Congruence Between Attractive Product Features and Virtual Content Delivery for Internet Marketing Communication

Kevin Filo
Daniel C. Funk

The Internet has developed faster than any other form of electronic technology or communication. As a result, businesses strive to improve their Internet presence and evaluate their website communication. The majority of Internet marketing research has focused on the content analysis using traditional marketing mix elements: product, price, promotion, and place. The present study advocates a more consumer-oriented approach to Internet marketing that allows sport organizations to coordinate venue-based consumer experience with virtual content provided on Internet websites to capitalize on features of the product that consumers find attractive. Three studies were conducted to determine product features that appeal to consumers of women¡¯s professional sport and evaluate the sport organizations¡¯ websites for the communication of this content. The results show some congruence between the product features identified by event attendees and the website communication. However, the variability in the presentation and accessibility of these factors suggest a need for league-wide content guidelines as well as enhanced efforts to allow consumer interest to help shape Internet marketing efforts. After a discussion of the results and their implications for marketers, limitations and directions for future research are detailed.