Researching the potential of an online rating and review community concerning advertisements

Christian Kokborg Pedersen & Casper Dahlen Stokholm Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis provides an evaluation of the initial business potential of a new Internet-based business idea at the conceptual stage. The business idea is founded in the creation of a new Internet-based community based on the review, rating and discussion of advertisements. The concept aims to facilitate, process and structure community user information in preparation for the creating of an efficient, affordable and differentiated tool/product for testing advertisements and doing marketing research. Methods of analysis include qualitative market research on potential clients of the product and quantitative market research on potential users of the online community. Other analysis and calculations include statistical analysis and a brief competition survey. A Concept Development Framework (CDF) is developed to track the results of the analysis and the impact on the business idea. All results and calculations can be found in the thesis and the appendices. Results of collected and analyzed data show the existence of an initial business potential. Potential clients find the business idea appealing, but highlight the need for more traditional, customized, marketing research product solutions in a differentiated (faster, easier and more affordable) format. Furthermore, a concern with regards to overall business volume, not being large enough to sustain a long term business, is expressed. It is also noticeable that the potential clients are indifferent to how the data is obtained, (whether it’s through a forum or a traditional web panel) – they just want reliable consumer insight. The potential users of the community can be categorized with regards to interest and visit-intention. Certain characteristics are significantly predictive regarding users visit-intention towards the website. It is particularly notable that potential users find the overall business concept idea of rating and review interesting, but not necessarily the content which is advertisements. Results also indicate that a website should focus on the rating and review aspect, combined with community activity. The potential users do not find the social community aspect appealing in this context. The results have led to a modification of the original business concept idea. The recommendation put forward by this thesis is that further studies are needed to evaluate the business potential of the modified business concept. These studies should include; client and user interest and attitudes towards the modified concept; the potential overall business volume; and the impact, on users and clients, of changing the content of the website. Overall, the apparent business potential is not huge and therefore alterations to the business concept are needed, on the basis of further market studies, in order to obtain maximal potential. The need for further studies is underpinned by the fact that the results of this thesis are limited by small survey sample sizes, a brief competition survey and a complete disregarding of other business idea aspects such as sales, marketing, economics, et cetera, which are to be developed at a later stage.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2008
Number of pages314