Web Ethnography

Company Background
The Client is a dynamic, international energy trading company that is achieving rapid growth, driven by high levels of activity and volatility within the energy market. The Client works with and for all participants in the energy market. And a unique combination of financial talent, energy expertise and a proactive attitude has enabled them to become an international leader in the field. Their merchant growth ambitions are supported by the balance-sheet of our parent and underpinned by our commitment to our business principles and our social responsibilities. 
Client request
As a part of the online strategy requirement,  we had to present innovative solution for enhancing the brand global awareness, especially in relation to their increasing investments in sustainability development and thus its suitability in attracting talents interested in pursing a career as energy traders on alternative power.
Problems encountered:
  •  Whilst the inbound traffic trends showed encouraging movements, the actual conversion rates – so the actual number of completed application forms – has been not satisfactory as well.
  • A negative correlation was noticed between time spent on site and conversion rate: visitors from Paris spent an average 34 minutes on the career site against a conversion rate of a mere 0.93%.
  •  War for attracting talents by major global players: channels, messaging and strategy used differ significantly opening opportunities in using diverse marketing channels but also constraints our ability in branding our client image.
  • If MBA students are interested in blogs, they tend to be interested in employee blogs that are independent from the company.


 Solution: Web Ethnography, a new way in interacting with the blogosphere
MBA Students seem to be less receptive to information found on company websites, but they are adept to recognised trusted information. The first trust information is found at University, via professors, books, white papers, events on campus, Intranet,  etc… They are keener in browsing from trust blogs of authors they have been introduced to whilst studying than on corporate blogs.
To reach a qualified audience, we decided to conduct web-ethnography (webnography) based on blogging sites and online discussion forum with the ultimate goal of putting together a strategy of engagement with leaders and metre a pensee bloggers in one or more of the following topics:
1.       Energy trading
2.       Sustainable energy
3.       Sustainability
4.       Biomass
5.       Emissions trading
6.       Coffee husks
7.       European federation of energy traders
8.      Risk Magazine
9.       European power markets
Through web search engines, we will use a simple methodology of finding relevant content in a natural context on online blogging sites and discussion forums. As these contents occurred naturally on the web, it was real user’s context as opposed to the contrived/constructed contexts of focus groups used in qualitative research.
After the content is collected, it would be processed through the regular marketing research methodology. Then the respondents need to be identified and informed about their opinions expressed being used for analysis. But there wouldn’t be any questionnaire put up before them to maintain original views.
We expect that the findings will be largely validated and that too at a much lesser cost than adopting a more traditional quantitative research methodology.

As soon as it will be clear which content on sustainability and any other listed above topics, the publication on our client websites of white papers, news or articles will create a natural search optimisation procedure enabling the site to attract a more qualified audience.


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