How (And Why) Should Corporations Communicate CSR Activities through the Internet?

This study describes how and why a company benefits from communicating its CSR activities online. Both through the corporate website and social media. Including case examples.

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How have blogs changed consumer behavior and how can marketers utilize blogs in digital marketing

How has the consumer behavior changed after the Internet became more of a social platform?Once the social aspects of the Internet came along a term called Web 2.0. was created. Web 2.0 indicates a platform that enables people to create and distribute all kind of content online (Berthon et al, 2012). Social media changed the whole nature of searching and sharing information.

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How to Solve the Conflict Between the Exclusivity Paradigm of Luxury Brands and the Open Source Character of Social Media Part 2

Based on the previous discussion about and comparison of the two concepts of exclusivity paradigm and the open source character of social media, the maintenance of exclusivity while opening their communication to millions of users emerged as main challenge for luxury marketers. As mentioned before, luxury marketers have pursued a very exclusive communication strategy targeting their consumers directly. By using social media this exclusive communication and targeting is watered down. This development is one of the most significant paradigm shifts within their history (Costa and Handley, 2011). Now every user can communicate on the brand publically. 

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Does Social media marketing mean the end of traditional advertising?

The use of social media marketing is increasing rapidly among companies (King. et al., 2014). Much attention is paid to social media’s role in the marketing mix, not least in relation to traditional media (LaPointe, 2011). LaPointe (2011) states that it’s becoming more popular with marketing strategies that rely entirely on online tactics. At the same time, many marketers are still unsure of how to go about this ocean of platforms and opportunities called social media, as pointed out by DeMers (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/) and Hanna et al. (2011). Let us therefore have a look at what research has to say about social- versus traditional media! Could it be that companies are too quick with planning the funeral of conventional advertising? 

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How is eWOM becoming a part of marketing strategies? And what are the consequences? Part 2

In Part I of this article the eWOM types and their us by marketers has been discussed, meanwhile, laying the ground basis of understanding eWOM and its use for consumer advocacy. The paper identified a research gap in the consumers’ response to eWOMM. In other words, what is the reaction of internet users when marketers initiate advocacy with existing and potential customers through social media publications, blogs or video channels? The article identified a fit of the users’ response to eWOMM with the Cho and Cheon’s model (2004) of advertising avoidance on the internet. Moreover, the article will explore marketers’ implications for managing eWOM without causing marketing/advertising avoidance.

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How is eWOM becoming a part of marketing strategies? And what are the consequences? Part 1

Customer advocacy is defined by marketers’ attempt on building mutual “transparency, dialogue and partnership” (p. 5) and is becoming an essential part of a marketing strategy (Lawer and Knox, 2006). However, the marketers’ presence in the user’s activities online can been seen as avoided or causing irritation (Cho and Cheon, 2004). Therefore, the following paper sets the question of how can marketers influence customer advocacy and word-of-mouth (WOM), without causing irritation or avoidance. As a result, the paper will begin by identifying the problem of advertising avoidance on the internet and the three main reasons for it (Cho and Cheon, 2004), followed by e-word-of-mouth marketing (eWOMM) as a phenomenon and eWOM types. The aim of the paper is to give the ground understanding of who talks online – the marketers, the influencers or the end users. Part II would provide a follow up on the topic, which will explore the notion of avoidance in eWOMM and the theory in practice, meanwhile providing implications for building customer advocacy while minimising the threat negative response.

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Social Media Marketing for Building a Strong E-loyalty

In the past few years, we have seen radical changes and advances on the Internet, which has brought new opportunities and challenges in not only our lifestyle but also various business over the world. The Internet has a great power beyond imagination. Especially, The Internet is more meaningful when it comes to business performances. It is not optional anymore but mandatory to make use of the Internet in business perspective.

The start of the digital marketing is probably from the advent of web 2.0. People started to use the terminology, web 2.0, to illustrate a new platform whereby content and applications are not created and issued by individuals anymore, but instead are continuously updated and changed by all users on the Internet where people can easily access (Kaplin & Haenlein, 2010).

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The Rise of Social Media - A Double Sided Coin for Marketers

The development of Web. 2.0 technologies and rise of social media have taken most of us by surprise, marketers included, with the unexpected power shift and empowerment of consumers. The rise of social media and resulting power shift has turned the world upside down for marketers, requiring immediate adjustment to their mindsets, alteration of their strategies, and rethinking of their business approach to marketing.With the new interconnected era comes a new set of opportunities and challenges for marketers, which are to be examined shortly along with the areas in which marketers have experienced empowerment or disempowerment. 

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BIG DATA - OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR MARKETERS

January 29, 2015

Written by Emil Westrin

 

“We never, ever in the history of mankind have had access to so much information so quickly and so easily.”  (Vint Cerf, “father of the internet” quoted in Silva 2009)

 

Big data is the big thing in business today. We have all been told that big data will change our lives and revolutionize the way we do business. Marketers are no exception as marketing departments around the world are striving to implement big data into their routines. It is the word on everybody’s lips but do we actually know what we are talking about?

 

The purpose of this blog article is to demystify the concept of big data and to give marketers a better understanding how big data can be used in the planning, execution and analysis of marketing activities.

 

What is big data?

Every day, we create 2,5 quintillion of data on this earth. That is a staggering figure which can be exemplified by the fact that 90% of the data in the world today has been produced in the last two years alone (IBM, 2011). Big data has supposedly created big opportunities. The main idea for businesses is to exploit the growing mass of accessible information in large based on financial transactions or customer interactions to maximize business performance and create competitive advantages. (Purcell, 2013; Biesdorf et al, 2013) Collecting data to improve competitiveness is not a new phenomenon however; it has been around for decades. In the early nineties it was common for large corporations to build and take advantage of customer information systems. These systems were used to understand individual customers better and to develop and market new products based on the preferences of the consumers (Bessen, 1993).

 

Since the nineties we have experienced the digital revolution with the gradual shift towards digital products and information. This combined with innovations such as new databases and eventually clouds storage, has enabled companies to gather, store and analyze huge quantity of data much more efficiently. The result is a boom in data storage (Varadarajan & Yadav, 2009; Nunan & Di Domenico, 2013). Data is being stored, traded and used much like commodities today.  Some of the biggest corporations in the world are in the forefront of the data frenzy. Wal-Mart, the American retail giant handles and stores more than 1m customer transactions per hour, 40 billions photos had been uploaded to Facebook by 2010, and 48 hours of video is being uploaded to Youtube every minute (The Economist, 2010; Allocca, 2012).

 

What is the big deal?

So, with the vast amount if information easily accessible, it seems easy to reap the benefits in order to create competitive miracles.  Big data is a hot tech topic and is actively discussed in most business media today.  Some are giving movies like “Moneyball” or the books such as  “Freakenomics” part of the credit for the big data’s rise in popularity. Numbers and statistics have become somewhat “hip” again (NYtimes, 2012).

 

There are plenty of success stories and factors that point to an inevitable growth of big data usage. For example; 10-15 percent of organizations today are using big data in some capacity, and these companies outperform their competition by 20 percent (Scott, 2013). Greater willingness from consumers to share personal information online combined with the before mentioned technological advancements has increased the commercial value that can be added to organizations by using big data (Nunan & Di Domenico, 2013).  Another reason big data is celebrated it the way it empowers consumers as well. It has never before been so fast and easy to compare prices online as today (Sluis, 2014; Fulgoni, 2013).

 

Big data and marketing

Big data has created big opportunities for marketing departments all over the globe. The easy access to vast amount of information based on customer interactions has enabled marketers to go from knowing the customer as a demographic to understanding him or her as an individual (Sluis, 2014).  Bessen (1993) argues that successful marketing always has relied on a two-way information flow between the marketer and the customer. The marketers’ challenge has always been to collect detailed demographic and life-style information on consumers that can be used as a basis for effective and efficient activities. Today, it is easier than ever to establish the two-way information flow due to the Internet, social media and big data.  The challenge for many marketers today has moved from having too little information to having too much information coming from too many sources. The vast amount of data has turned marketers into insight hunters. Consequently, one of the greatest challenges for marketing departments is to create an information ecosystem by combining patterns of data from different sources (Prajicek, 2013).

 

Online giants such as Google and Facebook have made harnessing the data on the web into extremely lucrative businesses. Based on big data, Google and Facebook can now offer their clients tailored campaigns based on for example online searches, posts and messages. Marketers involved with Internet marketing know the potential reward of cost-efficient tools such as social media feeds, user videos and image posts etc. All the online tools have converged into massive dashboards that give marketers real-time and holistic views of the consumers and their ongoing activities (Smith, 2013). Marketers have been armed with advertising optimization capabilities overall, based on the growing amount of big data available to them (Fulgoni, 2013).

 

The challenges of big data for marketers

Prajicek (2013) criticizes many marketing departments for committing the “more is better”-fallacy. He argues that they seem to think that adding more sources of information will lead to better answers.  Having terabytes of data available but no one to successfully interpret the data is a major mistake.  And the fact is that many marketers lack skills that would enable them to use big data successfully (Vriens & Brazell, 2013; Ross, 2013). Another common mistake marketers commit is that they spend too much time “in the cloud” looking at macro trends. Great data and great insights are often wasted when big data is not being leveraged by little data and interpreted based on the integrations and relationships it’s based on (Ross, 2013; Fox & Do, 2013). Great data needs to be acted upon in order to create the potential competitive advantages.

 

Another challenge of big data stems from the established clash between marketing and sales. Big data can erode long-term marketing commitments in order to promote short-term sales. Fulgoni (2013) warns that a reliance on big data in a company has a tendency to cultivate a short-term decision making mindset. 

 

One of the main criticisms against the use of big data in marketing is the implication on individual privacy.  How much information on about consumers can big corporation store before it becomes an intrusion on private life?  There have been voices calling for ethical guidelines for the commercial use of big data, some actors have gone so far to call for self-imposed regulation in order to keep the consumers’ trust (Nunan & Di Domenico, 2013; Sluis, 2014; Cumbley & Church, 2013).

 

Key takeaways on big data for marketers

There are several reasons behind the rise of big data. The emergence of new technology such as more sophisticated databases and cloud technology has further pushed the boundaries of the digital revolution. Gathering, storing and analyzing of data has become more cost-efficient and organizations are not late to capitalize the potential benefits. This is proven by the statistic stating that the 10-15 percent of companies that are using big data are outperforming the competition by 20 percent.

 

The value of big data for marketing departments can best be explained by using the two-way information flow between the marketer and the customer, presented by Bessen (1993). Big data has enabled marketers to go from knowing the customer as a demographic to understanding them as an individual. The incredible depth of consumer information makes it possible for marketers to tailor their products, offers and activities to meet the expectation of a specific individual. Marketing with the use of big data will force marketers to attain certain skills in order to make use of the data. Marketers will chase insights by combining a mix of findings and data. Big data has started to provide marketers with real-time and holistic view of the consumers and their ongoing activities.

 

But marketers also need to acknowledge the challenges that come with using leveraging big data. The major question mark for the future is the implications on the consumer’s privacy.  Marketers with access to big data should strive to do ethically right and listen to common sense.

 

References

 

Allocca. K. (2010), Why videos go viral. Available online at: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html [Accessed 15 january 2014].

 

Bessen, J. (1993), ”Riding the marketing information wave”, Harvard Business Review 71(5), 150-160.

 

Biesdorf, S., Court, D., & Willmott, P. (2013), “Big data: What's your plan?”, McKinsey Quarterly  2, 40-51.

 

Cumbley, R., Church, P. (2013),”Is “Big Data” creepy?”, Computer Law & Security Review 29(5), 601-609.

 

Fox, S., & Do, T. (2013). Getting real about Big Data: applying critical realism to analyse Big Data hype. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 6(4), 739-760.

 

Fulgoni, G. (2013), ”Big Data: Friend or Foe of Digital Advertising? Five Ways Marketers Should Use Digital Big Data to Their Advantage.”, Journal of Advertising Research 53(4), 372-376.

 

IBM (2013). “What is big data?”, Available online at: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/what-is-big-data.html [Accessed: 15 January 2014].

 

Krajicek, D. (2013), ”Market research and the ethics of big data”, Marketing Insight 25(1), 8-9.

 

New York Times (2013), “The Age of Big Data”, Available online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/sunday-review/big-datas-impact-in-the-world.html?pagewanted=all [Accessed: 15 January 2014.]

 

Nunan, D., Di Dominico, M. (2013), ”Market research and the ethics of big data”, International Journal of Market Research  55(4), 2-13.

 

Purcell, B. (2013). The emergence of" big data" technology and analytics. Journal of Technology Research 4, 1-7.

 

Ross, J. W., Beath, C. M., Quaadgras, A. (2013), ” You May Not Need Big Data After All”, Harvard Business Review 91(12), 90-98.

 

Scott, N. (2013), ”Big data: What's the big deal?”, Director 66(10), 61-65.

 

Silva, D. (2009). The internet has only just begun, say founders”, Available online at: http://phys.org/news159644537.html [accessed 15 January 2014].

 

Sluis, S. (2014), ”DMA13 Marketers Must Carefully Consider Big Data Strategies”, CRM Magazine 18(1), 8.

 

Smith, S. (2013), ”Is Data the New Media? [Big Data impact on the media industry]”, EContent 36(2), 14-19,

 

The Ecoomist (2010), “Data, data everywhere”, Available online: www.economist.com/node/15557443 [accessed 15 January 2014].

 

Varadarajan, R. & Yadav M. S. (2009), “Marketing Strategy in an Internet-Enabled Environment: A Retrospective on the First Ten Years of JIM and a Prospective on the Next Ten Years”, Journal of Interactive Marketing 23, 11–22.

 

Vriens, M., Brazell, J. (2013), ” The COMPETITIVE Advantage”, Marketing Insight 25(3), 32-38.