Social media and the customer journey:  What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers?
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Social media and the customer journey: What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers?

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Social media and the customer journey:

Social media and the customer journey:
What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers?

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    Social media and the customer journey:  What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers? Social media and the customer journey: What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers? Presentation Transcript

    • Social media and the customer journey: What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers? @JoannaHalton
    • The Agenda: For The Next 30 Minutes •  How I picked my dissertation topic •  Research objectives •  The Dreaded Literature Review: Highlights thereof –  A speedy run through to fit it all in! •  Research Design –  Theory –  Practice •  Presentation of Data •  Discussion •  Conclusion •  Questions? There may or may not be furry critters peppered throughout this presentation.
    • Dissertation Topic: The Decision I picked my dissertation using an algebraic and funnel approach. Social Media + (Purchase Decision + Customer Journeys) = It. My dissertation topic was: “Social media and the customer journey: What role does it play in the buying cycle for UK consumers?”
    • Dissertation Topic: The Decision My choice was supported by 4 reasons: 1)  It was relevant to me and had applicability to my career 2)  Social media is growing all the time, (Facebook now has over a 1bn users), so it seemed like a topic that would be of use for future researchers 3)  There isn’t that much about it out there in an academic capacity already 4)  THE BIGGY. This really interested me. This is crucial. You’re going to be doing this a loooonnnng time. You have to have a natural interest in it or…
    • As tempting as it is, it won’t get your dissertation done. Trust me, I know.
    • Research Objectives •  In order to answer my overarching question (or attempt to!), I thought about the different component parts of the investigation. •  Breaking this down into sections laid the foundation of what I was going to cover off in my dissertation and then provided a yard stick for what I included and what I didn’t. •  If it didn’t answer one of the objectives, it was outta here!
    • Research Objectives 1.  Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media. 2.  Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle. 3.  Investigate whether social influence can apply through social media and its affect on preference and likeliness of purchase 4.  Investigate how accepting users are of messages about products or brands through their social networks. 5.  Determine whether the social network chosen affects the likelihood that users will purchase or share.
    • Literature Review: The Cool Bits Well, as cool as they’re going to get…
    • 1. Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media
    • 1. Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media
    • 1. Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media
    • 1. Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media Figure 1: Traditional Purchase Funnel With Previously Assumed Brand/Product Filtering Process (Edelman, 2010) TTHENTHE FUNNEL METAPHOR For years, marketers assumed that consumers started with a large number of potential brands in mind and methodically winnowed their choices until they’d decided which one to buy. After purchase, their relationship with the brand typically focused on the use of the product or service itself. NOWTHE CONSUMER DECISION JOURNEY New research shows that rather than systematically narrowing their choices, consumers add and subtract brands from a group under consideration during an extended evaluation phase. After purchase, MANY BRANDS FEWER BRANDS FINAL CHOICE BUYBUY s upended how consumers engage transforming the economics of mar- ng obsolete many of the function’s egies and structures. For marketers, oing business is unsustainable. s: Not long ago, a car buyer would are down the available choices un- the one that best met his criteria. reel him in and make the sale. The ship with both the dealer and the would typically dissipate after the oday, consumers are promiscuous elationships: They connect with —through new media channels be- acturer’s and the retailer’s control ge—and evaluate a shifting array of anding the pool before narrowing it. e these consumers may remain ag- ed, publicly promoting or assailing ey’ve bought, collaborating in the ment, and challenging and shaping till want a clear brand promise and lue. What has changed is when—at ts—they are most open to influence, n interact with them at those points. keting strategies that put the lion’s ces into building brand awareness OCIAL MEDIA AND THE NEW RULES OF BRANDING
    • 1. Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media
    • 1. Assess whether traditional buying process and marketing models can be applied to social media But this doesn’t have all the steps! What about customer loyalty I hear you cry!
    • Yay! We did it!
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle Um, no. Certainly not in this era of social media and WOM. With recent advances in technology, growing connectivity and increasing numbers of consumers shopping online, the consumer journey is being impacted in ways which weren’t even thought possible previously. -  (Owyang, 2012)
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle Earlier purchase funnels were based on the assumption that consumers narrow their options down from the initial consideration set, by filtering out unsuitable options, to make a final selection to purchase. In contrast, the Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ) model suggests that consumers do have an initial consideration set, but rather than systematically narrowing this down, the set is dynamic and items are added and subtracted during research in an extended evaluation phase (Edelman, 2010).
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle Two aspects of this make social media more applicable than ever before: 1)  The importance of post-purchase: one person’s review is another person’s research or ‘closer’ 2)  The shift in balance between companies ‘pushing’ messaging and consumers actively ‘pulling’ it from various sources: People are doing their own research and evaluation, turning to The Internet for further information, from reviews, forums and social networks.
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle Two aspects of this make social media more applicable than ever before: 1)  The importance of post-purchase: one person’s review is another person’s research or ‘closer’ 2)  The shift in balance between companies ‘pushing’ messaging and consumers actively ‘pulling’ it from various sources: People are turning to The Internet for further information, from reviews, forums and social networks.
    • 2. Discover how social media may affect the customer journey and its effects on decision-making at different points in the buying cycle This researcher surmised there are SIX points that could be affected by social media in the purchase decision: •  Trigger: Creation of desire or need / Awareness •  Consider: McInerney et al (2009) found that, “Being part of a consumer’s “initial consideration set” significantly increases the likelihood of purchase”. •  Evaluate: They will review their original consideration set and begin to research further brands and products that they categorise as similar but may have additional attributes or features they desire; adding and dropping items from the consideration set as they progress (McKinsey Quarterly, 2009). •  Buy: Take action. Either pre-meditated or impulse upon seeing in feed. •  Enjoy and advocate: Post-purchase evaluation or promotion •  Bond and Loyalty Loop: “Customer’s engagement with a brand doesn’t necessarily begin or end with purchase” (Edelman, 2010)
    • 3. Investigate whether social influence can apply through social media and its affect on preference and likeliness of purchase Strutton et al (2011) states, “Product, service or branding information obtained from family members, friends, associates and neighbours is more influential than information received through marketer-controlled promotional methods." In essence, you trust friends and peers. Not brands.
    • 3. Investigate whether social influence can apply through social media and its affect on preference and likeliness of purchase
    • 3. Investigate whether social influence can apply through social media and its affect on preference and likeliness of purchase
    • 3. Investigate whether social influence can apply through social media and its affect on preference and likeliness of purchase “Positive WOM is a powerful force driving recommendation and purchase intent”." - (Keller, 2007)
    • 4. Investigate how accepting users are of messages about products or brands through their social networks. I thought it would be…..
    • 4. Investigate how accepting users are of messages about products or brands through their social networks. Actually, it depends.
    • 4. Investigate how accepting users are of messages about products or brands through their social networks. •  In some cases, Taylor et al (2011) suggests, social media users will not only accept advertising content but actively promote it; by sharing it with their own audience. •  They go on to describe how consumer acceptance of messaging is key; overly commercialised communication or spamming risks negative consequences. •  Marketers will want to avoid too many commercial messages as Greenfield (cited in Cauley, 2011) suggests, “consumers shy away from what they view as commercialism”. •  People like to be entertained. Entertainment exhibited almost four times more strength of influence on favourable consumer attitudes towards [social media content from brands] than the second most influential predictor variable ‘informative’ ” (Taylor et al, 2011).
    • 5. Determine whether the social network chosen affects the likelihood that users will purchase or share There wasn’t much.
    • Research Design 1.  Theory •  This project is an inductive study to discover if and how social media affects the buying process. •  This research approach provides a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data. •  In this respect, the researcher is adopting whichever approach works in order to “best enable the answering of the research question” (Saunders et al, 2009). •  A pragmatic logical induction approach is best suited to the purposes of discovery; blending qualitative and quantitative philosophies.
    • Research Design 2.  Practice •  For the purposes of this project the research questions were addressed in two studies: combining both an empirical and ethnographic study. •  Due to cost and time restrictions, the empirical study has been conducted in the form of an online questionnaire. •  I used Survey Monkey, paid for pro and offered a prize draw of a £25 Amazon voucher to encourage participation.
    • Research Design 2.  Practice •  The ethnographic research took the form of an online audit of four brands, Facebook pages that had an active, and popular social media presence over a period of fourteen days; allowing for each day of the week to feature twice so the average post rate was more accurate •  Bryman and Bell (2011) describe web-based ethnography as a “marketing research method that investigates computer-mediated communications in connection with market-related topics” referring to it as ‘netnography’. •  Content was ranked using the categories defined by IBM (2011) and the content themes that influenced consumer attitude as described by Taylor (2011).
    • Presentation of Data: Empirical •  I wanted to find out about my respondents •  I also wanted to be able to cross reference age, gender and employment •  Survey Monkey lets you do this with pro
    • Presentation of Data: Ethnographic
    • Discussion (condensed) Ethnographic The survey was originally sent out to the researcher’s 1,850 Twitter users and 597 Facebook fans, as well as their agency of over 150. Due to the nature of social media, it is difficult to work out how many members of the researcher’s network were online when the links were published and therefore, the true response rate is problematic to calculate. As the survey was electronic, it is possible to see that 40 of the agency colleagues and 109 members of her social network responded. 149 participants started the survey and 126 completed it, giving a completion rate of 85 per cent. The demographic information taken in the survey revealed that a gender split of 39 per cent female to 61 per cent male. The average age of respondents was 31 years old with 57 per cent being between 20 and 30 years old. The majority (53 per cent) were employed in marketing, advertising and PR, this is reflective of the sample from both the agency and the researcher’s network. In addition to this the survey of social networks utilised versus frequency used showed that the most of the audience had a good grasp of social media with 60 per cent using Facebook more than twice a day and 50 per cent doing the same with Twitter. This supports the assumption that as the respondents work within this sector they are likely to be savvier than the general population.
    • Discussion (condensed) Ethnographic The researcher’s choice of channel for the ethnographic survey was supported by the survey, as Facebook was the most popular social channel with 79 per cent of respondents reporting that they used it daily or more; 60 per cent used it more than twice a day. One issue of validity that was apparent was the subjective nature of assigning categories to posts as the assessment of this quite subjective. One cannot be sure if the researcher’s definition of ‘Exclusive Content” matches IBM’s, or equally whether her valuation of an entertainment post is the same as Taylor’s (2011).
    • Discussion (condensed) Combined Analysis I related the discussion back to my initial objectives and broke down the study and findings into sections. 1.  Social Media’s Influence On Purchase Intent and The Buying Cycle 2.  Reasons Why Respondents Follow Brands on Social Media 3.  How Consumers React To Content Posted By Brands
    • Discussion (condensed) Combined Analysis 1.  Social Media’s Influence On Purchase Intent and The Buying Cycle •  In the empirical study 93 per cent of respondents said they had become aware of a product or brand through social media with 77 per cent claiming they discovered new products or brands through social media frequently (stated as once a quarter) or more; of those 47 per cent believed it occurred once a month or more. •  Social media seems to blur the lines between awareness and evaluation with 92 per cent of participants claiming to have clicked on a link to find out more after becoming aware of a product or brand. •  90 per cent of respondents went further saying that they had been made aware of a product and gone on to do further research about it, even if that didn’t end in a purchase. •  82 per cent of respondents saying they went on to purchase the item and 81 per cent saying that they saw a product or brand and went on to purchase a similar or related item which wasn’t the one they initially saw.
    • Discussion (condensed) Combined Analysis 2.  Reasons Why Respondents Follow Brands on Social Media
    • Discussion (condensed) Combined Analysis 3.  How Consumers React To Content Posted By Brands
    • Conclusion Combining literature review with study. Do my findings support the research or conflict? What are the limitations? E.g While the research indicates that respondents have been made aware of products through social media, it does not state whether this is through peer or brand communication. OR the researcher’s network of industry peers, social media savvy individuals.
    • Conclusion In conclusion, this research found that social media could play a part in the consumer decision journey at various phases and that peer recommendation can positively influence preference and likeliness of purchase.
    • Questions? @JoannaHalton