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Use of Netnography in Contemporary Marketing Research

Janka Kopaničová, Dagmar Klepochová and Zuzana Francová

Central European Business Review, 2022, vol. 2022, issue 4, 111-131

Abstract: Netnography, an online qualitative research method that evolved from ethnography, previously typically used in anthropology, is experiencing its boom in contemporary marketing research worldwide. It helps to answer research questions about a variety of topics, and it is used in many different ways. Therefore, each netnographic study is unique, not only content-wise but also in terms of the approach to the use of the method. In the presented paper, the case study research method was applied to aim at the identification of the best practices in contemporary marketing research when using netnography. Based on the analysis of chosen articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals, the paper defines the features of the research problem suitable for the application of netnography, the typical process, and its variances, as well as basic criteria for use. As a result of observed significant differences in applying the method, the paper captures the variability of netnography use in the Model of NET Dimensions of Netnography. The model shows how each netnographic study has to deal with three dimensions of decisions that need to be taken: 'the Niche' - the place 'where' and the group 'whom' it researches, 'the Engagement' - the extent to which the researcher is engaged in the studied community, and 'the Time' - the timeline - 'when' and timespan 'how long'. The combination of all the possibilities of NET dimensions makes the netnography so variable, flexible, and adaptable, and therefore a very suitable method for many research problems. Implications for Central European Audience: The paper presents the variety of use of netnography in contemporary marketing research. Although the method originated at the end of the 20th century and is starting to be very popular worldwide, especially with the growth of life online, there is still very little research done using this method in the CEE. Researching the various scholar engines at the time of the article submission, we found very few published studies originating from the CEE. And yet, as the presented paper shows, the method is very well-fitting for a large variety of research problems, and it is very handy, especially now when other qualitative methods are often more difficult to be carried out due to COVID-19 restrictions. The method has the potential to help to answer many of the real businesses' questions as well as to solve some academic puzzles. Therefore, we see a need to promote it within the academic and business community.

Keywords: netnography; marketing research; consumer research; qualitative research (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.18267/j.cebr.303

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