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Social media: Are there adequate evidences to substantiate a redefinition of comprehensive consumer behaviour models? Focus on Leisure Tourism Products John Fotis email@example.com School of Tourism Bournemouth University, UK
Problem Statement Impact on consumer behaviour, as social networks of consumer knowledge (De Valck et al. 2009) Social media Complicate the buying behaviour process described in Inputs-Processing-Response models (Constantinides and Fountain 2008). Start replacing commercial sources of information and evidence limited replacement of reference groups (Jepsen 2006). Are changing dramatically (a) traditional mass media communications, (b) the ways consumers communicate and exchange information. Consumer decision making process Information collection Mass media Interpersonal communications
Do social media change the way consumers are making decisions?
Do social media, due to their impact, substantiate a redefinition of the structure and the constructs involved in the decision making process, as depicted in comprehensive consumer behaviour models?
Plethora of studies in social media, but (a) with a micro approach, (b) do not examine their impact on the dmp as a whole process 2
Theoretical background 4 Consumer behaviour theory & models An attempt to explain the “why” and “how” of consumer actions in the marketplace. Dominant theory: Cognitive approach (Foxall 1990; Marsden and Littler 1998). Focus on consumers’ information processing mechanism, mental process, storage, retrieval and use of marketing information in the decision making process” (Marsden and Littler 1998, p.6). Comprehensive cognitive models: The “grand picture” suggesting a large number of variables, and their interrelationships, attempting to explain a given consumption behaviour (Kassarjian 1982, Foxall 1990, Robertson and Kassarjian 1991, Chisnall 1995). Theory of Buyer Behaviour (Howard and Sheth 1969) Consumer Decision Process Model (Engel et al. 1968, Blackwell et al. 2006) Despite extensive criticism (assumption of a rational decision maker / generalization of dmp / detail included in models / positivistic approach) still today are used to provide comprehensive representations of the purchase dmp (Erasmus et all 2001, Constantinides 2004, Darley et al. 2010)
, THE ENTER 2011 RESEARCH TRACK 5 INPUT INFORMATION PROCESSING DECISION PROCESS VARIABLES INFLUENCING DECISION PROCESS DREAMING NEED RECOGNITION ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES Culture Social Class Personal influences Family Situation EXPOSURE INTERNAL SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH ACCUMMULATING KNOWLEDGE ATTENTION STIMULI: Marketer dominated Non-marketer dominated MEMORY INFORMATION EXCHANGE PRE-PURCHASE EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES COMPREHENSION PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Consumer resources Motivation and involvement Knowledge Attitudes Personality Lifestyle Demographics ACCEPTANCE SHARING THE EXPERIENCE CONSUMPTION RETENTION POST-CONSUMPTION EVALUATION EXTERNAL SEARCH EXTERNAL SEARCH EXTERNAL SEARCH REFLECTING DISSATISFA-CTION SATISFACTION POST-EXPERIENCE SHARING CURRENT ROLE & POSITION OF THE INFORMATION SEARCH CONSTRUCT SEARCH PROPOSED HYPOTHETICAL RELATIONSHIPS (TO BE TESTED) DIVESTMENT PROPOSED REDEFINITION OF THE INFORMATION SEARCH CONSTRUCT Blackwell et al. 2006
Proposed Methodology A mixed methods sequential exploratory design:1 QUAL quan QUAL Data Collection QUAL Data Analysis quan Data Collection quan Data Analysis Interpretation of entire Analysis Survey Panel Holidaymakers who booked via an online travel agency (n=300), invited to complete 3 questionnaires: Focus Groups: Three to four focus groups to explore perceived issues and concepts, identify relationships and develop hypothesis. Before the trip: Describe interaction with social media measure impact (a) before booking (b) after booking-before trip. At the holiday destination: Describe the “during the trip” interaction with social media and measure impact on itinerary planning and destination experience. (1) Tashakkori and Teddlie 2003; Creswell 2009; Collins and O’Cathain 2009; Leech and Onwuegbuzie 2009 After the trip: Describe the after the trip interaction with social media. 6
Expected Results Uncover the role, and measure the impact of different types of social media in leisure travel related consumer behaviour, both before, during and after the trip. Provide a contemporary, redefined role of the “information search” construct in consumer behaviour decision making models Research output valuable to: Industry: It will enable marketers to understand the impact of social media throughout the decision making process and therefore develop more efficient and effective marketing strategies and actions. Academia: Advance consumer behaviour theory at macro level by providing a comprehensive model demonstrating the influence of social media on the consumer decision making process and at the various stages of the travel planning process, thus enabling further research at micro level. 7
Originality Focus on the impact of social media as a whole, instead of studying individual applications and platforms. Examines the need for a redefinition of the information search construct as it is currently depicted in comprehensive consumer behaviour models. Examines the role and impact of social media to both (a) the various stages of the decision making process, and (b) the stages of the travel planning process. Involves a three stage research design, before, during and after the trip, employing the same panel of travellers throughout the research process. ENTER 2011 RESEARCH TRACK 8
Contribution Advance consumer behaviour theory at macro level by providing a comprehensive model demonstrating the influence of social media on the consumer decision making process. Provide a contemporary, redefined role of the “information search” construct in consumer behaviour decision making models. Enable marketing scholars to investigate further the specific relationships described in the model by researching at micro level. Provide to academia a contemporary educational tool to demonstrate the impact of social media in consumer behaviour. ENTER 2011 RESEARCH TRACK 9
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12 Traditional descriptions of the information search and the post purchase constructs neglect several information exchange functions that are brought out, and enlarged in volume, through social media, such as: The ongoing search related to recreational or hedonic motives (Bloch et al. 1986; Chung and Buhalis 2008) which may occurs before need recognition. The exchange of information during the pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives, such as posts in forums from consumers seeking advice on which product to buy among a short-list of few products. The exchange of information related to the purchase construct, i.e. posts to social networks of the type “I just bought my new iphone”. The exchange of information during the consumption/use stage, i.e. when consumers seek advice in forums on how to overcome a hardware problem in their laptop. The post-consumption exchange of feedback that create either symbolic stimuli (i.e. YouTube users’ review videos, hotel guests’ photos and videos in TripAdvisor), or social stimuli (i.e. uploads in social networks, blogs, user reviews etc) for other consumers.