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Show Me the Money: Improving our Understanding of How Organizations Generate Return from Technology-Led-Marketing Change

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the conundrum between the increasingly importance of investments in new information technologies (IT) on marketing practice and marketing scholars continuing to question the profitability of IT-led marketing initiatives. Design/methodology/approach – Systematic reviews of the relevant literature on the financial and market return of customer relationship management (CRM) investments from both Marketing and Information Systems (IS) literature were conducted. Findings – Findings suggest that, while both IS and Marketing scholars try to determine what generates returns on CRM investment, the IS community has a more complete conceptualisation as to how these returns are realised. A broader epistemological framework, better suited to observing how organisations benefit from IT-led management initiatives, enables a more comprehensive assessment of CRM investment. Research limitations/implications – Supplementing the methods used by Marketing scholars with those frequently used in IS research would likely improve the assessment of IT-led Marketing investments and the resultant prescriptions for Marketing practitioners. Practical implications – Failure to assess accurately the return from IT-led Marketing investments hinders managers’ ability to manage them for maximum performance improvements, all the more important now that organisations are preparing for large-scale investments in big data and social media strategies. Originality/value – This paper is the first to illustrate how a combination of Marketing and IS scholarship can assist Marketing research and practice.
... Finally, time since system rollout is controlled for (Karim et al., 2007). Productivity gains and productivity gain discrepancy may change over time (Hendricks, Singhal, & Stratman, 2007;Maklan, Peppard, & Klaus, 2015;Speier & Venkatesh, 2002), and, thus, controlling for time since rollout may partial out noise in the variance. ...
... To date CRM studies have focused on broad organizational implementation issues (see Dalla Pozza et al., 2018). This study extends CRM research "backwards" (see Chatterjee et al., 2020;Kim et al., 2011;Maklan et al., 2015) by demonstrating that the business value firms realize from their CRM investments depends on what occurs during the system implementation phase. Our study reveals that a project-level of analysis (c.f. ...
... Drawing on RBV, our study improves understanding of the mechanisms through which (i.e., how) CRM investments impact organizational performance by answering calls for research to consider the role that project-level resources and outcomes play in the called-for-new-research process (Alexander, 2019;Karim et al., 2007;Maklan et al., 2015;Mikalef et al., 2020). Consistent with prior RBV research on the business value of IT systems, we find that system quality is a critical mediator of the impact of the firms' strategic-and project-level IT capabilities on organizational performance (Gu & Jung, 2013;Hitt, Wu, & Zhou, 2002;Stratopoulos & Dehning, 2000). ...
Article
While CRM technology implementation initiatives frequently end up as failures, most research has focused on user related reasons for understanding low success rates. This study extends CRM research backwards into the system implementation phase to improve understanding of the hitherto unexplored technical antecedents of CRM success. We advance a resource-based theory of CRM system capability (CRMSC) to explain how firm- and project-level capabilities act to influence organizational performance. Empirical findings from a survey matching 148 IT manager and 474 end-user responses support the conceptualization of CRMSC as a project-level capability, and suggest that CRMSC and system quality mediate the effects of firm-level IT capability on organizational productivity gains and productivity gain discrepancy. The study complements extant understanding about the link between strategic and operational IT capabilities by offering actionable insight on the combination of resources firms need to deliver a CRM system that enhances performance.
... Building on previous literature (Rapp et al., 2010;Maklan et al., 2015), we consider Organizational Performance derived from Social CRM as a multidimensional construct including measures related not only to customers but also to finance, such as increased sales, market share, and profitability. ...
... Based on previous studies (e.g.,Chang et al., 2010;Keramati et al., 2010;Trainor et al., 2014;Maklan et al., 2015;Wu, 2016), we drew up a 7-point Likert-type scale (1-"much worse than my competitors", 7-"much better than my competitors") to measure Organizational Performance in comparison to competitors. We chose this comparative method to measure Organizational Performance due to its use in recent research on Social Media use(Foltean et al., 2019;García-Morales et al., 2018;Palacios-Marques et al., 2015;Wu, 2016). ...
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Purpose Although Social Media use has become all-pervasive, previous research has failed to explain how to use Social Media tools strategically to create business value in today's increasingly digital landscapes. Adopting a dynamic capabilities perspective, this paper empirically examines the specific process through which Social Media use translates into better performance and the capabilities involved in this process. Design/methodology/approach A research model is proposed that includes both antecedents and consequences of Social Media use. Existing research was examined to derive the research hypotheses, which were tested using SEM methodology on a sample of 212 hotels. Findings The results show that Social Media use does not exert significant direct impact on organizational performance. Rather, the findings confirm the mediating role played by Social CRM and Customer Engagement capabilities in the value creation process. Practical implications The results demonstrate how Social Media tools should be implemented and managed to generate business value in hotels. Implications yield interesting insights for hotel managers Originality/value This study is a first attempt to analyze empirically the real impact of digital media technologies, particularly Social Media use, drawing on the dynamic capabilities perspective and focusing on service firms (hotels). Including the variable “Organizational Readiness” as a basic prerequisite to benefit from Social Media use enhances the study's novelty and contribution.
... The ability to transform knowledge into useful, multi-channel and up-to-date communication is what distinguishes a company from competitors, and the key success factor is the adaptation of activities to the most important results and innovation (Miller, 2011;Rizzo, 2015;Maklan et al., 2015;Papa et al., 2021;Filieri & Mariani, 2021). Many companies have at their disposal data and tools, but find it problematic to use them (Berman et al., 2007;King, 2018;Branda et al., 2018;Jabbar et al., 2020;Morewedge et al., 2021). ...
... In addition, as companies are increasingly investing resources in Big Data and social media without completely acknowledging the return on these investments, scholars should deepen this issue, investigating how to measure first, and then maximise the return on Big Data applied to CRM and SCRM investments. In this context, scholars might supplement the performance methods usually used in marketing with those frequently used in information system research to improve the assessment of these investments (Maklan et al., 2015). ...
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Purpose Due to the recent development of Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) technology solutions in customer relationship management (CRM), this paper provides a systematic overview of the field, thus unveiling gaps and providing promising paths for future research. Design/methodology/approach A total of 212 peer-reviewed articles published between 1989 and 2020 were extracted from the Scopus database, and 2 bibliometric techniques were used: bibliographic coupling and keywords’ co-occurrence. Findings Outcomes of the bibliometric analysis enabled the authors to identify three main subfields of the AI literature within the CRM domain (Big Data and CRM as a database, AI and machine learning techniques applied to CRM activities and strategic management of AI–CRM integrations) and capture promising paths for future development for each of these subfields. This study also develops a three-step conceptual model for AI implementation in CRM, which can support, on one hand, scholars in further deepening the knowledge in this field and, on the other hand, managers in planning an appropriate and coherent strategy. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to systematise and discuss the literature regarding the relationship between AI and CRM based on bibliometric analysis. Thus, both academics and practitioners can benefit from the study, as it unveils recent important directions in CRM management research and practices.
... This study suggests new research directions for improving our understanding of the complex socio-technical mechanisms that influence CRM project success (Maklan et al., 2015;Wallace et al., 2004). In particular, our findings point to at least five additional research questions that may serve to guide future inquiry in the CRM domain: 1 What criteria should be used in the selection process of CRM consultants for implementation projects that may vary in terms of APP, REQ or both? 2 How should the cooperation between CRM consultants and users be organized to help counteract various project risks without adding complexity to the implementation process? 3 To what extent does CRM contract typei.e. ...
Article
Purpose The current research aims to answer the following question: To what extent and under what conditions does hiring consultants to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system produce performance gains for companies? To answer this question, this research delves into the critical interdependent roles of CRM consultant resources (CR) and user involvement (UI) in overcoming CRM’s technological and organizational implementation challenges. Design/methodology/approach A quantitative field study methodology was used to empirically test the research hypotheses. Cross-sectional data ( N = 126) were collected from large client companies using CRM technology. Partial least squares-structural equation modeling was used to estimate the significance levels of the structural model. Findings The findings indicate that the extent to which CRM consultants improve CRM system quality (SQ) and, ultimately, firm performance, largely depends on UI, which acts as the key facilitating mechanism to cope with application complexity (APP) and requirements uncertainty (REQ). Originality/value This research probes into the largely unexplored interactions between CRM CR, UI, APP and REQ. Using these parameters, this model successfully predicts CRM SQ and firm performance.
... Despite the large number of studies which show positive results of SM use in different areas in companies, very few studies have focused on studying how social media is used in companies and how the aforementioned benefits can be achieved. Maklan et al. (2015) argue that marketing literature lacks understanding of how the benefits of IT investments are realized in companies, and that the overall focus of marketing literature in the area of technology benefits has been on the WHAT questions. He argues that the marketing discipline should not assume a flat benefit realization, and needs to investigate how different benefits of the new technologies including social media are realized in companies. ...
Conference Paper
Social Media (SM) is believed to have fundamentally changed the interactions between companies and their customers. In light of the increasing evidence for positive impacts of SM use in companies, this research is aiming to provide insight on how SM is used in companies, and what are the processes involved in utilization of SM data. Results of empirical data from a case study reveal distinctive differences between how companies deal with UGC and FGC in different aspects of SM use, SM data processing, and SM data utilization in decision making. Three inter-related processes are identified in relation to processing of UGC related data, FGC related data, and automated processing of all SM data using SM analytics technology. Findings illustrate tree types of manifestation of SM data utilization, but reveal that overall SM data utilization is ad-hoc and limited, leading to important implications for research and practice in this area.
Chapter
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Article
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Chapter
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