images. Sammanfattning Den okade kommunikationsmojligheten de senaste aren har bidragit till storningar i informationsflodet.
Detta har medfort att den integrerade marknadskommunikationen blivit allt mer viktig for marknadsforare for att bryta barriarerna av storningar och na ut till mal marknaden. Den harda konkurrensen inom turism industrin har gjort det nodvandigt for organisationer att fokusera mer pa marknadsforing och speciellt marknads kommunikation. Ett nytt koncept, Integrerad Marknadskommunikation (IMC) som introducerades 1993, har genererat ett stort intresse bland akademiker och utovare, aven om begransningar finns inom detta forskningsomrade om hur man implementerar detta.
Syftet med denna uppsats ar att oka forstaelsen for Integrerad marknadskommunikation inom den svenska turism industrin. En fallstudie av Icehotel har utforts for att undersoka hur IMC strategin och anvandandet av kommunikations verktyg kan beskrivas. Dessutom, visar denna studie att Icehotel ar framgangsrik med IMC strategin, pa grund av att meddelandet ar konsistent genom all kommunikation, reflekterande Icehotels image. Studien belyser aven att i anvandandet av kommunikations verktyg, sa har traditionell reklam blivit ersatt i en storre utstrackning och tyngdpunkten ligger pa publika relationer och produkt placering.
Publiciteten for Icehotel har okat i hela varlden, mycket pa grund av att produkten (isen) fatt tala for sig sjalv. Isen ar den roda traden i all kommunikation som Icehotel utovar. Slutligen har Icehotel byggt en stark varumarkes identitet och image genom valen av samarbetspartners med liknande varumarken. Table of Contents 1. INTRODUCTION 1 1. 1 BACKGROUND 1. 2 PROBLEM DISCUSSION 1. 3 PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. 4 DEMARCATIONS 1. 5 OUTLINE OF THE THESIS 1 3 4 4 5 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 6 2. 1 COMMUNICATION STRATEGY 2. 1. 1 STAGES IN DESIGNING COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES . 2. 2 STEPS IN FORMULATING MARKETING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY 2. 2 INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS 2. 2. 1 THE SOURCES OF MESSAGES 2. 3 CONCEPTUALIZATION AND FRAME OF REFERENCE 2. 3. 1 COMMUNICATION STRATEGY PROCESS 2. 3. 2 THE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS 6 6 9 10 16 17 17 17 3 METHODOLOGY 20 3. 1 PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH 3. 2 RES EARCH APPROACH 3. 3 RESEARCH STRATEGY 3. 4 DATA COLLECTION METHODS 3. 5 SAMPLE SELECTION 3. 6 ANALYSIS OF DATA 3. 7 QUALITY STANDARDS OF THE RESEARCH – VA LIDITY AND RELIABILITY 0 21 21 22 23 23 24 4. DATA PRESENTATION 25 4. 1 COMPANY PRESENTATION ICEHOTEL AB 4. 2 THE MARKETING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY 4. 3 THE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS 25 25 28 5. ANALYSIS 36 5. 1 THE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY-RESEARCH QUESTION ONE 36 5. 2 THE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS -RESEARCH QUESTION TWO 39 6. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS 46 6. 1 HOW CAN THE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY BE DESCRIBED? 46 6. 2 HOW CAN THE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS BE DESCRIBED? 7 6. 3 IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT 48 6. 4 IMPLICATIONS FOR THEORY 49 6. 5 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RES EARCH 49 REFERENCES APPENDIX A: INTERVJU GUIDE/SVENSK VERSION APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW GUIDE/ENGLISH VERSION 50 List of Figures Figure 1. 1: An Interactive Marketing Communication Mode l- 2 Figure 1. 2: Outline of the Study 5 Figure 2. 1: Communication Objectives 7 Figure 2. 2: Steps in Formulating Marketing Communication Strategy 9 Figure 2. 3: Sources of Messages 16 Figure 3. 1: Methodology Overview 20 List of Tables Table 3. : Relevant Situations for Different Research Strategies 21 Table 3. 2: Two Sources of Evidence 22 Table 5. 1: Stages in Designing a Communication Strategy 36 Table 5. 2: Integrated Marketing Communication Tools 39 Table 5. 3: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Advertising 39 Table 5. 4: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Direct Marketing 41 Table 5. 5: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Personal Selling 41 Table 5. 6: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Public Realtions 41 Table 5. 7: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Sponsorship 42 Table 5. : Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Sales Promotion 42 Table 5. 9: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Trade Shows 42 Table 5. 10: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of the Internet 43 Table 5. 11: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Packaging 43 Table 5. 12: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Point/of/Purchase 43 Table 5. 13: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions of Word of Mouth 44 Table 5. 14: Icehotel’s Use and Opinions Corporate Identity 44 Table 5. 15: The Sources of Messages 45 1. Introduction Chapter one is intended to provide a background to the area of research.
First, some brief background information will be provided regarding Tourism and Marketing Communication, followed by Integrated Marketing Communication. Moreover, the problem discussion leading to the purpose and research questions will be presented. Finally, demarcations and the outline of the thesis will be put forth. 1. 1 Background According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2003), the economic significance of the travel and tourism industry plays a major role in the world economy and has clearly attracted the attention of government and travel organizations worldwide.
Tourism is expected to become even more important in the years ahead with marked impact on employment, the balance of payments and economic stability for both developing and developed countries (Ibid). Tourism is, defined by Goeldner, Ritchie and McIntosh (2000), “ interaction of tourists, the business suppliers, host governments, and host communities. In addition, tourism is a combination of activities, services, and industries delivering a travel experience: transportation, accommodations, eating and drinking establishments, shops, entertainment and activity facilities, plus other hospitality services” (p. )(Ibid). Furthermore, people who travel and stay in countries other than their normal country of residence for less than a year, are by Middleton and Clarke (2001) described as international tourists. They are usually treated as the most important market sector of tourism compared to domestic tourists due to their ability to spend money, stay longer at the destination, use more expensive transport and accommodation, and bring in foreign currency to the destination country (Ibid). According to the World Tourism Organization almost 715 million international tourists arrivals were registered in 2002, which is a 3. percent increase from the year before. Along with the opening of boarders and international travel boundaries continuing to shrink, WTO’s Tourism 2020 Vision forecasts that international tourist arrivals will be expected to reach over 1. 56 billion by the year 2020. Furthermore, tourism is expected to generate US $4. 5 trillion of economic activity in 2003, surpassing all other international trade categories. However, according to Haathi and Yavas (1983), the importance of travel goes beyond purely economic considerations. Non-econo mic benefits also accrue to those who engage in international travel.
These benefits include social, political and educational exchanges among people all over the world (Ibid). Recognizing the importance of economic and non-economic benefits, tourist marketers of many nations are competing to attract larger numbers of tourists to their countries. To gain competitive advantage, it is becoming increasingly important for tourist marketers to discern how travelers perceive a competing set of choice of alternatives (destinations) and to their offerings of travel and tourism activities, attractions and amenities. Javalgi, Thomas & Rao, 1992) To ensure that the tourism product is recognized and accepted by the public, Eccles (1995) emphasizes the need for organizations to spend more of their business time focusing on marketing and in particular promotion. 1 Promotion is, according to Pickton and Broderick (2001), usually replaced by the term marketing communication that also describes one of the key areas of marketing. Furthermore, “marketing communication is a conversation between a brand and its audience and it is the collective term for all the communication functions used in marketing a product or service” (p. 65)(Ibid). Keller (2001) further defines marketing communication as: “the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, incite, and remind consumers-directly or indirectlyabout the brands they sell” (p. 819). Furthermore, as can be interpreted in all definitions, communicating a message is the heart activity in marketing communication (Ibid). The marketing communication activity to create and send a message to a receiver through different channels is referred, by Duncan (2002), as the interactive communication process.
However, this process occurs in an environment where disturbances, called noise, might affect the message and its transmission to be received differently than intended by the sender (Ibid). This process is illustrated in figure 1. 1 below. Noise Clutter, message conflict and inconsistency Source (Encodes) Company/ Brand, agency Message Brand messages (planned, unplanned, product, service) Channel Newspaper, mail, magazine, e-mail, TV, radio, package, salesperson, customer service, Receiver (Decodes) Target audience Feedback
Buy/not buy, request information, visit store, sample product, repeat sample product Figure. 1. 1. An Interactive Marketing Communication Model Source: Duncan, 2002, p. 127. As illustrated in figure 1. 1, a company’s mission is to encode a message that describes the brand and its benefits in a comprehensible and persuasive way, in order to attract attention from the target group receiving the message. (Duncan, 2002) The message is the information transmitted through a communication channel, also recognized as the medium.
When the medium reaches a broad audience in a variety of geographic areas, it is called mass media, such as, TV, radio and newspapers. These can also be recognized as one-way communication, as the message travels only from company to customer. In contrast, the medium that allows two-way communication, to both send and receive a message, is referred to as interactive media, such as the Internet and telephone. However, products and services may also act as a medium, due to their ability to carry brand messages.
As the figure shows, the message is subject to noise such as, inconsistency and broken promises of the brand, conflicting messages from competitors and other stakeholders as well as message clutter in general. The feedback from the target audience, in form of purchase or not, reveals whether the message was decoded as intended or disturbed by the noise. (Ibid) 2 There has been a change in the communication environment as can be seen for example, in the U. S during the 1970’s, when a placement of a commercial during prime time on the three major networks, could make a brand reach nearly two-thirds of U.
S households compared to present when a similar placement would reach half that many. Today we live in a message cocoon where the average person, for example, watches TV four hours a day, has a choice of over 50 channels, and is exposed to 42,000 TV commercials every year. In addition, we are exposed to message clutter from commercials on rented videotapes, radio commercials, ads in newspaper and magazines, ads on packages, billboards, junk mail, telemarketing calls, and commercial e-mail. (Duncan, 2002)
According to Pickton and Broderick (1995), due to the clutter the world is experiencing today, marketers need to integrate their marketing communication in order to break through the barrier of noise to reach the target market. This was recognized by Schultz, Tannebaum and Lautherborn and resulted in the introduction of a new concept in 1993, called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). (Ibid) Furthermore, Duncan (2002) defines the concept Integrated Marketing Communication: “IMC is a process for managing the customer relationships that drive brand value.
In addition, it is a cross-functional process for creating and nourishing profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messages sent to these groups and encouraging data-driven, purposeful dialogue with them” (p. 8). 1. 2 Problem Discussion According to Keller (2001), the recent years of heavy increased media clutter, has made it more difficult and expensive for companies to reach and influence target groups through traditional media, such as television, radio and press.
Furthermore, Behrer and Larsson (1998) state that, as companies increasingly are trying to compete through communication, new ways of doing so are developed in order to differentiate the message to communicate. Another way to approach this is presented by Keller (2001): “marketing overload is forcing corporations to shout even louder”(p. 866). Thus, the role of IMC and the need for greater integration and interaction between companies, customers, and other stakeholders are needed (Duncan, 2002).
Furthermore, customers in industrialized countries are sophisticated selectors of products and services, and many in less developed markets are catching up fast. Due to the fact that customers are smarter, more demanding and distrusting, increasing the perception of a brand’s integrity is a definite advantage. Integration produces integrity because an organization that is seen as a “whole” rather than pieces and parts is perceived as being more sound and trustworthy. (Ibid)
Grove, Carlson and Dorsch (2002) state that IMC further produces a uniform message that may be capable of addressing the problems that service organizations face when they must market an intangible product. Thus, IMC has the potential to produce a strong focus for an offering and seems to be an attractive tool for marketers to accommodate the intangibility present in services, such as, tourism offerings. (Ibid) As companies within the tourism industry are operating in a sector where the competition is extremely fierce, the bargaining power of customers is very high.
Therefore, the techniques and strategies to communicate a message are of vital importance. Communication strategies introduce the product offering, attempt to confirm and reinforce positive attitudes towards the 3 product, extend and deepen consumer awareness of the product, and attempt to change attitudes and behavior towards purchasing the offering. In addition, communication does not end with the purchase. The customer service and feedback are essential elements of communication in order to ensure repeat purchasing. Middleton & Clarke, 2001) In order to communicate a marketing message, Integrated Marketing Communication offers several tools. According to Aronsson and Tengling (1995), tools used most frequently within the tourism industry are: advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, public relations, sales promotion and trade shows. In addition, Smith, Perry and Pulford (1998), propose several other tools such as, the Internet, sponsorships, packaging, point-of-purchase, word-of-mouth and corporate identity.
According to Weilbacher (2001) integrated marketing communications should have one single strategy for all communications, directed toward the customer by the marketer, and not different strategies for each individual communication tool. Furthermore, the importance lies in how to combine the marketing communication tools to most effective deliver a single message (Ibid). The new concept IMC has, according to Grove et al. (2002), generated a great deal of interest among academics and practitioners, although, research regarding its frequency and application has not been applied to a great extent.
Furthermore, there is little evidence of the occurrence of the exact nature of IMC in different marketing contexts. Moreover, evidence suggests that there appears to be a lack of strong coordination among the major media and message delivery elements comprising an integrated approach. Therefore, further investigations of IMC and marketers’ activities to design it are needed. (Ibid) 1. 3 Purpose and Research Questions The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of Integrated Marketing Communication in the Swedish tourism industry. In order to reach this purpose we will answer the following research questions: 1.
How can the Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy be described? 2. How can the Integrated Marketing Communication tools be described? 1. 4 Demarcations Due to limited time the thesis is written from the tourism industry perspective, not the customer perspective. In addition, we will focus on the Integrated Marketing Communication strategy and the overall use of the tools offered by IMC. Sweden was the focus of this thesis as we live in Sweden and therfore simplifies the research in geographic and time distance. 4 1. 5 Outline of the Thesis As can be seen in figure 1. , this thesis consists of six chapters. In this first chapter we have provided insight to what this thesis is about and also what the purpose and research for the thesis are. In chapter two, an overview of previous research related to each research question is provided, followed by a frame of reference where a conceptualization of the research question is put forth. Chapter three describes the methodology that has been used throughout this thesis. In chapter four the collected data from the case studies will be presented. In chapter five a data analysis of the findings will be presented.
Finally, in chapter six the findings and conclusions will be put forth. Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: Literature Review and Conceptualization Chapter Three: Methodology Chapter Four: Empirical Data Chapter Five: Data Analysis Chapter Six: Findings and Conclusions Figure. 1. 2. Outline of the Study Source: Authors 5 2. Literature Review In chapter two earlier studies connected to the problem area, and more specifically to the research questions will be reviewed. 2. 1 Communication Strategy A strategic communication plan is one of the key elements in IMC.
It allows marketers to build a synchronized communication strategy that reaches every market segment with a single, unified message. (Tri-Media, 1999) The objectives of any promotional strategy can be drawn from an appropriate mixture of the roles of promotion; to increase sales, maintain or improve market share, create or improve brand recognition, create a favourable climate for future sales, inform and educate the market, create a competitive advantage relative to competitor’s products or market position and to improve promotional efficiency. In this section two different ommunication strategy models are presented. The first model is Stages in Designing Communication Strategies introduced by Rowley (1998) and the second model is Steps in Formulating Marketing Communication Strategy by Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001). In addition, in the communication objectives stage input by Wells, Burnett and Moriarty (2001), is presented. 2. 1. 1 Stages in Designing Communication Strategies The stages in the design of communication strategies supporting the realisation of promotional objectives suggested by Rowley (1998) are summarised in the list below.
These stages form the steps in the design of a promotional campaign when it comes to the launch of a new or redesigned or re-branded product. However, many organizations are interested in maintaining awareness and positive attitude to their product or service as well. In these cases, each stage remains important; however, they will not necessarily follow the same order as shown below. (Ibid) • • • • • • • Identify target audience Determine communication objectives Design the message Select communication channels Establish promotional budget Decide on promotion mix Measure results Rowley, 1998) The purpose of each of the stages is described in further detail in the following sections. Identification of target audience The first stage is to characterize the target audience. This target audience may include the complete market segment for the product or the organization, or a specific promotional strategy may be targeted more narrowly at a niche within the broader segment. Accordingly the messages and channels may be selected, although with caution not to alienate other groups 6 in the market with the message associated with a niche strategy.
In order to create the right message it is important to understand the characteristics of the audience. That is, the type of message likely to be disposed by the audience( for example, customers’ priorities concerning quality or price), as well as the awareness of the audience’s current image of the company and its product or service. (Rowley, 1998) Determining communication obje ctives The objectives of the communication strategy are derived from the objectives of the promotional strategy. The objectives can further be categorised based on the model of communication process.
Four different models of the communication process with different stages are illustrated in the figure 2. 1 below. Each model can be identified as having three different stages: the cognitive stage during which potential customers become aware of the products, the affective stage during which customers form opinions and attitudes concerning products, and the behaviour stage when the customer take action, such as making the purchase on the basis of their experience in the first two stages. (Rowley, 1998) Stages “AIDA” Model (a) Cognitive Stage (Knowledge) “Hierarchy -of -Effects” “Innovation- “Communications” Model (b)
Adoption” Model (d) Model (c) Awareness Exposure Attention Awareness Reception Knowledge Cognitive response Interest Affective Stage (Feelings) Liking Interest Attitude Evaluation Intention Preference Desire Conviction Trial Behaviour Stage (Motivation to action) Action Figure 2. 1. Communication objectives Source: Rowley, 1998, p. 6. Purchase Adoption Behaviour As can be viewed in the figure 2. 1, communication objectives typically refer to how the communication should affect the mind of the target audience that is, generate awareness, attitudes, interest or trial.
The most used of these models is the AIDA model, which includes four stages. These stages are: attention; where the customer becomes aware of the product, interest; where an interest in the product develops, desire; where the customer has developed a sense of wanting the product, and finally action; where a purchase is made. When designing communication strategies it is important to identify whether the objective is to draw attention, develop interest, stimulate desire or provoke action. (Rowley, 1998) Furthermore, Wells et al. (2000) state that communication objectives should be quantified in terms of success/failure and timescale.
This to ease the control as actual results can be measured against quantified objectives. Moreover, the previous year’s objectives, and corresponding results, help to make 7 the planning job a little easier, as previous experience provides a better idea of what are realistic objectives for the future. Objectives should be S. M. A. R. T: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Specific. In addition, establishing clear objectives is necessary to give a focus to the organisation. Clear objectives also give direction to the following creative efforts. (Ibid) Designing the message
According to Rowley (1998), a message that is consistent with its communication objectives is important in each communication strategy. Moreover, the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the unique set of benefits, which the producer believes are provided by their product, and often strongly reflects the products message. In addition, promotion that focuses on brand or corporate image or identity form the basis of the marketing message. Furthermore, the message consistency between different campaigns must be taken under consideration in order to promote a consistent image through all of its separate campaigns.
In order to achieve a consistent message the content; what to say, the structure; how to say it logically and symbolically is significant. In addition, the format and the source; that should say it and who should act as the spokesperson, are all of major importance. (Ibid) Selecting communication channels According to Rowley (1998), communication channels can be divided into personal and nonpersonal communications. Personal communication channels are those in which two or more people communicate with one another.
Word of mouth is the primary way of communication, although other media, such as e- mail are growing in significance. Personal communication channels can be divided into three types: • • • Advocate channels, such as exhibitions where company sales people can interact with customers, often supplemented by leaflets, posters and possibly videos and samples. Expert channels, such as independent experts. Social channels and consultants, such as friends, professional colleagues and professional networks. Non-personal communication channels occur through some other medium other than personto-person.
These include: • The press including national and regional newspapers and magazines, although most significantly for the information industry, trade, professional and technical journals. • Television, including satellite and cable television. This medium is expensive, therefore only an option for major advertisers. • Radio offers a wide range of competitively priced promotional options. This medium usually has less potential impact than television due to the lack of visual image. • Posters can be placed in many different environments from billboards at the roadside to the underground and other public places. Leaflets and publicity are important “takeaways” and can act as a reminder of products and contact points. Rowley (1998) 8 Establishing promotional budget The calculation of a promotional budget has different potential approaches. To establish the promotional budget considerations of what is affordable and that the budget is set as a percentage of sales are to be noticed. Furthermore, the budget can be set on the basis of seeking to achieve “share-of- voice” parity with competitors and set as the result of an analysis of the desired objectives and tasks required to achieve those objectives. Rowley, 1998) Deciding on the promotional mix When establishing an appropriate promotional mix, which consists of a selection of strategies from more than one of the communication tools, Rowley (1998) proposes issues to be taken under consideration, such as the available budget, the marketing message, the complexity of the product or service, distribution of the product, the stage in the product life-cycle, and competition. Furthermore, the communication mix is composed differently depend ing on the focus of promotional activities.
It can be focused directly on end users, also known as pull strategy or focused on intermediates, recognised as push strategy. The appropriate channels of communication are very different and the decision to use push or pull strategy determines the focus on business-to-business marketing or end user consumer marketing. (Ibid) Measuring promotional results When measuring promotional results it can be difficult to differentiate between the effect of promotion and the other elements of the marketing mix. However, it is important to observe the effects of promotion, by looking at sales figures and any measures of reputation available. Ibid) 2. 1. 2 Steps in Formulating Marketing Communication Strategy The formulatio n of a communication strategy for the promotion of the company and its products and services can, suggested by Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), follow a five basic step model. This can be illustrated in figure 2. 2 below. Step one Assess Marketing Communications Opportunities Step two Analyze Marketing Communication Resources Step three Set Marketing Communications Objectives Step four Develop/Evaluate Alternative Strategies Step five Assign Specific Marketing Communications Tasks Figure 2. : Steps in Formulating Marketing Communication Strategy Source: Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), p. 366 9 When developing a communication strategy, according to Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), a marketer should access what a company or product characteristics and benefits should be communicated to the market. This requires constant monitoring of the various environments and target audience characteristics. In evaluating resources to be allocated for communication efforts, certain things can be taken under considerations. A sufficient commitment is necessary which means a relatively large amount of money.
The company has to operate according to the rules of the market place due to monetary constraints most companies face and promotional efforts should be concentrated on key markets. (Ibid) Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001) further state that if a company goes international, the campaigns needs cautious investment and the market has to advance through awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, and positive purchase intentions. Even though markets can be different, there is an importance of having common themes and common objectives that needs to be integrated into the individual campaign.
Concerning the strategies, the importances of alternatives are needed in order for the company to show how their resources can be combined and modified to the opportunities of the market. (Ibid) According to Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), the international marketer has to form a communication program using the tools shown below. • • • • • Advertising which consists of print, broadcast, electronic media, direct communication. Personal selling with person-to-person communication with intermediaries and/or final customer Publicity that is any form of non-paid, commercial news or editorial comment about products, ideas.
Sales promotion, providing extra value to the product or gives incentive to the salespeople, intermediaries, or ultimate consumers. Sponsorship which is promoting the company’s interest by associating it with a for example sport event or charity/ social interest. Packaging of a product in some companies or some cases serves as a promotional role, for example, when it is distinctive and unique. The tools used by each company vary depending on the situation and the choices of an either pull or push strategy that is emphasized in marketing communications.
Moreover, a push strategy focuses on the personal selling, while pull strategy depends mainly on advertising appropriate for consumer-oriented products with large target audiences. Finally, no promotional tool should be used alone or without taking notice of the other tools. Therefore, the trend towards integrated marketing communication is occurring. (Cinkota & Ronkainen, 2001 ) 2. 2 Integrated Marketing Communication Tools Integrated marketing communication tools should be designed to support the same overall objectives for a company.
This to avoid the creation of separate messages for each medium without regard for what is expressed through other channels. (Dwyer & Tanner, 2001) Aronsson and Tengling (1995), state that the most important marketing communication tools within the tourism industry are; advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, public relations, sales promotions and trade shows. In addition, several other marketing communication tools exist, such as; the Internet, events and sponsorships, packaging, point of 10 purchase, word of mouth and corporate identity (Smith et al, 1998 ). All these tools are further examined in the following sections below.
Advertising According to Dwyer and Tanner (2002), advertising is related and begins with a base of creating awareness and strengthening a company’s position or image. It is advertising that makes the companies known. The second role is to create favourable climate for salespeople. In some instances, customers will order directly from the advertising, so the final purpose of advertising is to generate sales (Ibid). In addition, Dwyer and Tanner (2002) define mass media advertising as “ non-personal, paid announcements by an identified sponsor to reach large audiences, create brand awareness, help position brands, and build brand images”.
According to Aronsson and Tengling (1995), the choice of the medium channel depends on what type of product is offered, target market, and the budget. Middleton and Clarke (2001) define advertising within the tourism industry as “ one classic communication tool used by marketing managers as part of marketing campaigns to develop awareness, understanding, interest and motivation amongst a targeted audience”. Furthermore, advertising includes television, press, radio, outdoors as well as tourist board and other travel guides and brochures.
Moreover, tourism organizations are constantly communicating, whether intentionally or not intentionally, through each personal and nonpersonal interaction with the public. In addition, advertising enables businesses to reach people in their homes or other places away from the places of production and delivery and to communicate to them messages intended to influence their purchasing behaviour. (Ibid) According to Shimp (1997), cooperative advertising used amongst companies are a great advantage due to the advertising support, cost savings and the access to local/national/international media.
A few examples of advertising media and their advantage and disadvantages are shown below; TV TV both presents an audio, visual message requiring minimal exertion and is very adaptable. Although advertising is expensive, many tourism companies are using TV and find it very cost effective. (Witt & Moutinho, 1995) Radio According to Witt and Moutinho (1995), radio has outstanding flexibility and relatively low costs although it only presents an audio message. Duncan (2002) states that radio had low attention, low reach with only sound and that the message is short- lived. Newspapers
Newspapers give a comprehensive coverage of a local market area with low cost, although low printing quality and short life. In addition, the advantage with using newspapers is that it is a selective medium with a production cost that could be very low and the frequent publications and geographical selectivity made possible. (Witt & Moutinho, 1995) 11 Magazines According to Witt and Moutinho (1995), the advantage with using magazines is that it is highly selective and that the production costs can be low. In addition, the print and graphic quality and large reach out to specialized market segments.
Magazines are also actively read and some titles have high prestige and credibility. The disadvantage is the limited geographic options in key titles and the long lead-time for some titles. In addition, the impact is limited to visual sense. (Ibid) Directories According to Rogers (1995), directories are defined as the space where advertising is sold. It could be for example yellow pages, association member lists, and the like. The long life and that directories are actively searched and read is an advantage. In addition, the low production cost, the high selectivity and the high information content possible are great advantages.
However, the low impact and the long lead times can be disadvantages. In addition, limited visual presentation and creative flexibility in most titles are disadvantages with using directories. (Ibid) Outdoor Rogers (1995) defines visual outdoor as sandwich boards, skywriting, blimps and the like. According to Shimp (1997), outdoor advertisement includes billboards situated by the roadside, stations, and venues. In addition, inside for example buses as well as outside includes taxis, poster vans, shopping centres, underground trains, and public toilets.
According to Duncan (2002), outdoor advertising is a localized, frequency builder with a directional signage and has low attention, low reputation and claimed to be visual pollution. Direct marketing According to Shimp (1997), direct mail/direct marketing includes letters, catalogues, price lists, booklets, circulars, newsletters, cards and samples. The advantages of using direct mail/direct marketing is that the audience is highly selective, the message can be personalized, circulation can be limited to what is affordable and it can be used to encourage action/direct response and sales.
The disadvantage is that it can be associated with junk mail and that each exposure is expensive. The Internet including web pages and e- mail has advantages with for example that a message can be changed quickly and easily, interactivity is possible and the cost are very low. The disadvantages with Interne t are that the visual presentation is limited, an audience is not guaranteed and that “hits” may not represent interest. In addition, a large number of target groups may not use the Internet yet. Ibid) According to Witt and Moutinho (1995), direct mail is one of the most important advertising methods for tourism enterprises, however, hard to obtain right mailing lists and the tourism industry; previous visitors contain the most important mailing list sources (Ibid). The primary objective with direct marketing is to achieve more cost-effective use of marketing budgets based on a deep and evolving knowledge of customers and their behaviour, and direct communication with them (Middleton & Clarke, 2001). 12
Personal selling According to Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), personal selling is the most effective of the communication tools available to the marketer; however, its costs per contact are high. Duncan (2002) defines personal selling as “real-time, two-way personal communication between a salesperson and a prospective buyer and is the most persuasive of all marketing communication methods, to identify buyers’ needs to the firm’s product offerings, and to allow seller to immediately respond to buyer’s questions and objection”.
Furthermore, personal selling uses person-to-person communication with intermediaries and/or final customer (Ibid). Wells et al. (2000) state that personal selling is of outmost importance when it comes to businesses that sell products that need to be explained, demonstrated and in need of service. In addition, the different types of personal selling include sales calls at the place of business by a field representative, assistance at outlet stores by a sales clerk and home calls by representatives (Ibid). Public relations
According to Kotler (1994), several tools are used in today’s public relations such as product publicity, press relations, corporate communications, lobbying and counselling. Wells et al. (2000), include news conferences, company-sponsored events, open houses, plant tours and donations as well. Duncan (2002) defines public relations as “programs that focus on opinions of significant publics, and manage corporate communication and reputation. In addition, public relations are used to handle relationships with company’s diverse publics to create and maintain goodwill, and to observe public opinion and advise top management”. Ibid) Middleton and Clarke (2001) state that to market public relations, product publicity; non-paid stories or brand mentions in the mass media can be used, to build credibility and make news announcements as well as to communicate with hard-to-reach audiences. There is a trend towards an increase in public relations expenditure relative to advertising expenditure as organizations become aware of the merits of a formal public relations programme. All media exposure achieved as editorial matter and other forms of influence achieved over target groups-customers and stakeholders. Ibid) According to Duncan (2002), internal marketing, which is a form of public relations, is of major importance when selling marketing programs to the employees whose support is needed in order to make the program successful. In addition, to inform employees, to motivate them and create buy- in is necessary to be successful (Ibid). Sales promotion Duncan (2002) states that sales promotion is tangible incentives such as coupons or discounted prices to give sense of closeness and encourage behaviour.
In addition, sales promotion is techniques primarily designed to stimulate cons umer purchasing, dealer and sales- force effectiveness in the short-term, through temporary incentives and displays (Ibid). Middleton and Clarke (2001), define sales promotion within the tourism industry “with shortterm incentives offered as inducements to purchase, including temporary product augmentation, which covers sales force and distribution network as well as consumers”.
Furthermore, sales promotion of tourism products means that marketing managers are constantly distant with the need to manipulate demand in response to unexpected events as 13 well as the normal daily, weekly or seasonal fluctuations. Furthermore, sales promotions are especially suitable for such short-run demand adjustments and they are vital weapons in the marketing armoury of most travel and tourism businesses. Moreover, concerning extra products offered is a value added incentive to purchase. (Ibid) Trade shows/exhibitions
Trade shows can be recogniszed as periodic gatherings where manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in a particular industry display their products and provide information to potential buyers, to provide information, demonstrate and sample product, as well as engaging in oneto-one dialogue with current and potential customers (Duncan, 2002). According to Dwyer and Tanner (2002), trade shows are very cost effective, bringing many buyers together with a sales staff, buyers who often have not had any prior contact with the selling firm.
Trade shows or exhibitions/shows and workshops plays an important role and i an alternative form of s distribution and display for reaching retail, wholesale and consumer target groups of consumers. Furthermore, tradeshows, exhibitions/shows or workshops are important alternative forms of distribution and display for reaching retail, wholesale and consumer target groups of consumers. ( Middleton & Clarke, 2001) The Internet Middleton and Clarke (2001) include web sites and links to other sites in the Internet part.
To sell directly to the customer through the Internet, providing customer- initiated marketing is knows as E-commerce (Duncan, 2002). According to Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), having a website is seen as necessary for no other reason than building a positive image and lack of it may convey a negative image. The website should be linked to the overall marketing strategy and not just be there for appearance’s sake. The web page can further act as web forum, for customers to exchange news and views on the product, as it will build loyalty among customers. Ibid) Furthermore, according to Middleton and Clarke (2001), Internet is turning business upside down and inside out. It is fundamentally changing the way that companies operate and the most profound development in travel and tourism in the last decade have been the impact of change in the capabilities and potential of the Internet. If it is too soon to be certain to what extent the Internet will dominate tourism marketing, it is at least clear that its impact will be a major influence on nearly every aspect of services marketing. Ibid) Events and sponsorships According to Dwyer and Tanner (2002), events and sponsorships are highly targeted brand associations that personally involve prospects, to help position a brand by associating it with certain causes of activities. Furthermore, Smith (1998) defines sponsorship as “a kind of promotion where a product or a company is associated with an entity, event or activity. In exchange for its contribution the sponsor is hoping to be exposed in the media coverage”.
According to Middleton and Clarke (2001) sponsorship is big business, used to attract potential sponsors by producing appropriate packages, achieving increased business through improved awareness that public relation coverage brings. Finding examples of sponsorships is not hard today since every sports team, music concert, and cultural program is using sponsoring as a way to finance their activities. The sponsoring company is of course hoping to get some good publicity out of sponsoring but problems may occur for the company if the activities they are sponsoring are failing or turning out in a less favourable way. (Ibid) 14
Packaging Packaging is one of the most innovative areas in modern marketing and since packaging plays such a vital part on brand image and product identity, a coordinated communication program is of major importance. (Kotler, 1997) According to Duncan (2002), both a container and a communication medium gives a reminder message, which is the last message, delivered at the point of sale. Furthermore, packaging is an important part of a brand’s identity. A package is first of all a container and it also delivers a complex message about the product category and the brands’ selling point, as well as the brand identity and image. Ibid) Point of purchase materials/merchandising Duncan (2002) defines point of purchase as “displays in the interior of stores where a product is sold, to serve as a brand reminder and motivate trial and extra purchases”. Middleton and Clarke (2001), define point of purchase materials as “point of sale displays and merchandising within the tourism industry”. In addition, posters, window dressing, displays of brochures and other materials both of a regular and temporary incentive kind are included as well.
Moreover, point of purchase is designed to stimulate consumer purchasing and dealer and sales- force effectiveness in the short-term, through temporary incentives and displays. (Ibid) According to Duncan (2002), merchandising is in store promotional materials, activities and messages to promote in store and create promotional ambiance. Word of mouth Word of mouth is seen as the most potential one-to-one communication in the communication mix. A company can help the creation and spread of word of mouth. In addition, in times when a company is facing bad publicity and aybe also decreasing sales, publicity stunts, clever mailings, creative promotions, and challenging advertising can efficiently help turn this trend around. (Wells et al, 2000) According to Smith (1998), people talk about organizations, their products, services, and staff. Companies and their offerings are often sources of conversation, whether it is a complaint or admiration, and today it is not only the products or services that are discussed but also their promotional efforts, such as television advertisements, special offers, and publicity stunts (Ibid). Corporate identity According to Wells et al. 2000) corporate identity is used to signal a corporate image of personality. The use of corporate identity as a type of communication can be strategically used in order to enhance or maintain company reputation or establish a level of awareness of the company’s name and nature of business. In addition, some examples of corporate identity are the company name, its logo, and their nature of business. (Ibid) 15 2. 2. 1 The Sources of Messages The tools that can be used in order to communicate a message to and with the stakeholder audiences in a consistent way are recognized by Wells et al. 2000) to include other areas of the marketing mix than the traditional marketing communication tools. The message sources include all different interfaces between a company and its customers and should be managed to work together in order to build a consistent brand or company image. Wells et al. (2000) further divide these tools or sources of messages into three different groups, shown in figure 2. 3 below: Unplanned (uncontrolled) Planned (Controlled) -Advertising -Sales Promotion -Marketing Public Relations -Direct Marketing -Personal Selling -Point-of-Purchase and Merchandising Materials Packaging -Specialties -Events -Sponsorships -Licensing -Customer Service -Internal Marketing -Web Site Message Source -Employee Gossip and Behavior -Word of Mouth -Media Investigations -Consumer Group Investigations -Chat Groups -Guerrilla sites Often Unconsidered -Facilities -Service -Distribution -Product Design -Product Performance -Price Figure 2. 3. Sources of Messages Source: Wells, Burnett & Moriarty, 2001, p. 507 As shown in figure 2. 2 Wells et al. (2000) are categorizing all the sources of messages that communicate with the customers into planned, unplanned and often unconsidered tools.
The planned are almost always used or at least considered, while the unplanned and often unconsidered are less frequently used. • • • The planned tools include the traditional marketing tools such as advertising and sales promotion, and are controllable by the company itself. The unplanned tools consist of media that are mostly uncontrolled by the company, such as gossip and chat groups. These are often not considered to be important in the coordination of marketing communication tools, although they may be of vital importance when it comes to the publicity of a company.
The often-unconsidered tools are messages delivered by other aspects of the marketing mix, such as price, product, and distribution. The price of a product signals a level of quality. The product itself and the distribution of it communicate reliability and can together with price build up a good image for the company. It is undeniable that the recognition of these various sources of messages is important to take under cons ideration in order to coordinate them in a consistent and integrated way (Ibid). 16 2. 3 Conceptualization and Frame of Reference
After having reviewed the literature within the field of study we have conceptualised the theory to explain the main dimensions, factors or variables of our research questions that will be studied, as suggested by Miles and Huberman (1994). 2. 3. 1 Communication Strategy Process In the previous section two different authors describe various steps in designing a communication strategy. These authors, Rowley (1998) and Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), are both discussing a step-wise process that can be used in order to carefully plan a successful integrated marketing communication strategy.
These researchers explain the same process but to various extents of it. However, the seven-stage strategy process presented by Rowley (1998) is a journal article and more detailed in description. Therefore this theory is more relevant to our work and we choose it as our main theory for this thesis. The section of the communication objectives is complemented with a perspective from Wells et al. (2000) to broaden the perspectives of communication objectives. The seven-step process will be shown in an eclectic list below: • • • • • • • Identify target audience
Determine communication objectives (Wells et al, 2000) Design the message Select communication channels Establish promotional budget Decide on promotional mix Measure results (Rowley, 1998) 2. 3. 2 Integrated Marketing Communication Tools In order to describe and to get an extensive picture of the different marketing communication tools that can be used in IMC strategies, we will use an eclectic list, composed of all elements drawn from various sources. We will have our starting point in Aronsson and Tengling (1995) view that there are six different tools of outmost importance to the tourist marketer.
These are also the most frequently used within the tourism industry. These tools are further defined and complemented with six additional marketing communication tools that can be used, by Smith et al. (1998), Dwyer and Tanner (2002), Middleton and Clarke (2001), Duncan (2002), Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001), Wells et al. (2000), Kotler (1997), Witt and Mouthino (1995) Shimp (1997) and Rogers (1995). The tools that can be used are presented in the list below: • Advertising
According to Middleton and Clarke (2001), advertising is often seen as TV commercials, radio commercials, and print ads in magazines, newspapers, books and brochures. In addition, advertising is also seen as tourist boards, travel guides, telephone directory, third party and outdoor advertising. 17 • Direct Marketing Dwyer and Tanner (2002) include direct mail, catalogue marketing, and telemarketing in the direct marketing. • Personal Selling According to Wells et al. (2000), personal selling is direct sale contact face to face or telephone sales. • Public Relations
The definition of public relations according to Kotler (1997), Wells et al. (2000) and Middleton and Clarke (2001), is that public relations are often seen as product publicities, press relations, internal communications, product placements, open houses and information packages. • Sales Promotion Middleton and Clarke (2001) include items such as discounted prices and extra product offered within the sales promotion. • Trade Shows Trade shows are according to Middleton and Clarke (2001), usually composed by periodic gatherings with potential groups of buyers such as, workshops and exhibitions. • The Internet
Middleton and Clarke (2001) define Internet as communication through banners, Chat rooms and booking on the Internet. • Sponsorship Sponsorship is a communication tool including sponsors to sports teams, cultural programs and art according to Smith (1998). • Packaging According to Kotler (1997), packaging could include specific design and improvement of packaging. • Point-of-Purchase Middleton and Clarke (2001) include design and improvement of packaging, posters and other materials in point-of-purchase. • Word-of-Mouth According to Wells et al (2000) is word of mouth for example, messages spread via rumours or friendly recommendations. Corporate Identity According to Wells et al (2000), corporate identity advertising is communicated via the company name, logo, and their nature of business. 18 Regarding the tools described in the previous page, they can further be divided into clusters. We have earlier described one theory; the sources of messages according to Wells et. al (2000) and we will use this theory due to its capability to view a broad scope. In their theory Wells et al. (2000) divides the marketing communication tools into three different groups. As seen on the next page, these groups are: Planned (controlled) Advertising, Sales Promotion, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Personal Selling, Point-of Purchase and merchandising materials, Packaging, Specialties, Events, Sponsorships, Customer Service, Internal marketing and Websites. • Unplanned (uncontrolled) Employee gossip, Word-of-Mouth, Media Investigations, Government Investigations, Consumer Groups Investigations, Chat groups and Guerrilla Sites. • Often Unconsidered Facilities, Service, Distribution, Product Design, Product Performance and Price. 19 3. Methodology
In this chapter the methodological approach of the study is presented, that is, how we have gone about when conducting our research. The figure 3. 1 below, gives an overview of the headings of the chapter and how these fit together. Validity & Reliability Research Purpose Research Approach Research Strategy Data Collection Sample Selection Data Analysis Figure 3. 1. Methodology Overview Source: Adapted from Foster, 1998, p. 81 3. 1 Purpose of the Research According to Yin (1994), research can be classified into one of the following three different purposes: exploratory, descriptive or explanatory research.
Furthermore, these classifications can be based on how much knowledge the researcher has in the initial state of the research, in addition to what kind of information that is required in order to deal with the purpose of the thesis. (Reynolds, 1971) Exploratory research aims to formulate and define a problem, often expressed as a hypothesis. It is useful when the problem is difficult to demarcate, when the perception of which model to use is unclear and what qualities and relations that are important are diffuse (Wiedersheim-Paul & Eriksson, 1997).
Therefore, the purpose of exploratory study, according to Patel and Tebelius (1987), is to collect as much information as possible about a specific problem. Furthermore, Reynolds (1971) claims that in an exploratory study the researcher gains a better understanding of the research area. Descriptive research is usable when the problem is relatively clear and structured. The purpose is to describe phenomenon of different kinds. These could be events, actions or a condition. The description can be conducted from a chosen perspective, aspect, classification, or interpretation, in order to explain, understand, predict, or decide.
Thus, to state what the description is used for and what knowledge it aims to achieve. (Wiedersheim-Paul & Eriksson, 1997) Explanatory research is employed to analyse causes and relationships, explaining which causes produces which relationships. (Yin, 1993) Furthermore, according to WiedersheimPaul and Eriksson (1997), this also includes the explanations of a certain purpose, when investigating if one specific factor affects another. In this study we explore, describe and start to explain how Integrated Marketing Communication is used within the tour ism industry.
The purpose of this thesis is exploratory, as we initially had limited knowledge about the area in the field of this study and therefore wanted to gain as much information as possible. Thus, aiming to gain a better understanding of the research area. We are however also aiming at describing the empirical data we have 20 collected in order to find patterns in the exploratory study. Therefore, this study can also be of descriptive purpose. Finally, our research purpose is somewhat explanatory, due to our trial to explain the results that we have gained in the two previous stages, by drawing conclusions. . 2 Research Approach The research approach refers to the chosen way of treating and analysing the selected data and is generally classified as either quantitative or qualitative. (Yin, 1993) According to Holme and Solvang (1991) a quantitative approach is formalized and structured. The results from a quantitative research are assumed to be measurable and presentable in figures. It aims at generalizing by studying few variables on a large number of entities. A qualitative approach draws conclusions from non-quantifiable data, such as, attitudes, values, or perceptions.
It gives the possibility to gather information and investigate several variables from a few numbers of entities, thus providing the possibility to gain a deeper understanding of the studied area. (Ibid) As a result of these explanations, the emphasis of this study is qualitative, due to the fact that we aim to gain a deeper understanding of Integrated Marketing communication in the Swedish tourism industry, which in turn requires a more detailed investigation. Furthermore, the conclusions drawn from the results are based on our perceptions and experiences, described in chapter six. 3. 3 Research Strategy
According to Wiedersheim-Paul and Eriksson (1997) there are three major research strategies available in social sciences: experiments, surveys, and case studies. Yin (1994) proposes two additional: archival analysis and histories. Furthermore, what distinguishes these strategies can be determined by three different conditions: 1. The type of research question posed. 2. The extent of control an investigator has over actual behavioural events 3. The degree of focus on contemporary as opposed to his torical events An outline of the different available research strategies is provided in the table below.
Table 3. 1. Relevant Situations for Different Research Strategies Research Strategy Form of research Requires control over question behavioural events Experiment How, Why YES Survey Who, what, where, how many, how much Archival analysis Who, what, where, how NO many, how much History How, why NO Case study How, why NO Source: Yin, 1994, p. 6 Focuses on contemporary events YES YES/NO NO YES The type of research questions of our study are formulated as “how” questions. Furthermore, our study deals with contemporary events, and we do not need to have control over behavioral events.
These facts indicate that a case study or survey is the option for our study. However, due to limited time, a survey is not relevant for this study. Therefore, based on this, in accordance with the reasoning of Yin, we find case studies to be most appropriate as a 21 research strategy for our study. Furthermore, Wiedersheim-Paul and Eriksson (1997), state that a case study involves the investigation of few entities with many variables, with the aim to increase the understanding of a subject and not a generalization. According to Yin (1994) the design of the case study can either be a single-case study or a multiple-case study.
A single-case study provides the opportunity to investigate one entity in the form of one industry, company, or district, in depth. On the other hand, a multiple-case study allows two or more entities to be studied and compared. Due to the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding within a specific industry and company, our choice is to conduct a single-case study. 3. 4 Data Collection Methods Yin (1994) proposes six different sources of evidence when collecting data; documentation, archival records, interviews, direct observations, participation-observations and physical artifacts.
Two of these, documentation and interviews are illustrated in table 3. 2 below. Table 3. 2. Two Sources of Evidence: Strengths and Weaknesses Sources of Evidence Strengths Weaknesses Documentation • Stable: can be reviewed • Retrievability: can be low repeatedly • Biased selectivity: if • Unobtrusive: not created as collection is incomplete a result of the case study • Re