Showing posts with label brand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brand. Show all posts

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Online consumer behavior modeling

How to attract and win over the consumer in the highly competitive Internet marketplace?

What would the best marketer of the world do?

What would Sun Tzu do? 

What would Alexander the Great do? 

Well, the answer is not so simple, since online consumer behavior has become an emerging research area as well as a key factor for many companies. Digital ecosystems are evolving so rapidly and it seems that even the greatest strategists might face difficulties in consumer behavior modeling and optimizing consumer interactivity with the brand.

But how do we, marketers, approach the construct "online consumer behavior" in the first place? As suggested by Douglas et al. (1994), strong theoretical and conceptual frameworks can be developed through an integration of constructs from different disciplines. It is not coincidental that academic literature on online consumer modeling may be found in Journals like the ones of Electronic Commerce, Marketing Management, Decision Support Systems, Economic Psychology, Interactive Marketing, Management Information Systems and many more. Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and its family theories including the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) are dominant theories in process of explaining online consumer actions. Expectation-Confirmation Theory (ECT) and Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) have also been repeatedly tested in the study of online consumer behavior.

However, Cheung et al. (2003) tried to approach it by integrating the three key concepts of intention, adoption, and continuance, based on Fishbeins attitudinal theoretical model (Fishbein 1967) and the expectation-confirmation model (Oliver 1980). Their Model of Intention, Adoption, and Continuance (MIAC) seems an interesting framework for developing the framework of their theory.
Thus, the modeling framework proposed, as an extension to Hoffman and Novak (1996), it the following:
The five domains of consumer, product, medium, intermediary characteristics as well as enviromental influences were integrated in MIAC (intention, adoption, repurchase) in order to provide a cohesive view on online consumer behavior.

It seems that a wise marketer may segment the market, target the correct target segment with the correct product, both core and augmented, and position it with the correct marketing mix, in order to win competition. However, medium characteristics should not be ignored; Trust and perceived risk have been widely investigated in the study of consumer online purchase intention. Some recent studies (Lee and Turban 2001) focused primarily on the trust formation process in the context of Internet shopping. Furthermore, environmental influences including norms, cultures and cultural contextual sets should also not be underestimated; A consumer behavior pattern, e.g. adoption and success of a fragrance e-shop in Mexico could be totally different in Greece or India.

Electronic commerce is rapidly changing the way people do business all over the globe. In the B2C segment, Internet sales have been increasing dramatically over the last few years. Customers, not only those from well-developed countries but also those from developing countries, are getting used to the new shopping channel. Understanding the factors that affect intention, adoption and repurchase are important both for researchers and practitioners. MIAC is a nice model to begin with.

Classical consumer behavioral theories provide researchers with a good starting point in understanding online consumer behavior. However, we should take the IT component into serious consideration when doing research in online consumer behavior. Instead of blindly borrowing theories and models from other disciplines, researchers and practitioners should test their own behavioral models declaring what is unique and specific to the context of consumer-based electronic commerce. This may be the only way that marketing can survive in the Digital Age.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Brand Assets: Where are we going?

"We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. The analysis presented is based on a dataset of over 58,000 volunteers who provided their Facebook Likes, detailed demographic profiles, and the results of several psychometric tests."

Kosinski et al. 2013 (The Psychometrics Centre, University of Cambridge)

Like. Comment. Engage. Sponsored post again? Uhm.. Is your behavioral targeting ok? No?It's fine. Don't worry. Numbers are fine.

How have brands embraced digital ecosystems like Facebook as a key marketing channel to drive engagement and brand awareness? Let's use FB like waveforms as a metric of brand engagement and let's illustrate some examples of FB like pages:

Multinational retail corporation with 35M likes
Ivy League management magazine:
A worldwide branded commodity

A multinational sports company
Leading Telecommunications company in Greece-edited

Leading retail operator in Greece
It seems that these waveforms are similar to a manipulated oscillograph signal where the peak comes in "Sponsored Campaigns" periods and then to zero, till the next paid campaign. 

There are tons of examples like these. Off course, some of these effects could be explained by deeper analysis of econometric advertising models, mentioned here, but is this the best we can do with these new media? Where is organic traffic? Does paid traffic have a decent ROI in terms of brand engagement?

It depends.

I believe that the virtual digital economies which are developing as we speak will reshape the landscape of marketing as we know it. But do marketers do their best in order to engage with the customer, as brand ambassadors? The images above indicate that apart from the times that we press the button "Boost Post", things do not go very well in terms of brand engagement. Further KPI's, like numbers of comments and shares, retweets and favorites, per brand page, analyzed with statistical tools, should easily verify this hypothesis. I understand that perhaps, the higher the numbers, the higher is the brand perception and other key brand assets, but are the results discrete and measurable? 

In the long term, does the world have enough strategists to make optimum use of the new technologies and channels of communication?

For the time being we have:

  • Google, Facebook, Twitter charging and gaining billions for "awareness" and "engagement".
  • Overvalued IPOs, overnight millionaires, questionable business models, startups offering frivolous services, fake engagement tools and similar services.
  • Marketers trying to deliver actions with ROI but frequently unable to achieve optimum brand engagement, let alone incremental sales or other corporate goals.
  • 3B customers who are now online but have the same purchasing power that they would have if digital marketing wouldn't exist in a parallel universe.
  • Academics trying to follow up and model consumer behavior versus both real-life and digital marketing stimuli as technology advances.
A nice bubble? I think, yes.

How would Aristotle structure his philosophical pillars if he was writing his "Athenian Constitution" in his free time while working as a Chief Marketing Officer for Facebook or Google?

21st century. Who will pay for the news?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5+1 Latest Viral Commercials

The latest February commercials that went viral!

5. M&M'S Superbowl Ad

4. Jägermeister UK

3. Jerry Ricecake Superbowl Ad

2. U2 "Invisible" & Bank of America

1. Wonderful Pistachios Superbowl Ad

Lucky Star: SOS Children Villages

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5+1 January 2014 Top Commercials

The first crazy commercials of 2014 that are going viral as we speak! Enjoy!

5. King of Shaves "Just Add Water"

4. "Booking Epic"

3. New Zealand "Don't Drive Fast"

2. Bud Light "Arnold Zipper"

1. P&G, "Thank You, Mom"

Lucky Star: Bud Light "Don"

Monday, December 02, 2013

Intro to Data Mining for Marketers - Part 1

Data mining can be defined as the process of "discovering patterns, meaning and insights in large datasets by using statistical and computational methods". Data mining works to analyze data stored in data warehouses that are used to store that data that is being analyzed. That particular data may come from all parts of business, from the production to the management. Managers also use data mining to decide upon marketing strategies for their product. They can use data to compare and contrast among competitors. Data mining interprets its data into real time analysis that can be used to increase sales, promote new product, or delete product that is not value-added to the company.


Data mining was born in the fields of Statistics and Computer Science (some might say Artificial Intelligence) and may also be referred as “Statistical Learning”. From a statistical perspective, most early and recent advances coming from Statistics have come from the Stanford Statistics department school of thoughts like  Bradley EfronJerome H. FriedmanTrevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani. By the way, don’t forget that Stanford University is only 7 miles away from Google.

Stanford University ©

Data Mining Framework

Using data mining techniques, we, marketers, need to master an approach that will provide the decision makers with  a-priory knowledge about customers’ preferences and needs. Since there are many different kinds of customers with different kinds of needs and preferences, a simple, solid approach is meant to be a tool for performing market segmentation: divide the total market, choose the best segments, and design strategies for profitability serving the chosen segments better than the company’s competitors do. The example developed below is described for product development in auto industry, but it can be successfully implemented for any other applications where it is necessary to  find the correlations between the customer feelings or perceptions and the physical characteristics of a product. Yes, correlations, even through our statistics lenses. 

Yes,arithmophobia is over, my friend!


Any data mining application should start by understanding the business goals of the application since the blind application of data mining techniques without  the requisite domain knowledge often leads to the discovery of irrelevant or meaningless patterns. In order to understand the target customers of an automotive company, it would be helpful to examine the relationships between the vehicle image/attributes and the customer emotional benefits that are tied to psychological needs, personality traits, and personal values. Thus, data mining can enable us to understand more completely how product specific characteristics relate to customer needs and the benefits a customer hopes to obtain from them. For instance, for many people, cars, homes, restaurants and vacations provide emotional benefits as well as rational benefits. However, for a wealthy person who has everything, the emotional benefits provided by status, prestige and superiority of an expensive automobile could outweigh rational benefits such as gas economy, lower maintenance and insurance costs, and resale value.  

A target audience perhaps? "Free to do anything, in control, confident, sporty but with family."
Therefore, it will be beneficial to have a tool that will help us to respond to questions such as: What and how many of the personality attributes used to describe the customer might be shaped by the vehicle’s image?  What kind of vehicle this customer or group of customers will buy?

Data selection

This step calls for targeting a database or selecting a subset of fields to be used for the data mining. The following issues should be considered in developing a plan for collecting data efficiently:

  • Evaluation of existing data sources 
  • Specification of research approaches 
  • Data gathering (contact methods, sampling plans and instruments)

The survey research is a simple, efficient method to collect data. One of the advantages of the survey research is flexibility because it can be used to obtain many different kinds of information in many different situations. Furthermore, depending on the survey design, it may also provide information quicker at a lower cost compared to manual processing. The survey may be in the form of a questionnaire that is very flexible as there are many ways to ask questions. In preparing the questionnaire, only the questions contributing to the research objectives will be asked. The questions may be closed-ended, as they include all possible answers. In designing the survey, we also make sure that the questions are simple, direct and arranged in a logical order.  The first question should create interest if possible, and difficult or personal questions should be asked last so that respondents do not become defensive.

Instead of a traditional mail questionnaire, a more modern approach is the computer interviewing process, in which respondents sit down at a computer, read questions from a screen, and type their own answers into the computer at their own leisure. The beauty of this approach consists of its multiple benefits. As a first benefit, the respondents’ answers are automatically stored in a database. Furthermore, the survey is posted on the web and it can be accessible by an unlimited number of people. Filling out the survey becomes a non-time consuming task even for a busy person: the survey is on the web and it is accessible for anybody at any time; the submission of the completed survey requires only a ‘click on’ action executed by respondent, action possible  through an interactive survey implementation. 

Third, the computers might be located at different locations such as auto shows, dealerships, or retail locations. The biggest benefit is the collection of more relevant data since people present at those locations are most likely willing to answer correctly to the questions because they are interested in automobiles. The approach can be implemented such that the data is gathered from numerous computers  at different locations and stored in a unique and global database. As a fourth benefit, same survey format will be accessible to different categories of people: expert people (such as car designers) or people less familiar with auto domain characteristics. The large number of respondents and their diversity give more reliability on the results than small samples.

                                                      ...To be continued...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

5+1 Successful Commercials of 2013!

The most successful commercials that really went viral so far in 2013!

5. GEICO - Hump Day

4. H&M - David Beckham Short Film

3. GoPro - Fireman Saves Kitten

2. MGM - Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

1. Evian - Baby and Me


Lucky Star: Sony Playstation Instructional Video