Search Engine Marketing in SMEs : The motivations behind using search engine marketing
Title: Search Engine Marketing in SMEs
Level: Final assignment for Bachelor Degree in Business Administration
Authors: Kamilla Fahlström & Caroline Jensen
Supervisor: Jens Eklinder Frick
Date: 2016 January
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to use Expectancy theory to describe and analyze small company owners’ motivations for their usage of Search Engine Marketing, in terms of their perceived Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality.
Method: To research the aim of this study a qualitative research approach was used. The empirical data was compiled through ten semi-structured interviews from a varied selection of Swedish companies in the service sector. The data was analyzed with previous research to create an understanding of the motivations for using Search Engine Marketing.
Conclusions: The result of this study, when analyzed alongside Expectancy theory, indicates that small business owners are motivated to use Search Engine Marketing. Furthermore, which method of Search Engine Marketing that the owners are motivated to use is dependent on their perceptions of the different methods.
Future research: Due to the lack of research into the attitudinal and psychological aspects of Search Engine Marketing and the limitations of this study, it would be interesting if more research were done into this area. For example, it would be interesting to study if trust-based companies are motivated to use Search Engine Marketing, and if demographics affect the motivations.
Contribution: This study contributes with results on a previously unexplored area within the research field of Search Engine Marketing. The study also contribute with some information to practice regarding small service company owners’ thoughts about their usage of Search Engine Marketing.
Key words: Search Engine Marketing, SMEs, Expectancy theory, Motivation, Website visibility
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