The use of web analytics in identifying key market segments for an open access digital repository
: A case study of the Digital Education Resource Archive

  • Daniel James O'Connor

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This research investigates the role of web analytics platforms in identifying the key market segments for DERA, a digital repository developed by the Institute of Education to preserve electronic publications published by government and other organisations related to education. The research aims to demonstrate the importance of market segmentation as a precursor to effective marketing activities and examines the capacity of web analytics as a segmentation tool. Adopting an exploratory research design, this Case Study gathers qualitative data from a thematic literature review and interviews to develop a model to collect relevant quantitative data from a web analytics platform to assist in segmenting the users of DERA into identifiable groups. The literature indicates that marketing is broadly acknowledged as an essential component in communicating the value of libraries and that segmentation facilitates the adoption of differentiated strategies according to the needs of specific segments. Whilst the importance of marketing is acknowledged by the DERA Working Party, a formal marketing strategy has not been developed and perceptions of key market segments are informed chiefly through anecdotal evidence. The development of two models of segmentation for the Google Analytics platform are proposed and digital dashboards are created that provide summaries of key metrics and insights related to the users of DERA. The research concludes that web analytics can contribute towards effective segmentation. However technical issues related to Google Analytics on DERA show that selection of the most appropriate analytics platform is vital. Concerns over privacy and ownership of data are also important considerations to be addressed if web analytics are to be fully embraced. Finally, web analytics can only give insight into the ‘what, how and when’ of user activity on DERA, demonstrating the need for additional qualitative data to understand the deeper motivations for usage of the resource
Dyddiad Dyfarnu2015
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  • Prifysgol Aberystwyth

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