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Social media and consumer choice
Fred Bronner and Robert de Hoog, International Journal of Market Research, Digital First, September 2013
Social media are becoming increasingly important for consumer decisions. This holds true in particular for vacation decision-making, as an example of a high-involvement decision.
Social media are becoming increasingly important for consumer decisions. This holds true in particular for vacation decision-making, as an example of a high-involvement decision. The research focuses upon the relation between the information people search regarding aspects or properties of choice options and the types of social media used for finding it. The social media classification framework used is based on two dimensions: first, domain-specific social media versus domain-independent social media; second, large opportunities for self-disclosure versus limited or no opportunities for self-disclosure. Based on this framework, predictions are made about the relation between social media used and information sought. It was found that domain-specific social media with limited opportunities for self-disclosure, like Tripadvisor, are more frequently used for search-determined sub-decisions than for experience-determined sub-decisions. For domain-independent social media with large opportunities for self-disclosure, like Twitter and Facebook, it was found that they are used with equal frequency for both types of sub-decision. These findings are relevant for multichannel management in marketing. As regards the valence of the information obtained from different social media, we found a preponderant use of positive/mixed messages and comments, and almost no use of negative information. A practical implication of this finding is that ‘webcare’ should be focused less on complaints and more on leveraging positive aspects that are reported in social media for choices that have comparable characteristics, such as vacations. If a relatively large number of aspects play a role in a product choice process, tracking and use of positive information should be emphasised, while negative experiences should be more important for products characterised by a very limited number of relevant product choice aspects.
Making sense of online consumer reviews: a methodology
Karen Robson, Mana Farshid, John Bredican and Stephen Humphrey, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2013, pp. 521-537
Online consumer reviews have become an increasingly important source of information for both consumers (i.e.
Online consumer reviews have become an increasingly important source of information for both consumers (i.e. about whether to buy) and marketers (i.e. about product strengths and weaknesses). However, online consumer reviews are unstructured and unsystematic in nature, making interpretation of these reviews an enormous challenge. The current paper sheds light on a particular methodology that can be used to investigate what consumers say about companies, brands or products. Consumer reviews of the four best-selling games available on Apple’s App Store were compiled. Leximancer, a content analysis package, was used to compare comments from users who provided games with a five-star rating versus a one-star rating. Results from the Leximancer analysis reveal the most common themes and concepts that consumers use to describe their experience with these games. Specifically, five-star reviewers describe games as fun, awesome, amazing and addictive; one-star reviewers describe games as boring, easy and stupid. Additionally, negative reviews include themes regarding the presence of ads, technological difficulties and value. Future research should explore how consumers and marketers use this information.
Distortion in retrospective measures of word of mouth
Robert East, Mark D. Uncles, Jenni Romaniuk and Chris Hand, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2013, pp. 477-486
When respondents are asked to report on past behaviour, their responses may be affected by an unknown level of measurement error.
When respondents are asked to report on past behaviour, their responses may be affected by an unknown level of measurement error. This casts doubt on the findings from retrospective surveys. There is evidence that measurement error is a function of the interval between an experience and the time when the experience is reported. In this study, the volume of word of mouth (WOM) is measured as a function of this interval. Both positive and negative WOM (PWOM, NWOM) show little change with interval, which indicates that recall measures of the volume of WOM are quite reliable and may be used with confidence. Possible distorting influences on retrospective measures are discussed.
Digging Deeper Down into the Empirical Generalization of Brand Recall: Adding Owned and Earned Media to Paid-Media Touchpoints
Frank Harrison, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2013, pp. 181-185
ZenithOptimedia’s Touchpoints ROI Tracker research, based on interviews with over 700,000 consumers in 47 countries, shows that across paid, owned, and earned consumer contact points, users of brands have a higher propensity to recall the brands that they use than non-users buying in the same category.
ZenithOptimedia’s Touchpoints ROI Tracker research, based on interviews with over 700,000 consumers in 47 countries, shows that across paid, owned, and earned consumer contact points, users of brands have a higher propensity to recall the brands that they use than non-users buying in the same category. On average, brand recall amongst users is 1.7 times greater (the user multiplier) than amongst non-users. There is significant variation in the user multiplier by product category, brand size, market maturity, and touchpoint type. Marketers of brands with higher user multipliers, particularly those marketing smaller brands, have a harder job to reach non-buyers than those with low multipliers.
The comparative impact of critics and consumers: applying the Generalisability Theory to online movie ratings
Ling Peng, Geng Cui and Chunyu Li, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2013, pp. 413-436
This study employs a new measurement theory (i.e. Generalisability Theory) to investigate the comparative influence of early movie ratings from professional critics versus ordinary consumers on latent movie performance.
This study employs a new measurement theory (i.e. Generalisability Theory) to investigate the comparative influence of early movie ratings from professional critics versus ordinary consumers on latent movie performance. The empirical results show that both ordinary consumers and critics have great impact on the latent movie performance. In particular, the main effect of rater sources and the two-way interaction between raters and movies are substantial contributors to the variation in movie performance, with the contribution from ordinary consumers even more substantial than that from professional critics. However, professional critics provide more reliable ratings (a higher G coefficient) than ordinary consumers. Moreover, we found that genre familiarity is an important factor that moderates the differential effect of these two sources of ratings. Professional critic ratings contribute more to the total variance of movie performance evaluations in the case of less familiar genres, while ordinary consumer ratings contribute more to that in the case of more familiar genres. The aggregate level validity (correlation) results for each rater source indicate that professional critics consistently provide better concurrent and predictive validity than ordinary consumers. While our analyses focused on the impact of two sources of ratings on movie performance evaluations, the findings have implications not limited to the movie industry. They are also applicable to the broad category of experience goods such as music, restaurants, video games and books, where consumers could seek opinion from both experts and ordinary consumers.
Conceptualising and evaluating experiences with brands on Facebook
Steve Smith, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2013, pp. 357-374
Despite the growth in the number of brands with a presence on social media such as Facebook and YouTube, questions remain about how to conceptualise and measure people’s experiences with brands’ content on social media, and how to measure the value of people’s behaviour around such content to brands.
Despite the growth in the number of brands with a presence on social media such as Facebook and YouTube, questions remain about how to conceptualise and measure people’s experiences with brands’ content on social media, and how to measure the value of people’s behaviour around such content to brands. By interrogating quantitative data garnered from 6,400 respondents we sent to Facebook pages belonging to 27 brands across six brand categories during June 2011, this paper presents an overview of how we designed two sets of metrics, and some of the findings from these metrics: (1) a series of ‘value of experience’ metrics based on the likelihood of people who claim to have had positive experiences with a brand’s content on Facebook to say they are likely to do different social media, purchase funnel and brand advocacy actions for that same brand; and (2) a series of ‘value of a fan’ metrics that measure the likelihood of people who say they are likely to do different social media actions on a brand’s page (such as post positive comments or share content) to say they are also likely to do different purchase funnel and advocacy actions for that brand.
Why People Pass Along Online Video Advertising: From the Perspectives of the Interpersonal Communication Motives Scale and the Theory of Reasoned Action
Joonghwa Lee, Chang-Dae Ham and Mikyoung Kim, The Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol. 13, Issue 1 2013
This study employs the theory of reasoned action to explore factors influencing consumer intention to pass along online video advertisements.
This study employs the theory of reasoned action to explore factors influencing consumer intention to pass along online video advertisements. Structural equation modeling test results indicated that attitude toward passing along online video ads and subjective norm positively influenced intention. Among the six expected outcomes (pleasure, affection, inclusion, escape, relaxation, and control) identified via the Interpersonal Communication Motives (ICM) scale, only pleasure and escape had positive impacts on attitude. Finally, normative beliefs had positive influences on subjective norm. Implications regarding pass-along behaviors are discussed.
The impact of source effects and message valence on word of mouth retransmission
Jeffrey P. Radighieri and Mark Mulder, International Journal of Market Research, Digital First, April 2013
The impact of word of mouth (WOM) on consumer actions is more pronounced now than ever due to technology.
The impact of word of mouth (WOM) on consumer actions is more pronounced now than ever due to technology. Modern advancements have made engaging in WOM and contributing to viral marketing very commonplace. This notion can be troubling for firms, as consumers can say anything about any firm with virtually no chance of repercussions. Therefore, it is important to study the flow of WOM to help firms design strategies to influence its transmission. This study compares the impact of WOM sender expertise and valence of the WOM message on consumer likelihood to contribute to viral marketing by retransmitting messages to others. Results of our study find that messages from experts and non-experts are equally influential when the valence is positive (PWOM), but messages from experts are more influential than those from non-experts when the valence is negative (NWOM). Explanations for this result are given, as are contributions to both theory and practice.
Towards a better measure of customer experience
Philipp Klaus and Stan Maklan, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 2, 2013, pp. 227-246
Defining and improving customer experience is a growing priority for market research because experience is replacing quality as the competitive battleground for marketing.
Defining and improving customer experience is a growing priority for market research because experience is replacing quality as the competitive battleground for marketing. Service quality is an outgrowth of the total quality management (TQM) movement of the 1980s and suffers from that movement’s focus on the provider rather than the value derived by customers. Researchers today state that customer experience is generated through a longer process of company–customer interaction across multiple channels, generated through both functional and emotional clues. Our research with practitioners indicates that most firms use customer satisfaction, or its derivative the Net Promoter Score, to assess their customers’ experiences. We question this practice based on the conceptual gap between these measures and the customer experience. In IJMR 53, 6 (2011), we introduce a new measure appropriate for the modern conceptualisation of customer experience: the customer experience quality (EXQ) scale. In this article we extend that work and compare EXQ’s predictive power with that of customer satisfaction. We establish that EXQ better explains and predicts both, loyalty and recommendations, than customer satisfaction.
In search of digital ROI: Best practices for including digital data in marketing mix modeling
Eric Schmidt, ARF Experiential Learning, Re:Think conference, 2013
This paper examines the challenges of including digital data in marketing mix models and suggests some best practices for determining its sales impact and ROI.
This paper examines the challenges of including digital data in marketing mix models and suggests some best practices for determining its sales impact and ROI. To better understand how to make mix decisions, it considers the unique difficulties in measuring three digital media types - online display, search (paid), and social word-of-mouth (buzz). Once the metrics have been determined, they must be combined with other sales drivers in a sales response modeling framework. Results are developed in a consistent framework with 'traditional' media to allow resource allocation decisions across the entire mix.
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