Direct Marketing An International Journal

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 1750-5933
Publications
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine young consumers' motives for using SMS, their SMS usage frequency, and their attitudes towards SMS advertising. Factor analysis on the motives for using SMS revealed seven factors, namely convenience, social involvement, enjoyment, escape, personal communication, economical reasons, and public expression. The findings show that convenience and economical reasons influence SMS usage frequency. Social involvement influences attitudes towards SMS advertising. Managerial implications and limitations are also presented.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer an assessment of the international direct marketing environment. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses political, economic, social, and technological (PEST) analysis to investigate the business environment of international direct marketing. This framework is commonly used as a way of assessing the context of international marketing. Findings – Globalization, technological innovation, and the spread of free-market governance have created new and interesting opportunities for managers who decide to use direct marketing to sell their products overseas. Practical implications – For managers considering international direct marketing, a careful assessment of market prospects and a thoughtful evaluation of the PEST environment should maximize potential opportunities while minimizing the risks associated with foreign markets. Originality/value – This paper provides an overview of the international direct marketing environment and can, therefore, be used by practioners in their efforts to shapes direct marketing strategy.
 
Article
The digital technology is increasingly important for businesses as it has the capability to enable, support and sometimes influence the overall strategic direction of the corporation. Thus, strategies that define how, why and when companies plan to utilise the digital technology are increasingly important. The purpose of the article is to analyse what different strategic processes are used in the empirical context and further discuss to what extent the widely used strategic continuum (planning - incremental) are sufficient to understand what is happening in the case. We conclude in the article that a strategic continuum spanning from planning to learning, where the incremental approach is in the middle is more powerful as an analytical tool in relation to the specific cases. The research is conducted in one of Denmark's biggest companies with a annual turnover of 2.2 billion EUR and over 22,000 employees.
 
Article
The purpose of this paper is to investigate franchisees' perception of the value of quality service in the franchise system. Two dimensions, perceived importance and perceived gaps of the quality of the franchise system, form the anchors of a proposed 2 x 2 franchise system quality(FSQ) matrix. This is empirically tested with 200 Australian franchisees. The results reflected a strong evidence of four distinct profiles of franchisees as conceptualized. These results also showed that the more cooperative the franchisees, the better their performance and satisfaction levels with the system. In contrast to existing literature, franchisees who fall in the high-perceived importance cells of the FSQ matrix have a stronger desire for autonomy. Cooperation between franchisees and franchisors are fundamental to achieve success. It is important to provide resources and assistance to franchisees and these are considered as key success factors. Further, determining the profile of the franchisees allows franchisors to determine the potential Best Buddy who are considered an asset in the franchise system. A larger sample size should be implored that focuses on specific industries or service sectors. The research can be replicated in other non-Western contexts to formulate different insights. Cross-national studies could be conducted to investigate differences between cultures. The paper addresses the gap in literature by examining franchisees? perception of the value of services provided in a franchise system. The FSQ Matrix is also conceptualized and empirically tested on an Australian sample.
 
Article
Purpose – One of the most important decisions any firm can make is the adopting of new technology. This paper aims to propose ten guidelines for “best practices” in adopting new technology. Design/methodology/approach – Using first-hand business experience, the author presents and discusses common mistakes to avoid when considering the purchase of both new hardware and software technology. Findings – Many firms mistake “new” for “better” and overlook the impact, explicit and implicit, technology changes can have on their organizations, partners, suppliers, customers, and employees. Practical implications – The paper gives a foundational guideline for firms seeking to purchase new technology that will make them both more effective and efficient. Originality/value – In the context of direct marketing, few experts have directly addressed the issues of effectively adopting new technology rather than effectively implementing the technology post-purchase.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper discusses the role and importance of data analysis and data mining within the context of direct marketing. Design/methodology/approach – The paper considers some of the prominent data analysis and data mining issues related to direct marketing. It has been designed to make those involved in direct marketing activities more cognizant of potential competitive advantages, and possible pitfalls, in the areas of data collection, analysis, and mining. Findings – In order to be effective and successful, both strategically and tactically, a comprehensive data collection and analysis strategy must be incorporated into all aspects of direct marketing activities. This is illustrated through anecdotal evidence, industry sources, real‐life/real‐time examples, and a framework that can be employed by firms of any size. Originality/value – The underlying value of the paper is that, beyond showing the importance of efficiently employing both existing and future data into the operational activities of direct marketing firms, it also provides guidelines as to how individual firms can establish a culture that enables the firm to use data as a means of leveraging competitive advantage resulting in increased growth and revenues.
 
Article
Purpose – Digital technology is increasingly important for businesses as it has the capability to enable, support and sometimes influence the overall strategic direction of the corporation. This paper investigates business‐to‐business (b2b) inter‐organisational digitalisation strategies in one of Denmark's biggest companies with an annual turnover of €3 billion and over 30,000 employees. This paper specifically seeks to understand to what extent the widely used strategic continuum (planning – incremental) is sufficient to understand the process of creating inter‐organisational digitalisation strategies in the case. Design/methodology/approach – This paper utilises degree of freedom analysis (DFA). DFA is in essence a “pattern‐matching” between theoretical propositions and observations in a set of data. Inline with the DFA tradition in‐depth interviews were conducted and finally the results and interpretations are returned to the respondents for final feedback. Findings – This paper concludes that a strategic continuum spanning planning to interaction, where the incremental approach is in the middle is more powerful as an analytical tool in relation to the specific case. The case further illustrated that the actors in the empiric context utilising the digital technology successfully mostly organised their strategic work as described in the interaction approach to digitalisation strategy. Practical implications – The study demonstrates a pragmatic route to deepening digitalisation success in a large firm with considerable e‐business investments. Originality/value – Documenting the need for new thinking and theorising in the area of digitalisation strategy. This paper opens the organisational black box relating to how strategy actually is performed and, thus, helps to develop a more holistic understanding of how strategies are developed and implemented. Finally, this is one of the few studies utilising DFA to understand digitalisation strategy.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate beliefs about and attitudes toward online advertising (ATOA) among Chinese consumers and the relationship between belief factors, ATOA, and consumers' behavioral responses to online advertising. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from students of a large metropolitan university in China. A total of 202 questionnaires provided usable data and were analyzed using AMOS. Findings – Five belief factors that underlie Chinese consumers' ATOA were identified: entertainment, information seeking, credibility, economy, and value corruption. Information seeking, economy and value corruption were significant predictors of ATOA. ATOA was found to be a significant positive predictor of ad clicking and online shopping frequency. Practical implications – Global marketers would benefit from understanding how consumers from a booming emerging market perceive the internet as a source of advertising. Thus, the study will enable businesses and organizations to use online advertising more effectively and efficiently in their global marketing efforts. Originality/value – Investigating Chinese ATOA extends current research on ATOA to a distinctly different cultural context and may provide useful implications about expanding business across cultures.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between perceived ease of use, cognitive absorption (CA), perceived usefulness (PU) and fashion involvement (FI) with students' buying intentions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on questionnaires distributed to a sample of Master of Business Administration students with a response rate of 84.2 percent. The data were analyzed with statistical tools such as descriptive analysis, factor analysis, reliability analysis and multiple regressions. Findings – The survey showed that PU, product search, search process, CA, FI, and online experience have a significant impact on online shopping, while the other two variables (i.e. CA and FI) do not have an impact on online shopping. Research limitations/implications – Future researchers are encouraged to include new variables and mediating variables in the research model and applying multivariate statistical data analysis such as structural equation modelling technique for interpreting results. Practical implications – Data about consumer acceptance of internet shopping are invaluable to e-retailers. It was suggested that e-retailers need to advertise and promote their latest products and update their web site regularly by stressing issues on the ease of use, the usefulness and the reliability of online shopping. Originality/value – This research provides additional perspectives on internet shopping among Malaysian consumers.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose the important principles for successful CRM analytics (aCRM) in organizations. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs the approach of identifying the major critical business information needed for aCRM in organizations. The approach to identify the critical business is based on the cross-pollination of information related to aCRM. Analyzing aCRM from the hybrid blends of business sources provides a clear understanding in a more realist dimension. Findings – The paper finds that knowing what to capture is fundamental to business alignment of aCRM in a typical business environment. Practical implications – The successful implementation of the principles of aCRM will help organizations to measure the effectiveness of their direct marketing activities. Originality/value – The chosen research strategy was to survey aCRM in organizations that are being incorporated worldwide and analyze their content, looking for similarities and complementarities in their nature of business strategies. First, the paper identified existing aCRM systems, examining available listings of aCRM systems in organizations, and expanding them through Internet searches. The paper then collected detailed information on aCRM systems, and examined the descriptions, nature of organizations, their business strategies, their view on business values etc.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to clarify the conditions under which firms can add direct or independent channels to their single channel system and switch to multiple channel systems. Using the transaction cost theory, variables, i.e. specific asset investments, internal uncertainty, and environmental uncertainty, this study seeks to examine how those variables affect firms' decision to adopt a specific multiple channel mix. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted within the context of a manufacturer and its multiple channel systems. Using a survey method, primary data were collected from 189 US manufacturers and 98 Taiwanese OEMs. The t-test and regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses. Findings – The results indicate that under high-specific asset investments, high-environmental uncertainty, and high-internal uncertainty conditions firms add direct channels and adopt an independent-direct multiple channel system. On the other hand, under low levels of those variables firms expand their channel system into multiple channels by adopting an independent-independent multiple channel system. Research limitations/implications – The findings provide guidelines to managers regarding the composition of their multiple channel systems. As a limitation, this study uses only three transaction cost variables. Future studies should include other variables that may affect channel design decisions. Originality/value – While various studies have analyzed firms' decision to switch to multiple channels by adopting new channels, the nature of those added channels remains under-researched. This study aims to fill that gap. Also, unlike some other similar studies that only depend on US data, this study tests the hypotheses with the data obtained not only from US manufacturers but also from Taiwanese OEMs
 
Article
Purpose – To analyse key drivers of television dependency and its impact on teleshopping adoption. Design/methodology/approach – The applicability of the media dependency scale is tested in the Spanish market. The impact of demographics, television exposure and television affinity on television dependency is analysed together with behavioural changes deriving from television dependency (willingness to teleshopping). Findings – Data analysis shows that the media dependency scale needs to be adapted to the Spanish market and Spanish televiewers show intermediate levels of television dependency. Dependent televiewers are mainly mature, feel high-television affinity and have high levels of exposure as televiewers. Television dependency determines teleshopping adoption, with the most relevant factor being that of searching guides for decision taking and fun. Practical implications – This research enables companies to know the different objectives which television can help consumers to attain and, therefore, what aspects to highlight in their direct marketing strategies. Television agents should exploit the dimensions television offers to increase individual dependency and message effectiveness. The significant influence that “decision taking and fun” exerts on willingness to teleshopping shows managers that program contents become a key tool to increase future television purchases. Originality/value – Despite dramatic online differences were discovered between television dependent and non-dependent consumers, very limited research has been conducted to examine them. There are still no enough studies that analyse the background and effects of television dependency on the non-purchasing televiewers behaviour. This paper analyses the background of television dependency and its influence on future purchase intentions of non-buyer Spanish televiewers.
 
Article
Purpose – Companies are increasingly attempting to offer customers an experience of availability range, affordable cost, shopping convenience, and ambience. The purpose of this paper is to determine the impact of salesperson behavior on motivation, cognition, emotions, and responses of the consumers and to identify different responses to sales interaction according to their different perceptions. The purpose of this paper is to address the role of salesperson behavior and motivation mind‐set during the interactive sales encounter experience and whether they affect a consumer cognitions, emotions, and outcome behaviors. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a literature review, a conceptual model is developed for this paper. Findings – This paper has significant implications in terms of not only understanding the mechanisms that underlie selling effectiveness but also the role of consumer psychographics, sales encounter experience, and salespersons behavior influencing purchase decision making. Originality/value – From a managerial perspective, the paper contributes from a prescriptive stand point in terms of enabling sales people to select effective selling behaviors based on more than overt demographic characteristics. Theoretical contributions include examining the relationship among motivation, emotion, and cognition in an interpersonal sales interaction experience.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current state of marketing analytics and how it should become a standard marketing research tool in the twenty‐first century. Design/methodology/approach – The design of this paper is both a review of the field of marketing analytics and a discussion of how these factors must be enhanced and incorporated into twenty‐first century marketing research. As such this paper is offered as a viewpoint based on years of experience in the field and should serve as the basis for discussion and discourse by both academicians and practitioners. Findings – In the realm of marketing, primary research has traditionally focused on quantitative or qualitative methodologies to provide customer insights. With advances in technology, especially data mining, marketing analytics has become an invaluable tool and should be viewed as an equal component of the marketing research toolkit. Analytics requires marketers to use data to understand customers at every touch point throughout their lifecycle with the business. To do this the analyst must mine, analyze, interpret, and present the information so that it is converted into actionable intelligence. In this process, the customer's information DNA is tracked, segmented, modeled and then acted upon. As these concepts and tools become standard operating procedures, academic marketing departments must internalize analytics into their overall curriculum in order to provide students with a compelling career advantage. Originality/value – The value of this paper is that it presents marketers with a strong argument for the integration of marketing analytics into their practice of researching marketing issues and problems. Analytics completes the research triangle of qualitative, quantitative and data mined information gathering, analysis, and interpretation. It is hoped that this paper will generate additional discourse and research in this area and, especially, the adaptation of analytics as a standard research tool by marketers.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of web site atmospherics such as music and product presentation on consumers' emotional, cognitive, and conative responses in online shopping. Design/methodology/approach – A convenience sample of 272 female college students participated in a web experiment employing a 2 (Product presentation: flat vs model)×2 (Music: present vs absent) between-subjects factorial design. Findings – The findings of this study showed that: product presentation (model vs flat) had a significant effect on consumers' emotional responses; and there were positive relationships among consumers' emotional, cognitive, and conative responses. Unexpectedly, music had no effect on consumers' emotional responses. Research limitations/implications – Generalizing the results of this study is limited by the use of a convenience sample of college women. Practical implications – Online retailers need to pay more attention on developing effective online atmospherics that evoke positive shopping outcomes. Based on the findings, product presentation using a model as compared to flat is recommended for online apparel retailers. Originality/value – The current study confirmed the stimulus-organism-response relationship by showing that product presentation (online stimuli) affected emotion and attitude towards the site (emotional/cognitive states) and consequently influences purchase intent (response). Thus, this study provides practical, useful information to web site designers and online retailers by indicating that how web site atmospherics lead to positive consumer shopping outcomes.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of the research was to investigate the attitudes and perceptions of e-markets as members of their value chain. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was developed and sent electronically to members of a textile industry e-market. Findings – The research showed that most of the companies participated in more than one e-market. As indicated by the research, only 52 percent of respondents indicated that they had a positive experience with e-markets, suggesting that there was room for improvement. However, 72 percent of respondents agreed that e-markets increased business opportunities, 52 percent said it increased distribution channels, 60 percent noted it increased exposure of their company and 64 percent of members noted that they provided more transparent competition. Research limitations/implications – The research was limited to a small sample of textile e-markets which may limit the generalizability of the results. Like all e-commerce, e-markets need to generate enough traffic so they can generate profit through revenue streams such as advertisement, memberships, transactions, and specific services. Practical implications – To have an effective e-market site managers and marketers need to provide a critical mass of accurate up-to-date knowledgeable information. Moreover, e-markets need to establish trust with prospective buyers and sellers. “Community message boards” are important because they provide members opportunities to exchange all kinds of information on the e-market, thus building trust among each other. Originality/value – Electronic commerce has revolutionized the process of creating and distributing products and services. It is now asserted that electronic transactions can take place wherever there is access to the internet, a development that technically erases the geographic borders of traditional markets.
 
Article
Purpose – The paper aims to report the findings of a research study into the “freebies” phenomena – the provision of free goods and services by companies. Such activities are seemingly an economic paradox because they should not occur in a profit-based organization – either privately owned or publicly owned where there is a fiduciary duty to maximise the return for the shareholders. Design/methodology/approach – Examples of freebies are given and used to construct a typology together with the underlying motivation or rationales for the provision of the freebies, as well as a determination of who pays for the freebies. Findings – A major step forward in understanding the concept of “freebies” is achieved with the construction of the BIGI Model which identifies the four main reasons for freebies provision being Brand building (including new product launch), income generation, government legislation and information gathering. Practical implications – This paper provides substantial insight into how “freebies” can be effectively utilized as a direct marketing tool and, alternatively, common errors to avoid when employing the use of “freebies”. Originality/value – While the use of free samples of products has been widely employed by firms over a number of years, there has been no real systematic evaluation of the process in terms of its efficiency as a direct marketing tool.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper seeks to introduce a systematic approach to simulating a given binary network marketing (NM) growth topology in a definite society of people. Design/methodology/approach – The study represented a binary plan network by its binary rooted tree, where each node represents a down-line distributor of the root. The paper sought to find a cost function which would identify which existing node is most eligible to attract the new node. Using a survey strategy, the paper introduced some effective criteria, where cost function and design systematic algorithms were introduced, in order to simulate an NM growth topology. According to the designed algorithms, the paper modified a currently used compensation plan of the Questnet Company. Findings – The comparison results indicate that the modified plan improves the efficiency by 6 percent, in the sense of profitability for the costumers, and also penetrates the market in 80 percent of trials. Research limitations/implications – The paper did not find any currently proposed simulation for binary NM plans. So, in order to introduce the systematic approach, new criteria were obtained based on survey strategy. Practical implications – Network marketing organization designers need such a systematic method to arrange their strategies according to the prediction of the network's growth topology. Originality/value – The paper presents a novel idea for designing analytical simulation tools for NM plans verification. As far as the authors are aware, this is the first systematic method to propose binary compensation plans.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how offline brand trust moderates: the relationship between consumers' general attitude toward the internet and their perceptions of the quality of a retailer's web site and the relationship between their perceived web site quality and intention to shop from the web site. Design/methodology/approach – Two hundred young female consumers participate in the study. Each selected one of three pre‐determined apparel retailer brands that she has either had experience with or are familiar with. Participants are then asked to keep their selected retailer in mind when completing an online questionnaire. They are also asked to browse the retailer's web site in search of a shirt or blouse. Factor and multiple‐regression analyses are conducted to test hypotheses. Findings – Offline brand trust exerted a significant moderating effect in the relationship between the efficiency factor of attitude toward the internet and the usability and information quality factor of web site quality. Offline brand trust also played a moderating role in the relationship between the interactivity factor of web site quality and online shopping intention. Implications for multi‐channel apparel retailers are discussed. Originality/value – While a great deal of research has been conducted to study brand trust, most has focused on product brands not on retail brands. Furthermore, none of the studies on brand trust has questioned nor investigated the moderating role of retail brand trust in the relationship between consumer characteristics and their attitudes and behaviors toward the company's new business format. This paper seeks to contribute to the extant literature on brand trust and multi‐channel retailing by exploring the role of offline brand trust in shopping at a multi‐channel retailer's web site.
 
Article
Purpose – Brands scintillate on the twin pillars of external brand communication and staff commitment to the envisioned customer experience (CE). However, until very recently the contribution of staff to internal brand building has not received the importance it deserves. With customers becoming more knowledgeable and moving towards a holistic experience rather than buying “products”, the quality of customer interaction (CI) is becoming the deciding factor in brand creation and CE. From this on-going research based on the emerging services dominant logic popularised by Vargo and Lusch, this paper aims to explore a model to measure the awareness, understanding and commitment of staff to the vision of the service-oriented brand. Design/methodology/approach – Answers to a Likert questionnaire with six question sets will give researchers an insight into the awareness, understanding and commitment of staff to the brand vision. At a later stage researchers will use the above data to calculate the internal brand proprietor-like quality rating of the organization based on the percentage of employees at high/low internal brand proprietor levels. Findings will assist in understanding and improving quality of CI and brand image. Findings – Successful brand builders identify and spend aggressively on interactions that will have the most impact on revenue growth and profitability and ensure that the touch points that matter are synchronized to successfully convey the brand's promise (Hogan). Research limitations/implications – Limitations of this research are sample constraints and test persons being highly involved in the research. More accurate results could be obtained if future research is carried out on a sector-wise basis. Originality/value – The paper explores a model to measure the awareness, understanding and commitment of staff to the vision of the service-oriented brand.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how business-to-business (BTB) relationships may be developed through direct marketing (DM) in the context of a Portuguese training organization. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews (30) are undertaken, including 24 training directors and six participants from 30 different organizations. A grounded theory approach as used in data analysis is employed. Findings – Two key roles of DM emerged from the paper: to establish a relationship between customers and training companies, this being dependent on the relevance of DM to the recipients' jobs/activities combined with the credibility of the DM source; and DM has a conditional role in the relationship development between customers and training companies. DM only has a role in developing relationships if the received DM is relevant to customers' training needs combined with positive perceptions of the past training performance in customers' minds. These perceptions are linked to quality and satisfaction, customers making an immediate association between the DM source and past training performance. Practical implications – Customers want to receive DM from training companies which is relevant to their professional interests. These customers desire further follow-up and diagnosis from training providers than is currently the case. Training providers are thus losing market opportunities. Further dialogue and interaction between companies and customers is necessary. Originality/value – There has been limited empirical study of the processes and activities of DM in developing relationships in BTB contexts using a qualitative approach around customers' experiences.
 
Article
Purpose – The aim is to describe the analysis conducted by a leading company in the dairy (yogurt and fermented milk) sector in Brazil regarding the decision to implement a door-to-door distribution channel, in which one of the authors was involved. Design/methodology/approach – A brief overview of the marketing channels is presented and the descriptive case study method was used to present the main company information. Findings – The paper describes the decision-making process that was used to define how basic services like breaking bulks, product variety, special convenience and wait time should be performed in this case. It also emphasizes the main channel decisions, the channel objectives and the chosen door-to-door structure for the company described in the case study. Research limitations/implications – Even though case analysis has a theoretical background, the decision process used here cannot be generalized, being only a guide for academics and practitioners about how company A addressed the direct marketing issue. Originality/value – The paper presents specific analysis of the Brazilian yogurt market and use as theoretical background the strategic environmental analysis. As a real case, it can be useful for practitioners as reference for decision making, as well for teaching purposes for case studies with college and MBA students. Finally, the paper presents as main contribution a "method for developing new marketing channels".
 
Article
Purpose – Furniture is among the important personal consumption expenditures for durable goods in the USA. Retailers and manufacturers offer different communication channels to assist consumers all through the process of acquiring furniture. The objective of the present study is to evaluate US consumers' channel use at different steps of the residential furniture-buying process. Design/methodology/approach – A cross-section study was conducted by taking advantage of the structured nature of quantitative methods using a questionnaire for data collection and a socio-demographic representative sample of US citizens. Consumers' use of six communication channels through five buying decision steps was assessed. Findings – Results showed that the furniture retail store is the most important communication channel at each of the five considered buying process stages. Overall score of that channel was higher for females than males, indicating that women care more about communication when buying furniture. The internet was not of significant importance when buying furniture. Advertising was perceived as a significant means to gather information. Practical implications – The study will help to orient companies' marketing strategies by making proper use of communication channels. It also shows marketing students the present state of consumers' communication channel preferences. Originality/value – This paper gives unique insights into consumers' buying behavior that will help to design communication channels properly.
 
Original CIFE model
Revised CIFE model for impulse buying online
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the internal and external factors of impulse buying in online shopping. Design/methodology/approach – Two pretests were conducted; Pretest 1 to identify external impulse trigger cues on web sites and Pretest 2 to evaluate the content validity of the findings from Pretest 1. Based on the pretests, a web experiment and survey were conducted to explore the effect of different external impulse trigger cues on impulse-buying behavior online and also to examine how internal factors of impulse buying (impulse-buying tendency (IBT), affective and cognitive state, normative evaluation) are related to online impulse-buying behaviors. Findings – No significant differences were found among the types of external impulse trigger cues, however a positive correlation was found between a person's IBT and online impulse-buying behavior, and between a person's affective state and online impulse-buying behavior. A negative correlation was found between a person's cognitive state and actual online impulse-buying behavior. And last, a significant positive correlation was found between a person's normative evaluation and actual online impulse-buying behavior. Research limitations/implications – This study extends the Consumption Impulse Formation Enactment model into an online shopping context. Marketers can use this information to assess their own web sites in terms of what external stimuli to present on their web sites to trigger impulse buying. Originality/value – Given the prevalence of impulse buying in online shopping and the importance of impulse purchases to a retailer's profit, this study provides useful insights into impulse-buying behavior in an online setting.
 
Article
Purpose – Increasing availability of data obtained via the internet and the proliferation of direct mail advertising provides tremendous opportunities for marketers to reach their customers. However, increased risks to the personal privacy of consumers, and attention in the media to these risks, provide unique challenges. Companies and especially direct marketers are finding that they need to change their tactics to deal with the increase in consumer concerns and privacy-protecting behaviors. This paper aims to address these issues. Design/methodology/approach – Using the results of a multinational privacy survey, the paper examines consumer privacy concerns and privacy-protecting behaviors in the USA and Canada. It uses factor analysis and multiple regression techniques to analyze the data. Findings – While consumer concerns about privacy are essentially the same between the two countries, the privacy-protecting behaviors differed significantly. The paper also suggests that demographic variables influence a consumer's level of concern and likelihood to take privacy-protecting behaviors. Research limitations/implications – The behaviors in the paper are self-reported and therefore potentially subject to self-desirability bias. Also, missing data limited the ability to test for the impact of income. Practical implications – The paper provides recommendations for marketers to address customer concerns and behaviors such as providing greater transparency and use of privacy seals. Originality/value – International companies face even greater challenges with regard to privacy issues and related customer behaviors due to cultural and governmental policy differences. This paper provides some guidelines for companies that need to provide privacy protection to customers from a variety of cultures.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare the efficiency of bancassurance, an indirect marketing channel formed through the creation of subsidiaries, with an insurer's own team, a direct marketing channel, in the Taiwan insurance sector. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes (CCR) model to measure the decision‐making units' (DMU) operating efficiency. Findings – The three major findings are: the efficiency score of a direct marketing channel is significantly higher than that of a comparable indirect marketing channel. The efficiency relationship between the indirect marketing channel and the direct marketing channel is independent. A marketing efficiency evaluation, when divided into different marketing channels for evaluation, provides meaningful results for marketing decision‐makers. Originality/value – By comparing the efficiency between two different insurance marketing channels, managers in life insurance companies can make a more informed choice.
 
Article
Purpose – This study examines customers of grocers who provide both online and traditional in-store options to determine if there are substantial differences in customer's perceptions of service quality, product quality, product range, and sacrifices made when using a specific channel. By better understanding customer preferences, firms can appropriately match strategy and market expectations. Design/methodology/approach – Data were gathered from 271 traditional in-store customers and 1,720 online customers from three grocers. Survey results from these two groups was analyzed using regression analysis consisting of independent variables measuring the sacrifices of using a given channel, and the quality of service, products and product range and dependent variables of behavioral intentions and percent of business given to the grocer. Findings – Online customers have a higher level of satisfaction with their service encounters, but lower levels with the tangible aspects of product quality, range of products available and channel usage sacrifices. They also spend a larger portion of their grocery “wallet” with the grocer and are less price sensitive than their in-store counterparts. Practical implications – Online customers place a premium on convenience and will spend more with firms that meet this need. Given the very low profit margins in this industry, the ability to draw and retain these customers is vitally important. Originality/value – This study presents one of the first direct comparisons of customers who use two different channels from the same grocery provider to examine customer perceptions for improved strategic service and product delivery.
 
Article
Purpose – Many internet users are not able to navigate through e-commerce web pages and reach their targets. Navigation problems lead to customers' disappointment and, as a consequence, companies fail to provide information and offer direct sales through the internet. The purpose of this paper is to profile internet users experiencing navigation problems while shopping online using socio-demographic indicators. The application of usability is proposed as a solution to web site navigation issues. Design/methodology/approach – Hierarchical segmentation and regression analysis are applied to a sample of online shoppers with navigation problems. Findings – Socio-demographic profiles of online shoppers with navigation problems. Research limitations/implications – This paper focuses on customers' socio-demographic features. Other indicators, such as attitudes or behaviours, have not been considered. Practical implications – Understanding the socio-demographic profiles of customers with higher levels of navigation problems is useful for e-commerce companies in order to provide support to user segments experiencing more difficulties. Originality/value – This paper highlights the importance of usability, which has been somewhat ignored in the development of e-commerce web sites. Demographic profiles of online shoppers experiencing navigation problems are constructed.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain why visitors click the last several menu items on a web page at a higher rate than middle items in the menu, a menu recency effect. A secondary goal is to test the use of visitor reaction time data as routinely collected by live web servers on the internet and the use of such data in understanding consumer response to direct marketing efforts at the level of an individual web page. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a field experiment on a live web site belonging to a medium sized hospitality business, specifically a restaurant. Data, including visitor reaction time, come from the standard web log files routinely collected on all web sites. The sample consisted of more than 40,000 visitors to the web site. Findings – The reasons for the recency effect seem more likely to pertain to short‐term memory advantages for later menu items and less likely to relate to eye movements in which the visitor's gaze prematurely jumps to the end of a menu. Originality/value – The first contribution of this paper is to bring to bear a very large sample in order to explain a paradox of search behavior, namely that consumers are more likely to click on the last link in a menu than middle links. Understanding this phenomenon will allow web site managers to better optimize their sites according to their marketing goals. The second contribution is to demonstrate the usefulness of reaction time data in a direct marketing context. Web log servers automatically collect such data. Such data represent an ideal opportunity to leverage the direct connection between marketers and consumers that exists online.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the main individual and collective strategies online communities employ to appropriate fantasy worlds and the ways in which community members use imagination within this context. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative study drawing on an ethnography of online communities including individual in-person interviews with community members of the world is considered. Findings – The predominance and the vital importance of the production/consumption of stories within these communities has been shown. The multiple benefits of this practice have been illustrated, including the pleasure of creating and playing with one's imagination. These benefits engender the surprise and enchantment of community members, who lavish other members with encouragement, congratulations and thanks. Research limitations/implications – Because of opting for a non-participatory ethnography, it was impossible to directly contact the members of the community to conduct interviews. Thus a convenience sample was chosen representative of the study subject and individuals outside of these communities were questioned. Originality/value – The online community allows members to collectively and playfully participate in entertainment related to the fantasy world. It appears as an imaginary organization of the (entertainment) service provider. The members of this organization can take part in value coproduction and share the benefits of an extended entertainment service that sparks their imagination and allows them to enjoy the fruits of their creations. Given the fantasy world's power to fire the imagination of fantasy lovers, the paper demonstrates that it is important for leisure and entertainment service providers to consider adding a fantasy component to their service.
 
Article
Purpose – The potential impact of the internet on marketing is a common topic of discussion in marketing literature. However, there is still much debate on exactly what impact it will have on developing countries. To perceive this impact world-wide, it is essential to spread some light to the less investigated parts of the globe as well. This study aims to reach a better conceptual model for the internet's impact on marketing in Iran, by examining Iranian marketing managers' perceptions of the internet's impact on their key marketing activities and comparing the results with other parts of the world. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a cross-sectional research design involving self-administered delivery and collection surveys to Iranian marketing decision makers. Findings – The findings suggest that the impact of these new media will be to cause firms to redefine markets, marketing activity and value creation, although these changes are not dramatic. Research limitations/implications – The findings reported here are snapshots in time. The internet's rapid evolution and growth demand that regular tracking with longitudinal designs be implemented. Practical implications – Firms need to make changes in the marketing activities and market definitions and to try to reach the new ways that are created through the internet. Originality/value – A modified model for the world wide web marketing that seems to be more realistic for developing countries is presented.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reveal how mental models inherited from offline retailing have impeded both the theory and practice of online retailing, and to suggest fruitful areas of research in online retailing. Design/methodology/approach – The mental models of physical retail suggest physical constraints of various sorts, and yet for the most part, the constraints acting upon the e-tailer are instead logical, symbolic and cognitive. Findings – Researchers in e-tailing could benefit from pursuing a set of interesting issues including assortment, customer-to-customer value creation, site design and structure, and the importance of network topology. Research limitations/implications – There are many new topics in retailing that can be explored by marketers, as long as we are willing to jettison some of our cherished terminology and ways of thinking. In effect, online, the retailing mix becomes human-centric, rather than focusing on physical components. Practical implications – The skill sets needed to set up an e-tailing presence are substantially different than those required for offline retailing. Originality/value – The paper takes an unconventional view of the retailing literature, literature that goes back to the foundation of marketing as an academic discipline.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a recent study which explored consumer perceptions of mobile phone marketing. Through the application of constructs adapted from traditional innovation and product involvement research, the study examined how a consumer's perception of the relative advantages, compatibility and complexity associated with mobile phone marketing, and their involvement with their mobile phone, influenced their intention to accept marketing communication sent via this channel. Design/methodology/approach – A deductive, quantitative research approach was adopted, where data was collected using a self-completed questionnaire administered to a sample of 254 university students. Findings – Statistical analysis revealed that a consumer's perceptions of two of the three innovation attributes tested (relative advantage and compatibility) were significantly associated with their acceptance (or adoption) of marketing messages sent via their mobile phone. However, a slightly weaker relationship between a consumer's level of involvement with their mobile phone and their adoption of mobile phone marketing was found. Practical implications – This research provides companies with important insights into the factors that may encourage or deter consumer acceptance of this new form of direct marketing. Originality/value – The value of this study derives from its novel use of an established innovation framework, combined with an assessment of product involvement, to examine consumer perceptions of mobile phone marketing.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose that consumer goodwill can best be understood as a limited, but potentially renewable resource. Like a renewable natural resource, consumer goodwill can be over-exploited. A review of the rise and rapid fall of the business-to-consumer (b-to-c) telemarketing industry in the USA provides evidence that over-exploitation of consumer goodwill is precisely what happened. Using telemarketing as a case study, the paper aims to argue that direct marketing practices ought to be managed in accordance with principles of sustainability. If they are not, the consequences may be sudden and near-permanent declines in consumer responsiveness. Design/methodology/approach – The paper interprets the rise and rapid fall of b-to-c telemarketing in the USA through the theoretical framework of sustainability. The rise of telemarketing began in the early 1990s with the adoption of predictive dialer technology. Its demise can be marked by the passage of the Federal Do Not Call Registry in 2003. Findings – It was found that the framework of sustainability does, in fact, seem to adequately describe events surrounding the rise, then near-collapse of b-to-c telemarketing in the USA during this timeframe. Research limitations/implications – Being a conceptual paper, the principal finding is that there exists a real, but yet-undefined threshold of consumer goodwill towards consumer telemarketing. How can that threshold be determined? How can industry self-regulate to remain below its threshold? Can an industry that has over-exploited its consumer threshold of goodwill ever recover? These questions are raised, not answered. Originality/value – The paper applies the concept of sustainability to direct marketing. It will be of interest to any researchers or practitioners who seek to comprehend what worked so well then went quickly so wrong with b-to-c telemarketing in the USA. The findings may help to prevent similar consumer backlashes in other countries where b-to-c telemarketing has only begun to become common practice. These findings may also have value for practitioners who rely on consumer goodwill in other direct marketing channels, such as e-mail and catalog marketing.
 
Article
Purpose – Although consumer sophistication and empowerment is on the rise as a result of the digital revolution, there is insufficient academic exploration with the aim of understanding how this empowerment functions on the internet. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by proposing a new conceptual model in light of available literature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a deep and broad literature review and discussion regarding possible consumer power sources on the internet to develop the proposed conceptual model, which is defined as consumer empowerment model (CEM). The components of the model are discussed in detail to reveal possible links, consumer empowerment actualization, and impacts on consumer markets on the internet. Findings – The components of CEM are structured in light of the theory of reasoned action's main proposals as follows: “Perceived consumer power,” “Perceived consumer trust,” “Attitudinal consumer power” and finally “Behavioral consumer power.” Each component is discussed in terms of its possible contributions to the model in order to illustrate how this new form of consumer power actually works. The possible implications of consumer empowerment are also discussed in light of the newly proposed model. Originality/value – There is no paper discussing how consumer power actualization works and thus how consumer power revolutionizes today's cyberspaces. In this context, the study is the first of its kind.
 
Article
Purpose – The ability to acquire and process consumer information online has provided web-based vendors with the ability to personalize their merchandising at a very low cost. However, empirically establishing the expected positive effect of personalized merchandising has been difficult for practical as well as financial reasons. The aim of this paper is to compare the effectiveness of personalized vs random merchandising on consumers' attitudes and behaviors. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal subject experiment comparing standardized vs personalized merchandising was adopted. A fictitious web site was created for the purposes of the study. Findings – Personalized items led to more clicks than random suggestions. Moreover, a positive attitude towards personalization enhanced the attitude towards the web site. Research limitations/implications – Even if credibility was enhanced thanks to the web site design, the research suffered from a lack of external validity. Additionally, the procedure prevented us from observing any potential effect on basket size. Practical implications – A strategy of personalizing the content appeared to be relevant for web site managers. They should use “close” recommendations rather than “broad” recommendations and present a moderate number of personalized suggestions. Originality/value – The research is one of the few online experiments with a longitudinal perspective, which is considered necessary when studying consumers' reactions to the personalization “process”.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of personality factors on consumers' attitudes toward counterfeits and their willingness to knowingly purchase counterfeit luxury brands. Product performance and useful life are included to investigate their influence on consumers' willingness to purchase counterfeit luxury brands. Design/methodology/approach – A self-administered questionnaire is designed using established scales. Data are collected using a convenience sampling method from a large Australian university. Regression analyses are conducted using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings – Integrity is found to be the only factor influencing attitudes toward counterfeits. The useful life of a counterfeit luxury brand showed significant influence on consumers' willingness to purchase. Attitudinal factors and personality factors do not influence consumers' willingness to purchase counterfeit luxury brands. Research limitations/implications – The findings are limited to an Australian context. Mall intercept method can be implemented for future studies. The paper has only examined a high involvement luxury brand. Other product categories or low involvement products can be further investigated. Practical implications – It is recommended for government to implement educational programs that are not only limited to schools, but also to multinational companies and domestic businesses. Luxury brand owners are also encouraged to distinguish their products through emphasis on product attributes, such as their product's useful life. Originality/value – A specific high-involvement luxury brand is studied as opposed to previous studies only examining counterfeit luxury brands as a whole. Furthermore, this paper has also examined both personality factors and product attributes.
 
Top-cited authors
Minjeong Kim
  • Indiana University Bloomington
Nicole Koenig-Lewis
  • Cardiff University
Ian Phau
  • Curtin University
Shaojing Sun
  • Fudan University
Ying Wang
  • Youngstown State University