Managing Market Relationships: Methodological and Empirical Insights

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And media as the name implies, is the medium, channel, or platform on which allows for creation and exchange of user-generated contents. Social media is less than two decades in existence but have gained widespread acceptance. In , Linkedin was launched and this was followed by Myspace and Facebook in the year Due to the characteristics if Facebook, it received a wider acceptance in social circles more than others. All these have gained more than one billion users wordwide in just over ten years of existence.

As the name implies, social media networks meant as sites where individuals could socialize, meet old and new friends and interact with each other. Just as the internet was applied into business organizations from the military, so also the commercial value of social media networks became apparent and gained the attention of business managers and became the best friends of marketers in virtually all organizations with presence on the internet [ 1 ]. Relationship building and interactions are the major reasons for the adoption of social media networks by individuals, however, organizations leverage the ubiquitous usage of these sites and views them as platforms on which to interact directly with existing and new customers for their goods and services.

This is a clear paradigm shift from the traditional methods of interacting with customers as more than one customer can be reached easily and cheaply as well with just a click of the button. Personal interaction with customers instills smooth feeling of loyalty and questions are answered with ease [ 2 ]. This paper sets out to unravel the effectiveness of social media networks adopted by various business organizations can serve as a strategic tool for organizational marketing management.

The remainder of the paper is as follow: the next section reviews the related literature and this is followed by discussion, conclusion and recommendation. It is believed that this study will assist organizational marketing managers and management on the suitable platform for exposing their products and services. Review of Related Literature Social media networks are platforms or sites that facilitate the building of social relationships among people of different races and provide opportunities for them to share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections, [ 3 ].

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Social media is the medium to socialize as well as market and today, the plethora of social media networks are among the finest opportunities available to organizational marketers in their bids to connect with existing and prospective customers. The social media network community services are groups centered and considered as a social network service. Social networks are contents created online by people using highly scalable and accessible communication technologies. It represents how people discover, read and share news, information and contents. Social network applications provide users with new forms of empowerment and means of information sharing.

Social media marketers make use of social media sites to raise visibility on the internet and to promote products and services. Social media sites are useful for building social and business networks, and for exchanging ideas and knowledge. Social media sites are becoming the go-to place for consumers who want to learn more about a business. Also, much of organizational activities and profiles on social media sites can be made public meaning they can be indexed by search engines — one more way to make sure your business or organization comes up as the answer when someone is searching for a local solution to a problem.

Benefits of social media marketing Stelzner [ 6 ] in his report published by Social Media Examiners stressed that the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic. As at March , there were 1. With the explosive youth population in Nigeria, you can imagine what chunk of those statistics we boast as a nation. This conundrum is largely to due to not knowing what it takes to maintain a vibrant online-cumsocial media presence.

Bacon [ 1 ] pointed out that there are 4 basics to maintaining a successful online and social media presence. They are: Contents: Content is the backbone of social media. Unless you publish fresh, relevant information on a regular basis for your audience to consume, your online and social media platforms will not command traffic. Skills: There are potpourri related skills required to drive a vibrant social media presence ranging from graphics, research, designs, backend management, analytics, optimization, monitoring, etc.

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Not knowing which to deploy, when and how to deploy it or utilizing them wrongly is a sure road to virtual comatose or disaster. Consistency: Knowing what to do to have a winning social media presence and how to do it does not guarantee success unless such knowledge is backed by painstaking efforts and commitment to doing it day in, day out.

Lack of consistence accounts mostly for the online failure of multinationals, institutions and public figures, who have all it takes as well as the budget to be vibrant and visible online, but whose activities there are a whimper [ 8 ]. Colliander et al. Changes since study: Marketers reported increased benefits across all categories since However, a large percentage of marketers who take the time find great results. More than half of those investing as little as 6 hours per week in social media were able to build new partnerships.

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Time invested makes a difference. It is a new era in marketing where there is a shift in power from the producer to the consumer, consumers can now literally voice out their concerns either negatively or positively while at the same time making it known to millions of potential customers, making consumers the driving force of organizations, Marketers are now faced with the challenge to rethink the way they communicate with potential consumers [ 4 ].

Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build relationships. When companies join the social channels, consumers can interact with them and they can communicate with consumers directly, that interaction feels more personal to users than traditional methods of strictly outbound marketing and advertising, this personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers [ 2 ].

Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience. According to Richard [ 12 - 14 ] organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs or goals and objectives [ 15 ].

A performance measure is a defined method for observing an attribute of organizational performance [ 16 ].

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This method specifies what, when, and how data will be collected about a specific attribute of performance selected for the purpose of evaluating performance. In order to interpret performance data comparison would have to be made between observed performance at an earlier time before social media marketing with a performance criterion such as a goal, target, standard or a prior performance period after social media marketing. Social Media Networks Social network sites are defined as web-based services that allow individuals to 1 construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, 2 articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, 3 view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system [ 17 , 18 ].

Major social media networks Facebook: It is one of the largest social media networks and it was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, this network was originally meant to be only available to Harvard university students [ 19 ]. Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.

The network is translated into 37 languages it has features, which include; 1. Marketplace - allows members to post, read and respond to classified ads 2.

Managing Market Relationships: Methodological and Empirical Insights | Emerald Insight

Groups - allows members who have common interests to find each other and interact 3. Event - allows members to publicize an event, invite guests and track who plans to attend 4. Pages - allows members to create and promote a public page built around a specific topic 5.

Presence technology - allows members to see which contacts are online and chat [ 11 ] These are the following statistics of Facebook: 1. Approximately In April , Facebook launched a new portal for marketers and creative agencies to help them develop brand promotions on Facebook. Word of mouth has been one of the most important and efficient marketing strategy, organizations rely heavily on word of mouth.

Facebook helps businesses amplify their word-of-mouth marketing in the places where their customers are spending more of their time, online and on mobile devices [ 4 ]. Here is new data that illustrates the scale at which people are connecting with small businesses in U. A on Facebook. It allows for direct communication between an individual and any organization. Organizations have the chance to purchase ads on twitter, buying twitter ads is very different from newspaper ads.

Methodological and Empirical Insights

In April , Twitter made this feature even more unique by allowing advertisers to send ads only to people who mention specific keywords that may relate to their product or organization in their timelines. This feature has enabled organizations to not only handpick their target individuals but to also have an idea on the amount of prospects available.

Youtube: It is a free video sharing site and social network. It was founded by Hurley, Chen and Karim.

Managing Market Relationships: Methodological and Empirical Insights

According to an article written by Woda in the attributes of YouTube are stated below: a Third most visited site on the internet behind Google and Facebook b 2,,, Video views per day, worldwide c , Videos are uploaded each day d The average internet user spends seconds on You Tube per day Communication through YouTube was enabled through the comment section which appears under every video. Businesses place ads and can actually see what consumers think of the advertisement itself, this is really new for marketers, normally when an advertisement is sent out a marketer or the business has no idea how it is perceived by the consumer the main aim at that point was just to create awareness [ 22 ].

This new method of communication has left organizations venerable to backlash or criticism from consumers who may feel some adverts are inappropriate or offensive to a particular gender, race or social status.

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    There are pre-roll ads, which run before videos and may be able to skip so the advertiser only pays when someone watches at least 30 seconds of the ad. Brands can also buy display advertising on the site and ads which appear at the bottom of the screen during video [ 22 ]. Social media networks impact on organizations In this modern day the internet is singlehandedly the fastest way to gain consumer attention and at a wide reach, one of the ways in which organizations have found to connect with their consumers is through the social media.

    Businesses have been well educated of ways in which they can use social media sites as a stepping stone to create brand awareness or campaign to the consumers. Word of mouth: Social media platforms provide the perfect opportunity to take advantage of word of mouth and to see it spread. Social media is growing at its fastest rate in developing countries.

    Kietzmann [ 4 ] stressed that consumers feel more comfortable regarding opinions of their peers than paid advertisement by businesses. Videos can also act as reference for review of products and services through YouTube, which in many cases is then shared and disseminated via various other social media websites these reviews can act as bases for consumer buying decisions.

    As a result, companies can and do provide products to popular YouTube users to review for their subscribers as well as create their own branded YouTube channels with branded videos about their products [ 21 ]. Communicating with customers: Social media is not without its demerits [ 18 ] but organizations can use it as an advantage by communicating with the dis-satisfied consumers directly thereby taking full advantage of the social media and can promise to change or improve the product they are offering.

    Organizations have even taken this opportunity to ask its consumers opinions about upcoming events concerning their brands especially consumer based organizations.