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Synopsis

Master's Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 1,3, Nürtingen University, course: Master´s Thesis, language: English, abstract: 'When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web... Now even my cat has its own page' (Bill Clinton, 1996) Only 20 years ago, mostly big companies had access to the Internet in order to ex-change information for the worldwide production and transfer of financial services. The big change has come with new data based applications and an enlargement of broadband connections in the beginning of the 21th century: It is now possible to provide bigger amounts of data in the Worldwide Web. Nowadays, the Internet is a platform where private users can enter personal contents and information. Blogs and forums have become popular in everyday-life. In Germany, 38% of the 1006 respondents older than 16 years are registered in on-line communities. In the strongest group from 16 to 30 years, even three out of four Internet users are members in those social networks, according to the representative study 'Internet 2009- Wer macht was im Worldwide Web' by PriceWaterhouseCoo-pers in Frankfurt (cp. Westfalenblatt, 27 / 28, June 2009, p. 6). Web 2.0 applications have made a change in communication: From the passive one-way communication of the Web 1.0, where users could online read information by experts, to bi-directional communication, where people actively work on the contents of the pages. The Internet has become a social Web: Users with the same interests find each other and discuss everything they think about, for examples about products. Instead of asking friends about their product experiences, they use online communication platforms for the search and the exchange of information. In doing so, a large variety of opinions for every kind of product can be found in the blogs and forums. Analyzing the electronic word of mouth communication is the direct way to customer opinions: 'Imagine, you can overhear like a fly on the wall millions of people talking about your company, your marketing concepts, your advertisement and your products- customers, employees, competitors, partners and the media. Imagine further, you could use these news for adapting perfectly on the customers´ wishes- what you want, how you want it. (..). This and more provide blogs' (Wright, 2006, p. 20). It is important for every company to find out about the customer´s attitude towards their products. Up to now, companies have conducted classical marketing research surveys, with paper or telephone interviews and focus groups. Classical marketing resea...

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