About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3172-3182
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

USING NETNOGRAPHY AS AN ICT RESEARCH TOOL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION MARKETING – THE CASE OF ROMANIA

A. Daj, E.A. Chirca

Transilvania University of Brasov (ROMANIA)
The meteoric rise of computer mediated communication - reflected by the proliferation of Web 2.0 technologies, social networking sites and virtual online communities - has awaken the interest of affinity marketing professionals with the intent of marketing higher education products and services to these highly targetable, fast growing user bases. Thus, Web 2.0 communities are emerging as a key factor for the process of changing the organizational and learning paradigms of higher education institutions.
Although online consumer groups enclose various and frequently hidden “need information” on higher education products and services – representing a large pool of market, customer and product know-how – until now, Romanian universities have not made the necessary efforts to use this resource and to adjust their offering to the new requirements of the network society.
At the present time, little is known in Romanian Universities about how to capitalize on this know-how. Therefore, in this paper, we explore the possibility of using “Netnography” – a relatively new qualitative marketing research methodology inspired by cultural anthropology, which adapts ethnographic research techniques to the study of cultures and communities emerging through computer-mediated communications – for gathering information on the symbolism, meanings, and consumption patterns of online consumer groups in the field of Romanian higher education.
We will try to illustrate that integrating the interaction with these virtual communities into the overall marketing effort of higher education institutions to reach audiences in the targeted segments is a rather farsighted strategy. Applying specific tactics like setting up a virtual community presence of the institution inside targeted online communities (e.g. setting up an account for the organization; establishing a own institutional branded “group”, creating events to promote off-network activities) and persistently monitoring groups and pages that refer to the institution or even establishing an owner-hosted online community will increase the effectiveness of the overall marketing effort to reach a younger target audience (especially 18-25 year-olds).
Although the measurable benefits of applying these ICT based tools and strategies are, until now, not fully explored and documented, this paper is a first step in this emerging Web 2.0 marketing strategy, in that it attempts to show the importance of understanding the opportunities and limitations of virtual communities, while the greatest risk in marketing planning of Romanian higher education institutions is to simply ignore the growing popularity of online communities.
@InProceedings{DAJ2009USI,
author = {Daj, A. and Chirca, E.A.},
title = {USING NETNOGRAPHY AS AN ICT RESEARCH TOOL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION MARKETING – THE CASE OF ROMANIA},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {3172-3182}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Daj AU - E.A. Chirca
TI - USING NETNOGRAPHY AS AN ICT RESEARCH TOOL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION MARKETING – THE CASE OF ROMANIA
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 3172
EP - 3182
ER -
A. Daj, E.A. Chirca (2009) USING NETNOGRAPHY AS AN ICT RESEARCH TOOL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION MARKETING – THE CASE OF ROMANIA, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 3172-3182.
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