BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Business Horizons (2009) xxx, xxx—xxx                                                            ...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 92                                                                                      W.G. Mango...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix                                        ...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 94                                                                               W.G. Mangold, D.J...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix                                        ...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 96                                                                                   W.G. Mangold,...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix                                        ...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 98                                                                                  W.G. Mangold, ...
BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix                                        ...
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C8 mangold & fauld social media[1]

  1. 1. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Business Horizons (2009) xxx, xxx—xxx www.elsevier.com/locate/bushorSocial media: The new hybrid element of thepromotion mixW. Glynn Mangold a,*, David J. Faulds ba College of Business & Public Affairs, Murray State University, Murray, KY 42071, U.S.A.b College of Business Administration, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, U.S.A. KEYWORDS Abstract The emergence of Internet-based social media has made it possible for Integrated marketing one person to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of other people about communications; products and the companies that provide them. Thus, the impact of consumer-to- Social media; consumer communications has been greatly magnified in the marketplace. This article Consumer-generated argues that social media is a hybrid element of the promotion mix because in a media; traditional sense it enables companies to talk to their customers, while in a nontra- Promotion mix ditional sense it enables customers to talk directly to one another. The content, timing, and frequency of the social media-based conversations occurring between consumers are outside managers’ direct control. This stands in contrast to the traditional integrated marketing communications paradigm whereby a high degree of control is present. Therefore, managers must learn to shape consumer discussions in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s mission and performance goals. Methods by which this can be accomplished are delineated herein. They include providing consumers with networking platforms, and using blogs, social media tools, and promotional tools to engage customers. # 2009 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. All rights reserved.1. Social media, the promotion mix, mix–—advertising, personal selling, public relations,and integrated marketing publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion–—to produce a unified customer-focused message and,communications therefore, achieve various organizational objec- tives (Boone & Kurtz, 2007, p. 488).Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the However, the tools and strategies for communi-guiding principle organizations follow to communi- cating with customers have changed significantlycate with their target markets. Integrated market- with the emergence of the phenomenon known asing communications attempts to coordinate and social media, also referred to as consumer-generat-control the various elements of the promotional ed media. This form of media ‘‘describes a variety of new sources of online information that are created, * Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: glynn.mangold@murraystate.edu initiated, circulated and used by consumers intent(W.G. Mangold), djfaul01@louisville.edu (D.J. Faulds). on educating each other about products, brands,0007-6813/$ — see front matter # 2009 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2009.03.002
  2. 2. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 92 W.G. Mangold, D.J. Fauldsservices, personalities, and issues’’ (Blackshaw & Therefore, many managers lack a full appreciationNazzaro, 2004, p. 2). for social media’s role in the company’s promotional Social media encompasses a wide range of online, efforts. Even though social media is magnifying theword-of-mouth forums including blogs, company- impact consumer-to-consumer conversations havesponsored discussion boards and chat rooms, in the marketplace, methods for shaping those con-consumer-to-consumer e-mail, consumer product versations have not yet been articulated.or service ratings websites and forums, Internet The purpose of this article is threefold. First, wediscussion boards and forums, moblogs (sites con- propose that social media be considered a hybridtaining digital audio, images, movies, or photo- component of the promotional mix and therefore begraphs), and social networking websites, to name incorporated as an integral part of the organiza-a few. As illustrated by Table 1, social media outlets tion’s IMC strategy. The second purpose of the arti-are numerous and varied. cle is to compare and contrast the traditional The 21st century is witnessing an explosion of communications paradigm that relied on the estab-Internet-based messages transmitted through these lished promotional mix, elements which were de-media. They have become a major factor in influ- veloped and refined over the past 100 years, withencing various aspects of consumer behavior includ- the new communications paradigm which incorpo-ing awareness, information acquisition, opinions, rates social media. Finally, we discuss methods byattitudes, purchase behavior, and post-purchase which marketing managers can shape the consumer-communication and evaluation. Unfortunately, the to-consumer conversations which are now drivingpopular business press and academic literature of- the marketplace to a greater extent than everfers marketing managers very little guidance for before.incorporating social media into their IMC strategies. 2. Social media’s hybrid role in the Table 1. Examples of social media promotion mix Social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, It has long been acknowledged in marketing manage- Faceparty) Creativity works sharing sites: ment circles that successful IMC strategies clearly Video sharing sites (YouTube) reflect the values articulated in an organization’s Photo sharing sites (Flickr) mission statement and contribute to the fulfillment Music sharing sites (Jamendo.com) of the organization’s performance goals. To accom- Content sharing combined with assistance plish these objectives, the elements of the promotion (Piczo.com) mix are carefully coordinated so the information General intellectual property sharing sites transmitted to the marketplace through these ele- (Creative Commons) ments consistently communicates a unified message User-sponsored blogs (The Unofficial Apple Weblog, that broadly reflects the organization’s fundamental Cnet.com) values. Company-sponsored websites/blogs (Apple.com, For example, the promotional efforts conducted PG’s Vocalpoint) Company-sponsored cause/help sites (Dove’s by Procter and Gamble (PG) or General Electric Campaign for Real Beauty, click2quit.com) (GE) illustrate the underlying values of these organ- Invitation-only social networks (ASmallWorld.net) izations as articulated in their respective mission Business networking sites (LinkedIn) statements and statements of strategic principles Collaborative websites (Wikipedia) (General Electric, 2008; Procter and Gamble, 2008). Virtual worlds (Second Life) When these two organizations entered the social Commerce communities (eBay, Amazon.com, media arena, they carefully crafted their commu- Craig’s List, iStockphoto, Threadless.com) nications with the marketplace to consistently re- Podcasts (‘‘For Immediate Release: The Hobson flect their organizational values. By doing so, both and Holtz Report’’) organizations acknowledged the importance of in- News delivery sites (Current TV) corporating social media into their IMC strategies Educational materials sharing (MIT OpenCourseWare, MERLOT) and promotional efforts. Open Source Software communities (Mozilla’s GE and PG’s use of social media demonstrates spreadfirefox.com, Linux.org) that this media has two interrelated promotional Social bookmarking sites allowing users to roles in the marketplace. First, social media enables recommend online news stories, music, videos, companies to talk to their customers, and second, it etc. (Digg, del.icio.us, Newsvine, Mixx it, Reddit) enables customers to talk to one another. Social media also enables customers to talk to companies;
  3. 3. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix 3however, this role is market research-related rather communication, and utilizes multi-media formatsthan promotion-related and, therefore, is outside (audio and visual presentations) and numerous de-the scope of this article. livery platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and blogs, to The first role of social media is consistent with the name a few), with global reach capabilities. Theuse of traditional IMC tools. That is, companies can emergence of a highly educated, historically afflu-use social media to talk to their customers through ent, and an increasingly skeptical and demandingsuch platforms as blogs, as well as Facebook and consumer population facilitates its acceptance inMySpace groups. These media may either be com- the marketplace.pany-sponsored or sponsored by other individuals or Consumers’ ability to communicate with one an-organizations. other limits the amount of control companies have The second promotion-related role of social me- over the content and dissemination of information.dia is unique: customers can use it to communicate Christopher Vollmer and Geoffrey Precourt (2008)with one another. In his book The New Influencers, underscore this in their book, Always On. As theyGillin (2007) points out that ‘‘Conventional market- note, in the era of social media ‘‘consumers are ining wisdom has long held that a dissatisfied customer control; they have greater access to information andtells ten people. But that is out of date. In the new greater command over media consumption thanage of social media, he or she has the tools to tell 10 ever before’’ (p. 5).million’’ (p. 4) consumers virtually overnight. Gillin This shift in the information control needle isillustrates this potential power by recounting the dramatically influencing the way consumers receivestory of Vincent Ferrari, a blogger who posted an and react to market information (Ramsey, 2006;audio recording of his encounter with an AOL cus- Singh, Veron-Jackson, Cullinane, 2008). Conse-tomer service representative. The representative’s quently, marketing managers are seeking ways topersistent attempts to convince Ferrari not to can- incorporate social media into their IMC strategiescel his account offended listeners’ sensibilities to (Li Bernoff, 2008). The traditional communica-the extent that approximately 300,000 of them tions paradigm, which relied on the classic promo-requested to download the audio file. The story tional mix to craft IMC strategies, must give way to awent ‘‘viral’’ as it was picked up by thousands of new paradigm that includes all forms of social mediaother bloggers and websites. It eventually drew the as potential tools in designing and implementing IMCattention of such mainstream media as The New strategies. Contemporary marketers cannot ignoreYork Post, The New York Times, and NBC. It can be the phenomenon of social media because it haspresumed that AOL’s management was embar- rapidly become the de facto modus operandi forrassed, to say the least. consumers who are disseminating information on In a sense, this second role of social media–— products and services.enabling customers to talk to one another–—is anextension of traditional word-of-mouth communica-tion. But as the Vincent Ferrari story illustrates, the 3. Paradigms: Traditional vs. newuniqueness lies in the magnitude of the communi- communicationscation. Instead of telling a few friends, consumersnow have the ability to tell hundreds or thousands of In the traditional communications paradigm, theother people with a few keystrokes! The question for elements of the promotional mix are coordinatedmanagers becomes: ‘‘How can this power be har- to develop an IMC strategy, and the content, frequen-nessed for the benefit of the organization?’’ While cy, timing, and medium of communications are dic-companies cannot directly control consumer-to- tated by the organization in collaboration with itsconsumer messages, they do have the ability to paid agents (advertising agencies, marketing re-influence the conversations that consumers have search firms, and public relations consultants).with one another. Methods for accomplishing this The flow of information outside the boundaries ofare presented in section 4. the paradigm has generally been confined to face-to- We argue that social media is a hybrid element of face, word-of-mouth communications among individ-the promotion mix because it combines character- ual consumers, which has had minimal impact on theistics of traditional IMC tools (companies talking to dynamics of the marketplace due to its limited dis-customers) with a highly magnified form of word-of- semination (Mayzlin, 2006). This paradigm has servedmouth (customers talking to one another) whereby as a framework for developing IMC strategies duringmarketing managers cannot control the content and the post-World War II era (Muniz Schau, 2007). Itsfrequency of such information. Social media is also a long shelf life appears to be largely due to the highhybrid in that it springs from mixed technology and degree of control over the communications processmedia origins that enable instantaneous, real-time that it affords businesses.
  4. 4. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 94 W.G. Mangold, D.J. Faulds However, in the era of social media, marketing Consumers are turning away from the traditionalmanagers’ control over the content, timing, and sources of advertising: radio, television, maga-frequency of information is being severely eroded. zines, and newspapers. Consumers also consis-In the new paradigm, information about products tently demand more control over their mediaand services also originates in the marketplace. This consumption. They require on-demand and im-information is based on the experiences of individ- mediate access to information at their own con-ual consumers and is channeled through the tradi- venience (Rashtchy et al., 2007; Vollmer tional promotion mix. However, various social media Precourt, 2008).platforms, many of which are completely indepen-dent of the producing/sponsoring organization or its Consumers are turning more frequently to variousagents, magnify consumers’ ability to communicate types of social media to conduct their informationwith one another. This ‘‘groundswell’’ (Li Bernh- searches and to make their purchasing decisionsoff, 2008) has profoundly affected all aspects of (Lempert, 2006; Vollmer Precourt, 2008).consumer behavior, and has bestowed consumerswith power they have not previously experienced Social media is perceived by consumers as a morein the marketplace. trustworthy source of information regarding In the new communications paradigm (see products and services than corporate-sponsoredFigure 1), marketing managers should recognize communications transmitted via the traditionalthe power and critical nature of the discussions elements of the promotion mix (Foux, 2006).being carried on by consumers using social media.The impact of the interactions among consumers in The above trends have severely diminished thethe social media space on the development and usefulness and practicality of the traditional com-execution of IMC strategies is illustrated by the munications paradigm as a framework for develop-following points: ing IMC strategies. The new communications paradigm, on the other hand, requires several im- The Internet has become a mass media vehicle for portant changes in management’s attitudes and consumer-sponsored communications. It now rep- assumptions about IMC strategy formulation. First, resents the number one source of media for con- marketing managers must accept the reality that a sumers at work and the number two source of vast amount of information about their products media at home. The Internet reaches more than and services is being communicated by individual 60% of all United States consumers for an average consumers to other consumers via social media weekly usage rate of more than 100 minutes forums. Second, consumers are responding to this (Rashtchy, Kessler, Bieber, Shindler, Tzeng, information in ways that directly influence all 2007). aspects of consumer behavior, from informationFigure 1. The new communications paradigm
  5. 5. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix 5acquisition to post-purchase expressions of satisfac- moms.com. These sites provide various types oftion and dissatisfaction. Third, consumers are turn- information for mothers and parents, along withing away from the traditional elements of the opportunities for interaction through messagepromotion mix; in particular, they are reducing their boards, forums, and chat rooms. Companies thatreliance on advertising as a source of information to can benefit from communicating with moms mayguide their purchase decision-making. Finally, man- want to have their employees contribute to theagers who are accustomed to exerting a high level of conversations that are occurring there, under con-control over company-to-consumer messages must ditions of full-disclosure. Such sites may also providelearn to talk with their customers, as opposed to excellent sponsorship opportunities.talking at them, therefore influencing the discus- Networking opportunities do not have to be basedsions taking place in the social media space. in social media in order to be effective. For exam- ple, Harley-Davidson sponsors rallies for motorcycle enthusiasts who are members of the Harley Owners4. Shaping the discussions Group1, and Jeep sponsors Jeep Jamborees for off- road enthusiasts. A recent Harry Potter book wasAs indicated earlier, social media has amplified the released in bookstores at 12:01 a.m. to adoring fanspower of consumer-to-consumer conversations in who had lined up for hours waiting to purchase thethe marketplace by enabling one person to commu- book. The experience of participating with like-nicate with literally hundreds or thousands of other minded individuals in these highly anticipatedconsumers quickly and with relatively little effort. events becomes memorable and is likely to beManagers cannot directly control these conversa- talked about for years to come. Many of thesetions. However, they can use the methods delineat- individuals will choose to talk about their experi-ed below to influence and shape these discussions in ences through social media as well as through tradi-a manner that is consistent with the organization’s tional word-of-mouth.mission and performance goals. These methods have The Harley-Davidson rallies and Jeep Jamborees,been gleaned from a review of the popular business like many networking opportunities, are inter-press and academic literature, as well as from dis- twined with opportunities for consumers to experi-cussions with representatives from advertising ence the companies’ products, as well as get toagencies, public relations firms, and corporations know the people who use them. Such experiencesthat have begun to use social media successfully. can also be vicarious in nature. Toyota provides a link from their website to a blog written by a father4.1. Provide networking platforms and son team who have embarked on annual 5,000 mile adventures to the Arctic Circle, Baja Mexico,Consumers like to network with people who have and other unusual destinations in their Toyota FJinterests and desires that are similar to their own. Cruiser (Toyota, 2008a). Readers can respond toOrganizations can leverage this desire by creating each blog by posting their own observations andcommunities of like-minded individuals. These com- insights. They can also post their own stories frommunities can center on shared interests and values. the road at www.ToyotaOwnersOnline.com.For example, Unilever’s Dove (2007) brand beautyproducts launched a ‘‘Campaign for Real Beauty’’ to 4.2. Use blogs and other social mediabring together like-minded people who wish to en- tools to engage customershance girls’ and women’s self-esteem by helping toestablish realistic standards of beauty. Roadrunner Consumers feel more engaged with products andRecords’ website, www.roadrunnerrecords.com, in- organizations when they are able to submit feed-cludes a forum section to bring together fans of rock back. For example, Toyota enables its customers toand metal music. The Barack Obama, Hillary Clin- provide feedback on a broad range of issues via itston, and John McCain 2008 presidential campaigns ‘‘Open Road Blog’’ (Toyota, 2008b). The feedbackused their online presence to gather supporters comes in the form of criticism, accolades, andtogether and provide information. Facebook groups helpful suggestions. Taken as a whole, this feedbackand other forms of online communication have contributes to a sense of community in which honest,sprung up around Steven Spielberg’s movie Indiana open communications are encouraged and customerJones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and engagement is enhanced. Interestingly, Toyota iden-other films. tifies the constituency of its blog as extending beyond Similarly, a number of online communities exist customers to include other bloggers, journalists,to serve the needs of new mothers, including Baby- automotive enthusiasts, consumers, and even theirZone.com, Michiganmoms.com, and Kentuckiana- competitors.
  6. 6. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 96 W.G. Mangold, D.J. Faulds Roadrunner Records’ website enables consumers Jamba, Inc. and Dole Food Company have joinedto submit feedback through a poll section in which together to ask customers to submit their favoritereaders respond to various questions posed by the smoothie recipes to the jambafruit.com website.website administrators. It also enables and encour- Entrants are eligible for a ‘‘Healthy Escape Get-ages fans to review concerts and albums, and to away’’ at a Four Seasons hotel in Westlake Village,even submit photographs and various forms of visual California, where they will be offered spa treat-art. ments and various healthy living consultations. The 7-Eleven convenience store chain successfully drove4.3. Use both traditional and Internet- its Slurpee product’s 18-24 year-old target marketbased promotional tools to engage to the Slurpee.com website through a joint promo-customers tion with Guitar Hero, a product which focuses on a similar target market. In this campaign, buyers ofPeople are more likely to communicate through both the Full Throttle Frozen Blast Slurpee product wereword-of-mouth and social media when they are able to go to Slurpee.com to enter codes found onengaged with the product, service, or idea. This their drink cups. Winning codes were randomlyengagement may come naturally for supporters of selected, and the winners received such prizes ascauses, political candidates, and trendy new tech- ‘‘Guitar Hero: Aerosmith’’ games, Xbox 360 con-nological products. However, it can also be creative- soles, Microsoft Points, and posters featuring thely stimulated for products and services which promoted products.generate less psychological involvement of custom- Similarly, FLW Outdoors (2008) is a major orga-ers. nizer of fishing tournaments, including the well- For example, Pepsi (2008) uses its Pepsi Stuff known Wal-Mart FLW tour. It also sponsors the $1online customer loyalty program to engage consum- million online FLW Fantasy Fishing competition iners by enabling them to redeem points for MP3 conjunction with the Wal-Mart FLW tour. Partici-downloads, television show downloads, CDs, DVDs, pants in the online competition identify the profes-electronics, and apparel. Campaign participants are sional anglers they believe will place highest in eachalso allowed to participate in sweepstakes drawings Wal-Mart FLW Tour event. The winners of the Fan-for larger prizes, such as home theater systems and tasy Fishing competition are those who most suc-trip giveaways. Coca Cola (2008) has a similar cam- cessfully select the pro anglers.paign entitled ‘‘My Coke Rewards.’’ Enabling consumers to see others using the prod- Contests can be used to engage customers. uct can entertain and engage customers while com-Procter and Gamble’s Gillette brand sponsored municating product benefits. BMW utilizes both itsthe $30,000 GillettePhenom contest, in which on- own website, www.bmw.com, and YouTube to pro-line participants were asked to create a short video vide breathtaking pictures and videos of BMW auto-showcasing their skill in a ball sport. The sport could mobiles in use. Some companies have encouraged‘‘include the biggies–—basketball, baseball, soccer, consumers to submit photos or recorded footage offootball, golf, tennis–—the less obvious ones–—vol- the product in action. A recent promotion forleyball, water polo, cricket, rugby, croquet–—and Procter and Gamble’s quick-clean product Swiffereven the foosballs and Super Balls of the world.’’ (2008) challenged consumers to create short videosVideos were submitted and evaluated by a panel of describing ‘‘how they left their old cleaning methodjudges after being uploaded via the individual’s for a new romance with Swiffer.’’ The contest itselfYouTube account. The top 25 videos were then voted drew a considerable amount of attention. Then, theon by website viewers to determine the ultimate top 10 videos were posted to YouTube and consumerswinner. were allowed to vote on the winner. Such online voting gives Internet users a sense of Online games provide a natural and obvious ven-ownership and increased engagement. American ue for engaging and entertaining. Mattel (2008)Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and similar television makes available a variety of online games for itsshows have successfully engaged their viewers by Hot Wheels1 line of toys. These games are designedenabling them to either go online to vote for their to entertain its target audience while selling thefavorite performer or submit their votes via text product. ‘‘Send to a friend’’ links make it easy to tellmessaging. Dove’s 2007 ‘‘Campaign for Real Beauty’’ others about the games. In addition, a link forenabled consumers to create advertisements parents explains Mattel’s policies regarding thewhich were voted on by a panel of judges. Online games and suggests parental guidelines for thoseviewers were then allowed to vote on the five semi- concerned about their child’s Internet safety.finalists, with the winning entry being shown during Warner Brothers did a masterful job of engagingthe 2008 Oscars (Greenberg, 2007). its young audience in preparation for the release of
  7. 7. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 9Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix 7its 2008 film The Dark Knight. The studio used an 4.6. Provide exclusivityapproach sometimes referred to as ‘‘alternate real-ity gaming’’ (ARGN, 2006) to present a complicated People like to feel special. Feelings of being specialconcoction of multiple websites, a virtual scavenger can be produced by offering products, information,hunt, a non-virtual scavenger hunt, and role playing and special deals that are available exclusively to ato keep the audience engaged and talking to others subset of consumers. For example, Unilever offersabout the movie. its readers coupons and product samples from Dove’s ‘‘Campaign for Real Beauty.’’ Roadrunner4.4. Provide information Records enables online participants to subscribe to weekly e-newsletters and to preorder new al-Consumers are more likely to talk about companies bums. It also provides daily news pertaining to theand products when they feel they know a lot heavy metal music community and an updated listabout them. For example, Mattel’s website, of heavy metal tours. Participants are also allowedwww.mattel.com, is replete with information to hear new songs before they are released to theabout its many toy products. While much of the general public and to watch various artists’ musicinformation is intended for the children who use the videos.toys, an unobtrusive ‘‘Grown-Ups Parents’’ sec-tion offers valuable information about the com- 4.7. Design products with talking pointspany’s website practices and things parents can and consumers’ desired self images indo to keep their children safe while they are online. mind Procter and Gamble’s ‘‘Ask Julia’’ portion of itswebsite, www.pg.com, provides detailed informa- Products and services should be designed with talk-tion on a variety of subjects that may be of ing points in mind, to stimulate word-of-mouth andinterest to consumers of the company’s products. social-media-based conversations. For example, inSubject categories include personal and beauty, his book The Anatomy of Buzz, Emmanuel Rosenhouse and home, health and wellness, baby and (2002) pointed out that Apple intentionally designedfamily, and pet nutrition and care. Similarly, the the iMac to be different from Windows-based per-‘‘Science Behind the Brands’’ portion of the web- sonal computers. He also suggested that digitalsite provides detailed information about the com- cameras should be designed to look different frompany’s product innovations, its research and traditional film cameras in order to leverage thedevelopment efforts, and the scientific foundations power of word-of-mouth communication. Similarly,for products in such categories as hair care and JetBlue Airlines has stimulated a considerabledandruff treatment, skin care, beauty care, and amount of communication by making leather seatsfabric and home care. and televisions available to its customers, a practice DuPont also provides a great deal of detailed not usually encountered on budget airlines.information about its products, as well as informa- Products that are fun, intriguing, highly visible,tion related to the use of its products. For instance, easy to use, and which engage the emotions areconsumers seeking information about its Storm- more likely to stimulate conversation than productsRoomTM in-home shelter product can visit a website that do not meet these criteria (Dobele, Lindgreen,to find information about the DuPontTM KEVLAR1 Beverland, Vanhamme, van Wijk, 2007; Dobele,which reinforces the StormRoomTM (Dupont, 2008). Toleman, Beverland, 2005). Therefore, the com-Links are also provided to sites that offer in-depth munication element must be considered when de-information about storm preparedness. ciding on the product concept, as well as colors, shapes, sizes, packaging, and other factors.4.5. Be outrageous Organizations seeking to build talking points into their product design should also remember that sim-People talk about things they find to be somewhat ple things are easier to remember and communicateoutrageous. For example, Burger King played a joke than complicated things. They should also make sureon its customers by telling them that its lead item, their competitive advantage is clear. Price, quality,the Whopper, was no longer being sold. Their reac- and value propositions often underlie such competi-tions were then recorded on video. Abbreviated tive advantage. In fact, some research suggests thatversions of these reactions became the focal point price, quality, and value are common talking points inof a new advertising campaign. Viewers were also traditional word-of-mouth communication (Mangold,encouraged to go to the related company website, Miller, Brockway, 1999). If customers clearly un-WhopperFreakout.com, to see expanded video ver- derstand why they should buy one product insteadsions of customers’ reactions. of another, their understanding is likely to be
  8. 8. BUSHOR-750; No of Pages 98 W.G. Mangold, D.J. Fauldscommunicated through consumer-generated media, him the story of how he got into the shoe repairas well as through traditional word-of-mouth. business. It seems that as a child, the owner of the Finally, people are more likely to talk to others shop had an annoying habit of loitering in front of aabout products when those products support their shoe repair shop in his Chicago neighborhood. Thedesired self-image, or the way they want others to old Italian cobbler who owned that shop told thesee them. For example, the iPhone is likely to be boy, ‘‘If you are going to hang around all day, yourbought, used, and discussed among consumers who time can be spent more productively inside thewant to be seen as ‘‘cool’’ or comfortable with shop than outside.’’ Consequently, he began givingthe latest technology. BMW automobiles are likely the boy odd jobs after school, which eventually ledto be discussed among those auto enthusiasts who to greater involvement in the repair of shoes. Asvalue performance and ‘‘the ultimate driving expe- the story unfolded, it became clear that the Italianrience.’’ This suggests that both product design and cobbler’s old-world craftsmanship had been trans-promotion efforts should be undertaken with the mitted to his young apprentice. Such stories createdesired self-image in mind. vivid memories that are likely to be repeated in social media, as well as traditional word-of-4.8. Support causes that are important to mouth.consumersPeople tell others about things to which they 5. From one-way traffic to multipleare emotionally connected. Organizations can le- avenuesverage emotional connections by embracing one ormore causes that are important to their customers. IMC has traditionally been considered to be largelyFor example, ice cream producer Ben and Jerry’s is one-way in nature. In the old paradigm, the organi-known for supporting various causes that are impor- zation and its agents developed the message andtant to the company’s founders and, presumably, to transmitted it to potential consumers, who may orits customers. These causes center around such may not have been willing participants in the com-priorities as investing in the nation’s children, pro- munication process. The control over the dissemi-moting social and environmental concerns, support- nation of information was in the hands of theing family farms, and avoiding the consumption of marketing organization. The traditional elementsmeat from cloned animals. of the promotion mix–—advertising, personal selling, ‘‘Product Red’’ (2008) is among the best known public relations and publicity, direct marketing, andcause-related campaigns. Participants in the cam- sales promotion–—were the tools through which con-paign sell products that are red in color and then trol was asserted.dedicate a portion of the revenue from those prod- In this article, we argue that marketing managersucts to the Red campaign. The money raised is used should include social media in the promotion mixto fight AIDS and other diseases in Africa, and to when developing and executing their IMC strategies.support the communities in which those diseases This is consistent with Boone and Kurtz’s (2007)are in an epidemic state. Corporate participants assertion that the objective of integrated marketinginclude Motorola, American Express, Gap, Converse, communications is to ‘‘coordinate all [emphasisHallmark, and Dell. Specific products and brands added by authors] promotional activities of the firminclude Emporio Armani, Apple iPod, and Windows to produce a unified, customer focused promotionalVista. message’’ (p. 488). Customers may also be emotionally linked to Accomplishing this requires the adoption of a newfinding cures for such diseases as cancer, diabetes, communications paradigm that acknowledges theand heart disease. These linkages may be related to pervasiveness of information now being exchangedtheir personal health conditions or to the health among consumers in the social media space. Thisconditions of those around them. Other emotional new paradigm considers social media to be a hybridlinkages include environmental issues, animal element of the promotion mix in that it combinesrights, education, and child welfare. some of the characteristics of traditional IMC tools with a highly magnified form of word-of-mouth4.9. Utilize the power of stories communications in which marketing managers can- not control the content and frequency of such in-Stories can be memorable. The more memorable formation. This contrasts sharply with thethey are, the more likely they are to be repeated. hegemony managers are accustomed to exercisingWhen one of the authors of this article visited a local over all aspects of information distribution in theshoe repair shop for the first time, its proprietor told traditional paradigm. However, marketing managers
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