Showing posts with label international marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label international marketing. Show all posts

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Effectiveness of Push vs. Pull in Online Marketing

Marketing strategy is arguably one of the major components of running a successful business. Without customers you have no sales, revenue or reason to exist. Online marketing is still in its infancy and will continue to grow and develop for the foreseeable future. A study by Spilker-Attig & Bettel (2010) analyzed the effectiveness of push and pull strategies at an online retailer by using 2.7 million orders across different price points. 

People regularly confuse the subtle but important difference between marketing and sales. Marketing is the long-term oriented strategy and sales are short-term customer-specific transactions (Homburg, et. al., 2007).  Marketing focuses on a larger demographic and casts a wide net while sales is focused more on specific activities that pin-point customers. 

All sales are based on interactivity between the company and its customers. Connectivity is seen as an important variable in online advertisement (Roehm & Haugtvedt, 1999).  The way in which the customer is attracted to a particular product/service and how they find that offering is the connective reaction between customer and company. 

Advertisements can generally take a central or peripheral route. The central route is used when customers are highly motivated and are willing to cognitively process the ad which changes attitude toward the product (Tam & Ho, 2005). The peripheral route is taken when low motivation is present and can temporarily change the attitude. 

Advertisements seek a central or peripheral route based upon the advertising channel used. For example, push strategies are more akin to centralized routes and make use of pop up displays, emails, and other company initiated methods. Pull strategies focus on search engine ranking, sponsored stories, and other customer initiated contacts. Think of putting it in your customers face or drawing your customers’ interest. 

The authors found that there was a significant differences of effectiveness between push and pull strategies. Clicks on price comparison websites, affiliate loyalty sites, and search engines produced higher purchase responses. Both cheap and expensive products responded well to search-engine market position. Higher cost products responded to affiliate loyalty programs. 

The study helps highlight how a number of push channels do not get the response rate companies desire. The internet is an amebic system that holds hundreds of millions of users it is generally better to develop organic methods of pulling customer interest. Focusing in areas where your target market is likely to be found, catering to your customer demographics, and drawing interest through key concepts and words seems to have the highest return rates.  

Pilker-Attig, A. & Brettel, M. (2010). Effectiveness of online advertising channels: a price-level-dependent analysis. Journal of Marketing Management, 26 (3/4). 

Roehm, H., & Haugtvedt, C. (Eds.). (1999). Understanding interactivity of cyberspace advertising. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Tam, K.Y., ôc Ho, S.Y (2005). Web personalization as a persuasion strategy: An elaboration likelihood model perspective. Information Systems Research, 16(3), 271-291.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Using Marketing Databases to Foster International Growth in Multiple Businesses

The global world is complex and contains floating pieces of information that are difficult for marketing researchers and businesses to collect and understand. For most businesses it can be difficult to collect data in a way that is useful for strategic decision-making. According to a paper by Michael Anastasiou businesses should consider using shared databases that allow for higher levels of understanding and analysis of international market information (2012). 

Because the market continues to change it is important for businesses to have relevant information for making adjustments that meet new demands.  By collecting information about the international market, companies can adjust their strategies to predict and respond to market changes. 

Lack of information can be deadly for businesses and even more so for small businesses that lack capital to recover from mistakes. A deficiency in market research and technological capabilities to collect and analyze data can lead to risks of failure (Craig and Douglas, 2001). This failure occurs as a direct result of not understanding the market or how to reach potential customers. 

Research becomes more difficult when dealing with ambiguous information such as beliefs, values, ideologies, preferences and perceptions (Wheeler, 1998). To understand these nuances it is necessary to have lots of useful information and engage in content analysis. The results can be used in designing new products or adjust processes to market realities.

The author argues that by allowing for shared databases businesses can contribute to the data collection process of international markets and then exploit that information for stronger performance. Before information can become useful it must be analyzed in a proper theoretical framework.

Small businesses generally don’t have the ability to complete high levels of analysis. They may hire researchers to understand the data or use software that searches on defined characteristics. Analytical software helps ensure that businesses are using proper methodology and obtaining useful information for their purposes (Maclaran & Catterall, 2002).

The author’s point of collective gathering of information by businesses can foster greater market analysis appears correct. The use of such information by small businesses and business clusters is beneficial for those trying to reach a wider market. As each business collects information they can upload that data for other database users based upon their agreement terms.

What the author does not discuss is how a database like this can be fostered for economic growth. One can foresee business organizations (i.e. small business association or local association) including this service as part of membership, building for-profit databases, or collective sponsorship by clustered businesses within a geographical area. Each business can analyze the data on their own, use available software or hire researchers to analyze the data based upon their needs and preferences. 

Anastasiou, M. (2012). International marketing research: exploring E-marketing research and its implications. The Cyprus Journal of Sciences, 10

Craig, C. and Douglas, S. (2000). International Marketing Research, (2nd ed). Wiley, New York.

Maclaran, P. & Catterall, M. (2002). Analyzing Qualitative Data: Computer Software Program and the Marketing Research Practitioner. Qualitative Marketive Research: An International Journal, 5, pp. 28-39.

Wheeler, D. (1998). Content Analysis: An Analytical Technique for International Marketing Research. International Marketing Review, 52, pp. 39-47.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Using Cognitive Risk Engagement in Marketing Messages

Marketing is a fundamental function of any business or organization. Without a strong marketing mix and design maximization revenue will be limited. A study by Zhang & Buda (1999) tested the effectiveness of message framing and need for cognition to determine which types of people certain advertisements appeal. Most demographics are based in tangible concepts such as locality and income but the psychological depth of processing advertising has not been fully explored. 

All marketing messages are part of a communication. It follows a process where the sender encodes information, uses a medium (i.e.) media, is distorted by environmental noise (internal or external), decoded by the receiver, that elicits a response (i.e. to purchase or not purchase) (Yehsin, 1999). The depth by which person decodes and interprets information is important for determine marketing effectiveness. Those with a need for higher or lower cognitive engagement will naturally have different responses. 
Message framing is a concept that explains how the word choices are formulated to make positive or negative impressions in the listener’s minds. A positively framed message emphasizes the products advantages while a negatively framed message highlights the losses that result from not taking action. Products become evaluated on their economic gains and losses while mediated by consumer personality.

How these messages are framed has an important impact on the reaction of viewers. Prospect theory helps understand that risk aversion and risk prone behaviors are a result of how the message is framed (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979). When messages are positive viewers may think in terms of avoiding risk while when a message is negative people are likely more risk-prone in avoiding loss. Negative messages seem to have a greater influence in attracting interest. 

The need for cognition is another variable in the marketing mix. Cognition is associated with the ability to think about the message and process it deeper than those who have a lower need for cognition (Andres, et. al., 1990).  There are some people in the environment who want critical information to gain benefits and process information deeper while some process information at a lower rate and make decisions based on less logical motivations.  

Those with higher levels of education are likely to be more focused on the gains (i.e. positively framed messages) while those with less education are more respondent to negatively framed messages (Smith, 1996). Educated managers and experienced businesspersons are likely to pay attention to more critically oriented positively framed messages. A higher value product will require additional cognitive engagement when compared to lower priced convenience products. 

The researchers found through their study of 160 participants that framing has a significant influence on consumer’s response. Messages should be framed by cognitive predispositions of the target audience. Those with a lower need for cognition are more susceptible to negatively framed messages while those with a higher need for cognition are more receptive to positively framed messages. Expert opinions are supported by those who have lower cognition levels while such opinions are less useful for those with higher level cognition.  Higher cognition people focused on the message core while lower cognition people focused on the message context. 

Comment: Demographics and culture can change the way in which people understand and react to marketing messages. This leaves some difficulty finding ways to market within different cultures. Since cognitive engagement, or lack of cognitive engagement, is a universal aspect of being human it is less subject to cultural decoding bias. Business to Business marketers may want to focus on high cognition marketing (the message) while retail and convenient product markets may want to focus on low cognition marketing (the context).

Ahang, Y. & Buda, R. (1999). Moderating effects of need for cognition on responses to positively versus negatively framed advertising messages. Journal of Advertising, 28 (2).

Andrews, et. al. (1990) A Framework for Conceptualizing and Measuring the Involvement Construct in Advertising Research," Journal of Aduertmng,19 (4), 27-40.

Kahneman, Da. and TverBky, A. (1979), Prospect Theory: An Analysia of Decision Under RiBk., Econometrica, 47, 263-291.

Smith, G. (1996). Framing in Advertising and the Moderating Impact of Consumer Education. Journal of Advertising Research, 36 (5), 49-64.

Yehsin, T. (1999). Integrated marketing communications. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Creating Successful Global Marketing Strategies

Companies moving onto the global scene are conducting business around the world 24/7. Increased trade requires new research to help understand the factors that make the difference.  Research by Akkrawimut, et. al. (2011) of 154 Thailand jewelry exporters helps define what makes some companies successful global marketers. Their strategies can are used to encourage other executives to formulate their own approaches.

 Global marketing strategy is important for reaching those customers most likely to purchase products. It can be defined as the marketing activities a company uses to turn global through standardization and integration (Cavusgil, et. al 2004). Focus shifts from domestic to a dynamic global far-reaching approach. 

Companies cannot engage in global marketing without some capabilities. Teece et. al. (1997) defines these capabilities as the firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure competencies (internal and external) to address shifting market needs. The company will become more complex and adjustable to address global marketing needs of varying countries. 

Global marketing and company capacities should come with a global marketing strategy. Global marketing strategy can be defined as the role of strategic management in the integration and coordination of marketing activities across international markets (Johansson, 2000). Executives have the intelligence and ability to make good judgment out of truckloads of information contained in each market. 

Of course strategy is not likely to be successful unless there is some experience in its formation and use. Foreign marketplace experience can be conceptualized into knowledge and applied to solve problems and weigh alternative options to achieve long-term objectives (Hsu and Arun, 2008). This formalization process may be seen as applied knowledge where experience and theory work together to create transactional functionality. 

The study found that global marketing strategy and firm survival had an impact on the success of the company. The factors are executive global vision, entrepreneurial culture, technology advancement and competitive relationships. The full extent of these factors is moderated by technology adaptation and international experience. In other words, when companies have a sound global strategy and can create an entrepreneurial culture, adopt enhancing technology and can use international experience they are likely to be more successful.  

Akkrawimut, et. al. (2011). Dynamic global marketing strategy and firm survival: evidence from exporting jewelry businesses in Thailand. International Journal of Business Strategy, 11 (2).  

Cavusgil, S. et. al. (2004). The framework of a global company: A conceptualization and preliminary validation. Industrial Marketing Management,33(8):711-716.

Hsu, Chin-Chun. and Pereira, Arun. 2008. Internationalization and Performance- The Moderating Effects of Organizational Learning. OMEGA International Journal of Management Science, 36(2): 188-205.

Johansson, Johny K. 2000. Global Marketing: foreign entry, local marketing & global management. Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

Teece, David J., G. Pisano and A. Shuen. 1997. Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management. Strategic Management Journal, 8(7): 509-533.