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Research on Influence of Social Media and Emailing Marketing Strategies on Consumers Purchasing Decisions in Chinese Electronics Industry

Autor:   •  September 23, 2018  •  18,538 Words (75 Pages)  •  122 Views

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In comparison to social media marketing, email marketing is not as popular. However, Fariborzi and Zahedifard (2012) assert that email marketing has withstood the test of time; as it was the predecessor to social networking. Its lack of popularity is evinced by the reduced research on the matter. According to Ellis-Chadwick and Doherty (2012), email marketing is making a resurgence as a viable online marketing strategy. Shyandilya, Gupta and Goud (2014) attribute it to the personal relationship that email invokes between a company and its prospective consumers. Social media lacks this attribute. As such, Shyandilya, Gupta and Goud (2014) concede that email marketing as the most cost-effective marketing strategy. This is further supported by the fact that the Return on Investment (ROI) of email-marketing is better compared to other internet-based marketing strategies (Bawn and Nath, 2014). This translates to email marketing as minimal risk investments and having greater flexibility of companies. In terms of influencing consumer purchasing decisions, Bawn and Nath (2014) affirm that consumers are likely to click on email links that offer information on enticing and useful offers. Consumers are more likely to forward these emails to friends and acquaintances in a matter of seconds; extending the reach of companies (Bawn and Nath, 2014). Irrespective of this, Bawn and Nath (2014) concede that the collection of subscriber information for interested customers is often a deterrent. This research study attempts to assess the influence that both social media and email marketing strategies have on consumer purchasing decisions. The electronics industry in China is the primary focus of this study given the increased degree of proliferation of both social media and email among Chinese citizens.

1.2 Research Rationale

As identified earlier, research on social media marketing strategies is extensive due to its ubiquitous nature in modern society. However, this is not the case for emailing marketing strategies due to the misconception regarding its decline. Previous research unequivocally targets the social media marketing due to the zeal at which companies have integrated it in their marketing campaigns. Culnan, McHugh and Zubillaga (2010) assert that companies in the US extensively use social media in gaining business value. These companies are able to create Virtual Customer Environments (VCEs) to facilitate interaction with their customers. A majority of research corroborate on this fact. Hanna, Rohm and Crittenden (2011), Hoffman and Fodor (2010) Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi (2012), and Barwise, P., & Meehan, S. (2010) are quintessential examples. These research studies consensually establish that almost all companies integrate social networking in their marketing repertoire. Men and Tsai (2012) concede that this is the case with Chinese companies.

In researching on the influence of social networking on influencing marketing, Farooq and Jan (2012) observe that consumers base their purchasing decisions on marketing advertisements in social network. Facebook, in this research, is the social network of choice. Other findings include the preference of tagged-based marketing by most consumers with Farooq and Jan (2012) citing their benefits to organizations. This research, nevertheless, focuses on Pakistan as the target country. As with Farooq and Jan (2012), Ramsaran-Fowdar and Fowdar (2013) research the influential nature of Facebook in marketing. Ramsaran-Fowdar and Fowdar (2013) observe that organizations use Facebook as a tool to increase communication flow with their customers. In commenting on the position of Facebook and social media in the landscape of marketing, Ramsaran-Fowdar and Fowdar (2013) unequivocally establish that social media cannot replace traditional marketing tools. Their role is to complement these traditional tools. Lefebvre (2011), on the other hand, observe the distinguishing differences between social media marketing in developing and developed countries. In the former, social media marketing focuses on the promotion of products and services whereas in the latter it focuses on behavioural change. In achieving this, Lefebvre (2011) affirms that companies incentivize consumers with pricing strategies to influence consumer purchasing behaviour. From a thorough analysis of previous research on social media marketing, it is evident that there are several existing gaps. First and foremost, previous research neglects all other forms of social media in favour of popular ones such as Facebook and Twitter just to mention a few. With respect to China, previous research fails to focus on popular Chinese social networks. This translates to previous research being inconclusive in regards to the influential nature of social networking in the country. On this note, this research study aims at focusing on popular social networking sites in China and their impact on consumer purchasing decisions. This research takes into account that China has the largest social networking penetration in the world. In addition, the fact that Chinese consumer culture differs greatly with other Western nations; as such, established social networking strategies might be ineffectual in the country.

As earlier established, research on email marketing is insubstantial despite the statistics that support its effectiveness as an online marketing strategy. In establishing the role of email in web advertising, Ellis-Chadwick and Doherty (2012) assert that email is still impactful. Precisely, consumers are likely to click on emails from trusted and interesting senders, and whose content capture their attention. Ellis-Chadwick and Doherty (2012) observe that consumer attention flows from the subject line to the email’s content. As such, companies should aim at capturing the attention in that order. The strategies utilized in print advertisement are inapplicable in email marketing (Bawn and Nath, 2014). This research study focused on the influence of email marketing among UK e-retailers. In researching the same, Hasouneh and Alqeed (2010) observe that email marketing is a valuable tool in establishing customer relationship and loyalty. This research study focuses on the various email marketing strategies utilized by Club Sony Eriksson. Using the data from this company, it is evident that email marketing appeals to companies due to its impact on consumer conversion (Hasouneh and Algeed, 2010). Fariborzi and Zahedifard (2012), on the other hand, assess the influence of email marketing in the Iranian e-Commerce market. The adoption of an apt email-marketing strategy undoubtedly increases communication between companies and consumers in Iran. Fariborzi and Zahedifard (2012), however, elucidate that companies have to take into consideration culture of their target consumers

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