Every student individually will be required to download at least three articles related to a specific marketing course of action from Marketing journals and related company websites and write a consolidated review report. Students also need to present the key implications from the review for academic and managerial practice. The selected articles must have relevance to some aspects of marketing topics/course of actions covered in the unit content (details will be given during lecture one). In particular, you are expected to focus on the following in your report.
(Hint: The background study is done in order to compile in brief all the existing and relevant information that is already present in the paper/s that you are due to review on the topic. This compilation is necessary because it serves the purpose of providing credibility to the whole review and research. You can add your topic to a real companys marketing operation and provide an outline on what you would like to in this review. Use references as an evidence of your arguments).
Research issue(s) in the selected articles (Hint: A well-structured, properly-reported study must provide answers to all questions regarding the what, why, when, how, where, and who associated with the research. In short, you have to identify the key research issues in the identified articles related to your theme/topic.)
(Hint: The major findings should consist of your analysis and understanding on the topic reviewed from the articles and not the findings of each of the paper reviewed. You may refer the major findings from each paper and company website to integrate your understanding of the findings)
(Hint: This section should attempt to state the objective steps to be undertaken for managerial practices in real time, and should bring-in together all the practices outlined in each of the articles reviewed and related company website reviewed. Please use your language skills to present the specific points and do not list it the same way as listed in the review articles (do not copy and paste). You get some managerial problems focused, identified, discussed in the reviewed articles of which you can outline some direction to solve those problems using relevant marketing theories)
(Hint: Explore how the key issues have been analysed in the review papers and what recommendations have been placed to engage these issues in the real business world. Having observed the process in the review papers and company website, you are now required to place your critical recommendations for the marketers and make sure that these recommendations align with the theory in practice. Try to use chart, graph or tables for better clarity).
The Emergence of Social Media in Marketing
Article 1: The Effects of Social Media Marketing on Online Consumer Behavior
The emergence of consumer behavior in marketing was during the early 40s as a distinct sub-discipline in the marketing area. In the 1st article the effect of social media on global marketing has been discussed. In this era of modernization, consumers can directly communicate with the brand representative with the help of social media. The emergence of social media in marketing has enabled the companies to identify their specific group of consumers and understand their needs (Vinerean et al. 2013). This in turn, enables the brands to develop products and services keeping in mind the requirements of their consumers and hence enhance the consumer satisfaction. Besides that, direct communication with the consumers enhances customer-company interaction that in turn results in increased consumer loyalty and brand equity.
Article 2: Apparel product attributes, web browsing, and e-impulse buying on shopping websites
According to recent research reports, online apparel retailers can be considered as one of the most powerful drivers of online sale compared to automobile and computer sales. This can be evidenced by the enhancement in online apparel sale in the US from resulting in a increased revenue of 26.6 billion dollars in 2008 (Park et al. 2012). In this research paper, the relation among web browsing, product attributes and impulsive buying of apparel product through online marketing has been explored. The findings of the research paper confirm that apparel product attribute consists of three factors namely, price, sensory and selection attributes.
Article 3: Situational variables in online versus offline channel choice
The usage of online networking in marketing and the advancement of user interface consumer behaviour become highly variable depending on the characteristic of marketing strategies for both online and offline purchasing. Therefore analysing the customer behaviour with respect to the interaction channel utilized by any business organization has become one of the essential factors to be analysed. Moreover, this article is focused on the operational and resultant differences between the impact of online and offline based marketing channel within on customer behaviour (Chocarro, Cortiñas and Villanueva 2013). In order to analyse the issues in this article, research has been conducted with the help of quantitative data analysis method that helped to formulate the findings and recommendation.
The aim of the research is to find out the number and amount of social media users who possess a positive outlook regarding advertisement of business with the help of social media. In order to conduct the research, the researchers have considered the students of ‘Lucian Blaga’ University situated at Sibiu in Romania as the sample of the research. Apart from that field research that includes a collection of information from respondents via the internet is also performed. The field research was conducted from 17th September to 18th November of the year 2011.
Identifying Specific Group of Consumers and Understanding their needs
The aim of the assessment is to understand the relationship among product attributes of the apparel industry, web browsing of the consumers and e-impulse buying. The objective of the research paper is to a) identification of critical factors of apparel product attributes which has relevance with web browsing. b) Estimation of the structural model related to casual relationships among web browsing, e-impulse and product attributes. In order to conduct this research, a questionnaire has been developed and was answered by 356 university students. Apart from that, in order to conduct data analysis, two of the data analysis processes, namely, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling has been used.
In this article, the customer behaviour and their resultant choice with respect to the communicational media and purchasing opportunities have been examined. The article analyses various situational factors regarding the customer choice and influences within both physical and virtual purchasing platform. In terms of physical purchasing platform, the article has discussed the traditional market and stores as well as how they influence the customer behaviour and choice. On the other hand, virtual platform refers the advanced internet based online marketing websites and e-purchasing. The article also discussed various situational variables as well as their effectiveness in a choice of product categories from both company's and consumer's perspective.
In order to obtain the result of the research, the first analysis done is the factor analysis and as a result of the third analysis, four groups that represent student's activities in various social media sites that have been found. The first group of sample named ‘Expressers and Informers’ are found to be majorly focusing on themselves by uploading information on Twitter, wiki articles and through blogging. The second group named as ‘Engagers’ not only involves themselves in reading various articles and reviews but also post comments, reviews and rating online services as well as products used by them. The third group, entitled as ‘Networkers and socializer' is found to very active on social media platforms. The final group named as watchers and listeners are found to be really active in social media. From cluster analysis, it has been found that 36.9 percent of the total respondents click on social media advertising with the intention to buy products or services while 32.2 percent does not prefer intrusive online advertising but has clicked on a few profiles targeted advertisement online. Finally, it has been found that students who actually often click on social media advertisements have a positive reaction to such marketing instruments.
The Relationship between Product Attributes, Web Browsing, and E-Impulse Buying of the Apparel Industry
The result of this research paper, confirm the three-factor of apparel product attributes namely, price, a variety of selection and sensory attributes. When it comes to the variety of selection, four items related with a variety of fashion brands and items are found. When it comes to the price attribute, it has been found that this factor focuses on economic benefit and consumer value. Finally, sensory attribute involves colour, styling and sizes which are three items associated with apparel shopping. When it comes to web browsing the study has found that two types of web browsing namely, utilitarian and hedonic web browsing are common among consumers. From the findings of the structural model, it has been found that variety of selection imposes a positive impact on utilitarian browsing where as, price imposes a positive impact on hedonic web browsing. Apart from that, the negative impact of utilitarian browsing and the positive impact of hedonic browsing on e-impulse buying has been found.
According to the data analysis and findings of the research conducted in this article, individual interaction channel choice has a different influence on the potential customer behaviour. The results show that in current market condition, consumers prefer online marketing and purchasing channels over the offline or traditional market. Additionally, the research has also shown that consumers prefer using online based purchasing and e-payment when they are busy. Along with that, the layout and simplicity of marketing website highly motivate the users to purchase from the online facility. Consumers are also more likely to select the virtual purchasing method after the closing time of the stores. On the other hand, these behavioural variables also change depending on the demographical, sociological and economic background of the consumers. The major variable in these results is the use of computers and smart phones that reflects direct proportionality with online marketing tendency of potential buyers. Moreover, the result has shown that there are many regulatory variables that have a significant impact on consumer behaviour and choice.
Considering the fact that online marketing can be considered to be a crucial way to deal with the emerging consumer behavior in the modern era, business owner as well as managers should understand the behavior of their consumers and develop effective strategies to attract them towards their products or services. From the major findings of the research paper, some of the implications for marketing managers in order to attract the young consumers towards their online advertisement are discussed below:
- Marketing managers should concentrate on enhancing the performance of their online advertising. This can be done by understanding the source of trust of the consumers that involves online blogs and articles written about the products or services. Another approach that should be considered by the managers involves understanding the concerns of the consumers regarding their privacy during online marketing.
- Managers should be capable of identifying the specific group of consumers who are more inclined towards online marketing compared to other consumers. Effective identification of consumers should be followed by targeting them and recognizing their specific needs in order to gain competitive advantage.
- Managers should create a buyers persona in order to adjust or develop the online marketing strategy with respect to the interests of the consumers. This will help the management to figure out which products or services go best for which part of the consumers. In order to provide the right online incentives to the right online consumers, the managers should use online reputation systems.
- Finally, the managers should implement a commitment focused approach instead of a transaction-focused approach in order to engage the consumers.
Customer Behavior and Their Resultant Choice Regarding Communicational Media and Purchasing Opportunities
The research provides the managers of apparel companies with insights of the developing e-business by providing an effective understanding of impulse buying behaviours of the consumers in conjunction with web browsing. From the chief findings of the research, some of the implications for the managers o the company are as follows:
- When it comes to online shopping of apparel, a variety of selection plays a major driving factor for consumers. However, having a large variety to chose from discouraging impulse buying of the consumers. Since, online apparel stores across the world provide a huge variety of apparels with respect to price, design and colour, consumers are most likely to enhance web browsing for comparison and gathering information. This finding enables the managers to understand that variety of selection results in rational informative buying of apparels.
- Considering the fact that e-consumers compare online apparel websites on the basis of economic basis and reasonable pricing, managers need to offer apparels to the consumers at optimum pricing for long-term benefit.
- Finally, the author suggested the managers to focus more on providing adequate product information and entertainment for attracting more and more consumers.
As per the result, it is clearly noticeable that there are multiple regulatory variables that motivate the buyer's choice and purchasing behaviour towards the online based marketing and e-purchasing methods. On the other hand, the marketing manager of any business organisation has the responsibility to grudge the consumer segment with respect to their trends of product choice and purchasing behaviour. In order to maximise the resultant profit the marketing management of any company has to articulate the customer trends towards the online purchasing considering the regulatory factors including simplicity and attractiveness of online websites. Moreover, a proper understanding of consumer choice within the online platform and formulating the virtual marketing strategy to attract more customers can enable the opportunity to expand the customer base.
Use of online website can also be utilised as a feedback collecting media where the consumers can give reviews about their experience regarding the product they have purchased and the services. These feedbacks are very helpful in business strategy making and altering consumer communication method. Although the marketing managers cannot control each and every situational variable and their interrelationship the understanding of these variables and their effectiveness can enable further opportunity to improve the business quality and profitability. This analytical understanding can help the marketing managers to choose an appropriate channel to communicate with their potential buyers and to motivate them. This article has discussed all the possible utilisation of the alternative consumer behaviours with the help of marketing related implementation.
In order to increase the overall revenue of the company by online marketing with the help of social media, some of the effective recommendations are as follows:
- In order to attract social media users to go through the advertisement posted by a specific business organization, lucrative discounts and free samples should be offered. This will not only encourage the social media users to go through the online advertisement and will eventually enhance the number of consumers of the company (Goh, Heng and Lin 2013).
- Apart from focusing on developing a lucrative advertisement, managers should focus on developing an effective consumer-company relationship by regularly conversing with then with the help of social media (Wang, Yu and Wei, 2012). Effective communication will not only help the organization to gain the trust of the consumers but will help them to understand their requirement. This, in turn, will help the company to develop products that can effectively satisfy the consumers and this eventually will enhance the consumer loyalty of the company.
Considering the major finding of the research paper, some of the crucial recommendation for the online apparel industries includes:
- Online apparel companies should focus on enhancing the variety of selection with respect to colour and styling in order to provide a huge range of apparels to choose from.
- In order to gain competitive advantages, companies should post lucrative advertisements on various social media platforms will be able to grab the attention of the consumers easily (Hollebeek, Glynn and Brodie 2014).
- Frequent offers including huge discounts as well as benefits like free delivery and any time return facilities should be implemented in order enhance the satisfaction of the consumers. This will not only enhance the consumer loyalty of the online apparel organization but will also enhance their brand equity in the long run.
This article makes three major contributions to the marketing management study namely, identification of regulatory variables influencing the consumer behaviour, distinguish between online and offline purchasing choice of buyers and potential utilisation of the consumer trends within the current market scenario. Marketing management of any business organisation can utilise the trends of online use for purchasing as a navigational and promotional tool. Promotional mail is a very common tool that is currently used to inform the loyal consumers about the new product, stock, discount and offers (Ha and Stoel 2012). The online website can also be utilised as a feedback collecting media, which are very helpful in business strategy making and altering consumer communication method. Through this feedback, the consumers will be able to voice their opinions about their experience regarding the product they have purchased and the services. In order to maximise the resultant profit the marketing management of any company has to articulate the customer trends towards the online purchasing considering the regulatory factors (Park and Cho 2012).
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