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Peer Review

eMarketing: The Essential Guide to Online Marketing

by Rob Stokes


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 09, 2009 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This material is a downloadable version of an online textbook. It could serve as reference material or as a primary or supplemental textbook for an emarketing course. This textbook is a comprehensive overview of the facets of eMarketing (online marketing). Contains numerous real-world examples.
Type of Material: Open textbook
Recommended Uses: This could be used as a text for an eMarketing class or chapters could be used to supplement a traditional marketing class. It may be better suited for use as a supplemental text, or reference material.
Technical Requirements: High speed Internet access and adobe acrobat are required. If you are an educator and wish to download the PowerPoint slides, a download manager may be necessary given the size of the files.
Identify Major Learning Goals: This open textbook provides a concise overview (approximately 7 pages per topic) of numerous online marketing tools/techniques. The goal is to familiarize the reader with basic approaches and terminology used within this field. The reader will gain a comprehensive understanding of various eMarketing techniques.
Target Student Population: The material is appropriate for a graduate or undergraduate class in online marketing (or related topic). It also would prove quite useful for anyone attempting to familiarize themselves with online marketing practices.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A cursory understanding of marketing and basic familiarity with the use of the Internet as a marketing tool would be helpful, but not necessary.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The text is easy to read and digest. A comprehensive list of topics is covered (i.e., email marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization). Supplemental PowerPoint slides corresponding to each chapter are provided under educator resources. The text material is very comprehensive and current. The author commits to publishing an update every six months.
Concerns: As of today, the material is current. However, this is a rapidly changing industry, so the timeliness of this material a year from know would need to be reassessed. For instance, some of the suggested readings are dated. Further, the text is written by an employee of a UK and South African online marketing consulting company (Quirk eMarketing). Many of the additional materials (i.e., cases, related readings) might be a bit foreign to U.S. students since they focus on companies that are from these countries. The instructor will need to design supporting assignments, exams, and so on.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The text logically builds from simple to more complex concepts and demonstrates relationships between concepts. Each chapter includes key terms, a discussion of how each concept works, a discussion of pros and cons, and a case study. Despite the minor content quality concerns, I consider this to be a wonderful resource. Each chapter focuses on one online marketing topic and consisely presents the necessary information. Before delving into these individual topics, a nice introduction to online marketing is provided. The text ends with a summary chapter which serves to integrate the individual topics. As a resource material, any one chapter could be read in isolation. As someone with a Ph.D. in marketing, I learned quite a bit while reviewing this material.
Concerns: The text assumes familiarity with a number of Web 2.0 concepts and websites. As long as the author continues to update the material as the industry evolves, I have no major concerns.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The text is written with short sections, lists, and graphics that make it visually interesting and easy to read. The website is user friendly. I appreciate that the text can be downloaded by chapter or as one document. No problems were encountered with downloading the textbook.
Concerns: As a textbook, it is not interactive. The design quality is generally good. Even with a download manager, I did have problems downloading the supplemental PowerPoint slides. Quirk eMarketing is providing open access to a textbook. It's free. What is not to like about that? In return, the company is asking the user to give up some minor information on himself/herself. An email address must be provided to download the material, but a promise not to abuse the email address is given. If one wants to access information beyond the text (see Quirk eMarketing's website and educator resources), more detailed information needs to be provided.