Customer Engagement: Conceptual Domain, Fundamental Propositions, and Implications for Research

Journal of Service Research (Impact Factor: 2.73). 01/2011; 14(3). DOI: 10.1177/1094670511411703

ABSTRACT In today's highly dynamic and interactive business environment, the role of ''customer engagement'' (CE) in cocreating customer experience and value is receiving increasing attention from business practitioners and academics alike. Despite this interest, sys-tematic scholarly inquiry into the concept and its conceptual distinctiveness from other, associated relational concepts has been limited to date. This article explores the theoretical foundations of CE by drawing on relationship marketing theory and the service-dominant (S-D) logic. The analysis also examines the use of the term ''engagement'' in the social science, management, and marketing academic literatures, as well as in specific business practice applications. Five fundamental propositions (FPs) derived from this analysis are used to develop a general definition of CE, and distinguish the concept from other relational con-cepts, including ''participation'' and ''involvement.'' The five propositions are used in the development of a framework for future research, the undertaking of which would facilitate the subsequent refinement of the conceptual domain of CE. Overall, CE, based on its relational foundations of interactive experience and the cocreation of value, is shown to represent an important concept for research in marketing and service management.

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    ABSTRACT: The four commentaries build on Brodie et al.'s (2011) article, and in particular the proposed research agenda. Specifically, the commentaries broaden the research agenda and provide more focus to the specific research avenues in the emerging area of customer engagement (CE) defined by the five funda-mental propositions (FPs). Bolton's commentary provides a fresh practitioner-centric reflection. Based on her discussions with marketing executives and scholars, she develops three broad research avenues for further investigation: First, the lack of understanding regarding CE management/ measurement, particularly in today's multichannel or mul-timedia environments. Second, the need for better understanding of the relation-ship between the interdisciplinary area of CE and the devel-opment of organizational value propositions. Third, the direct application of FP3, which addresses the role of CE, vis-à-vis other focal constructs within the nomologi-cal network of service relationships. The development of valid CE measurement tools is needed before managers are fully able to capitalize on the concept's anticipated contribu-tions, including enhanced customer loyalty. Libai's commentary is more specific and focuses on the potential perils for organizations employing databases that focus on highly engaged customers. This has been highlighted as a consequence of specific technological developments, including the rise of social media and telecommunications databases. While engagement research in marketing has typi-cally considered the potential favorable effects accruing to organizations of having a highly engaged customer base (e.g., Hollebeek 2011; Mollen and Wilson 2010), Libai has identified the potential negatively valenced expressions of individuals' high engagement with specific brands, which are underexplored to date. Of specific interest are research ques-tions relating to the nature of the CE/value co-creation interface and how specific value co-creative and/or bonding activities and behaviors between stakeholders that take an antibrand or antiorganization stance, serve to affect ensuing CE outcomes for other stakeholder groups (e.g., customers, suppliers, media).
    Journal of Service Research 01/2011; 14(3). · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – Customer engagement is a concept that has emerged recently to capture customers' total set of behavioral activities toward a firm. The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of customer engagement behaviors on perceived relationship benefits and relationship outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – An online survey of members of a gaming Facebook brand community, resulting in 276 usable responses from gaming customers. Findings – Customer engagement was divided into “Community Engagement Behaviors” (CEB) and “Transactional Engagement Behaviors” (TEB). In addition, three relationship benefits were identified: social benefits, entertainment benefits and economic benefits. The engagement behaviors largely influenced the benefits received. Furthermore, the mediation analysis results show that the influence of CEB on satisfaction is partially mediated by social benefits and entertainment benefits, while the effect of TEB on satisfaction is fully mediated through the same benefits. The effect of CEB on loyalty is mediated through entertainment benefits. Research limitations/implications – The findings are limited to one brand community. The findings have implications for further research on customer engagement. Practical implications – The paper's findings give ideas about how firms can utilize Facebook communities to enhance satisfaction and loyalty by offering the right kinds of relationship benefits. Managers are encouraged to study customer engagement behaviors on, and perceptions of, all channels and to utilize this information for the development of their social media strategies. Originality/value – Customer engagement is a newly introduced concept on which scarce empirical research exists, and there is very little evidence of its effect on customer relationships. This is the first paper to study customer engagement empirically on a Facebook brand community, and to relate customer engagement to relationship constructs.
    Management Research Review 08/2012; 35(9):857-877.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ After gaining traction in business practice the "brand engagement" (BE) concept has transpired in the academic marketing/branding literature. BE has been defined as the level of a consumer's "cognitive, emotional and behavioral investment in specific brand interactions". Although pioneering research provides exploratory insights, the majority of literature to-date addresses consumers' specific positively-valenced BE; thus largely overlooking potential negatively-valenced manifestations of this emerging concept and their ensuing implications. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel BE conceptualization that extends to cover focal negatively-valenced, in addition to positively-valenced BE expressions, thus providing a more comprehensive theoretical model of BE. Specifically, while positively-valenced BE addresses consumers' favorable/affirmative cognitive, emotional and behavioral brand-related dynamics during focal brand interactions (e.g. brand-usage); negatively-valenced BE, by contrast, is exhibited through consumers' unfavorable brand-related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors during brand interactions. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Drawing on netnographic methodology, the authors develop a conceptual model addressing the key characteristics of consumers' positively-/negatively-valenced BE, and derive a set of key BE triggers and consequences. Findings ‐ Based on their analyses the authors develop a conceptual model, which addresses consumers' positively/negatively valenced BE, and key antecedents and consequences. Research limitations/implications ‐ Future research is required, which tests and validates the proposed model for specific categories and brands using large-scale, quantitative analyses. Practical implications ‐ Generating enhanced managerial understanding of positively/negatively valenced BE, this research contributes to guiding managerial decision making regarding the management of specific brands. Originality/value ‐ By proposing a conceptual model incorporating positively-/negatively-valenced BE, this paper extends current insights in the branding/marketing literatures, thus contributing to managers and scholars.
    Journal of Product &amp Brand Management 01/2014; 23(1).

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