How to find a good marketing dissertation topic

t’s that time of the year when MSc students around the world start thinking about their marketing dissertation topics. A few years ago I wrote a post on “How to choose a dissertation topic in marketing” for INYIYD. I decided to create an updated version of that post...

Performance marketing: is your agency ticking the right boxes?

Performance marketing in the UAE is like the latest Lamborghini: everybody wants it, many people talk about it, but at the end, it is very rare to see it in action. No matter if we are speaking about Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, most advertisers are using soft or no metrics when it comes to analysing their campaigns. They are satisfied with “something is happening” but they do not really care whether they are getting some returns on their investment or not.

The science of marketing: How applying research in marketing can improve the SME business?

I am pleased to have been invited to deliver a workshop at the SME world summit 2016 at The Atlantis Hotel in Dubai this March 15th. This will be a great opportunity to disseminate some of the latest research in digital marketing that can help SMEs reach their business objectives through digital channels.

Interview at Business Breakfast: Generating positive engagement on Facebook fan pages

I was invited on the 26th of June to the show Business Breakfast in Dubai to discuss a bit about our paper "The influence of brand immediacy in consumer engagement behaviours: A revised social impact model".  I spoke about how social immediacy (who you're friends...

UAE Inter-School Business Challenge 2016 was a big success!

For the second time I was part of the organising team of the UAE Inter-School Business Challenge at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus. On this edition the interest was even greater than the last year, with over 200 students, 40 teams and some of the most prominent...

Digital Publishing: Kiera Doherty – Weber Shandwick

As the course leader of Advances in Digital Marketing at Heriot-Watt University, I have arranged a series of guest speaker sessions with leading digital marketing practitioners in Dubai. Last week the students enrolled in this course and myself enjoyed a one-hour session with Kiera Doherty, Head of Digital at Weber Shandwick in the Middle East.

SME World Summit 2016: Fostering growth through applied research.

There is an increasing pressure to use digital resources in an efficient manner, especially from an SME perspective. Making sure that the business outcomes from digital marketing activities are positive for SME owners can ensure future growth and increase customer...

Social influence marketing: why do we let others influence our purchase decisions and how to leverage this in your business

In the current hyper-connected environment where companies and consumers interact, learning how to leverage social influence marketing techniques can be a source of competitive advantage for your business.

AI and Marketing: a few thoughts after the 51st Academy of Marketing conference.

This week I went to Stirling to attend the Academy of Marketing conference. I took part in a workshop that looked at the intersection between AI and Marketing. My interest in AI derives from my innate interest in technology. Almost 8 years ago, when I decided I wanted...

Top hints to consider before developing a mobile app for your business

With a significantly higher penetration of smartphones than other countries, added to reduced organic reach in social media channels, revamping your mobile marketing strategy with a mobile app can be the way forward for many SMEs in the UAE. Isabella Leland and Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega discuss key elements you should consider before investing on a mobile application.

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How to Create a Customer Journey Map

According to Salesforce, 80% of senior-ranking marketers state that a cohesive customer journey is absolutely critical for success. These marketers understand how a customer or user journey map can streamline processes and provide customers with a consistent...

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How to make money online?

If you’re looking to make money online, you need to understand the different revenue models that are available. A revenue model describes the process by which money can be earned. Choosing a revenue model for your online business will help with decisions regarding how many resources to invest in your business.  There are four main revenue models: selling content, selling information, selling advertisement space and selling services

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Dark Social: what is it and what it means for your business?

Dark Social has become a major topic among marketing practitioners in the past years. The reason behind this is that marketers are realising that dark social behaviours are increasingly popular among consumers. In this article, we will look at what dark social is, and we’ll share some recommendations on how to leverage on this online behaviour.

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The UK General Election: can social media covfefe influence the elections?

Social media was, without a doubt, at the centre of all candidates’ campaign strategy in this General Election. However, this was not always the case. The Obama campaign popularised the use of social media for political reasons in 2008. Before that, ‘respectable’ politicians tended to shy away from this channel. The reasons are similar to the one’s brands experienced in the early stages of social media adoption: it is hard to control what happens once a tweet or Facebook post is out, and politicians (as well as brands) were not very keen on criticism on these public platforms. However, the attitudes towards social media by politicians worldwide is more welcoming today than ten years ago, and many of the most prominent personalities in the global political sphere have a prolific social media presence and covfefe. However, is it a positive thing?

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Blue Monday, fact, fiction or purely a marketing opportunity?

Today is supposed to be the gloomiest day of the year, according to Dr Cliff Arnall, a former academic specialised in the field of psychology that devised a formula that is supposed to determine the gloomiest day of the year based on some rather grim factors. Beyond the validity of Dr Arnall’s depression score formula, some opportunities arise from events like this from a marketing perspective, and businesses have embraced rather happily Blue Monday to their calendar of marketing communication activities and promotional events.

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Uncovering online brand communities

Online brand communities (OBCs) have increasingly gathered the attention of marketers as they can generate several positive outcomes for brands. An online brand community is a specialised group of people that gathers in online environments with a shared interest (usually a brand, a brand category, or a particular web page). These online communities become a space where consumers share ideas, feelings and opinions about a product or a brand. In this article, we will examine this phenomenon from an SME perspective as we believe that understanding how these communities work can also be beneficial for small businesses.

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Europe’s largest technology market place is around the corner: 7000+ UK tech and business leaders to descend on Lisbon

Web Summit is a global technology conference hosted annually in Lisbon. In 2016, more than 50,000 attendees from over 165 countries will fly to Lisbon for Web Summit, including over 20,000 companies, 7,000 CEOs and 2,000 international journalists. Speakers will include the founders and CEOs of the world’s largest tech companies as well as political leaders and major sports, fashion and music personalities.

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Performance marketing: is your agency ticking the right boxes?

Performance marketing in the UAE is like the latest Lamborghini: everybody wants it, many people talk about it, but at the end, it is very rare to see it in action. No matter if we are speaking about Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, most advertisers are using soft or no metrics when it comes to analysing their campaigns. They are satisfied with “something is happening” but they do not really care whether they are getting some returns on their investment or not.

read more

Analysing the effects on reputation, credibility and trust of three PR strategies to manage a crisis on Facebook

Social media platforms are now a common tool for PR practitioners to manage a crisis. When used correctly, social media allow organisations to monitor the sentiment of people towards a specific situation and to correct rumours rapidly before they become facts. However, what is the tone and best strategy that PR departments should adopt when a crisis happens?

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Social Media Summit 2016: social influence marketing on the rise

I was invited to give a talk on Facebook fan page engagement at the Social Media Summit in Dubai. This was based on part of the research that I have done for my PhD and some other new research avenues that I am currently investigating. What was interesting from this event, was how much relevance social influence marketing is having among marketing practitioners.

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A guide to social influence marketing in online environments

Social influence marketing employs social psychology principles to achieve marketing and business goals. It draws on the fact that as potential customers make a purchasing decision, they are being influenced by various forces. Within the field of social psychology, the concept of ‘social influence’ and its effect on individual behaviour, attitudes and beliefs is widely studied. Social influence has also of interest to marketers as consumer-to-consumer interactions are believed to affect consumer behaviour, attitudes, and feelings towards a product or brand. Trends towards brands being present in online environments, plus the innate human need to anthropomorphise objects to facilitate interactions with non-material objects make brand-consumer interactions within social media subject to similar effects.

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Engagement behaviours on Facebook Fan pages

Facebook offers companies several options to contact and communicate with their customers. Four behaviours are possible for a Facebook brand page user. Users can decide to look into a page of a brand and “Like” the page, which will lead to being able to see further messages from the brand later in his Facebook newsfeed. Furthermore, once that content is displayed, the platform allows users to “react” to the content, leave a comment on the content, and share the content with others. This post examines more in detail all these engagement behaviours.

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Building customer relationships one tweet at a time

The landscape of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has shifted markedly in recent years, fuelled, by amongst other things, developments in technology and the rapid expansion of social media platforms. Social media use among Internet users and businesses is now widespread. From an SME perspective, companies have looked at social media channels as a cost-effective marketing tool, and consequently many organisations, big and small, have jumped onto the social media bandwagon over the last decade. True, early social media platforms allowed businesses to market directly to their potential and current customers at almost zero financial cost, however with a push towards monetisation and changes in the algorithms in many of the mainstream platforms is making this channel a more pay-to-play one. We propose that looking at social media not only as a marketing tool but also as a space where companies and customers can build meaningful relationship is the way forward.

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#STEP2016 Reached over 22M users on Twitter

One of the most important conferences for start-ups in the MENA region took place this week: STEP 2016. The second edition of what it is very likely to become the hippest start-up gathering in the region had a combination of big players in the region (“the unicorns”) and very enthusiastic entrepreneurs that are looking to become the next big thing. The conference had also a very interesting line up of speakers from the region and beyond.

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The journey to successful content marketing in a highly cultural diverse setting: insights from Dubbizle in the UAE

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure to host Nadia Zehni, head of marketing at Dubbizle, the leading classified website in the UAE as part of the guest speakers invited to talk to our IMM students. Our Advances in Digital Marketing class had the opportunity to see how real organisations develop and implement their content marketing strategy, and to see that in fact the models that are taught in the lectures are implemented in marketing practice (you know all this set clear objectives, choose content types, measure results, etc.).

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Consumer engagement as a key performance metric in social media

The concept of consumer engagement is used in advertising and among marketing practitioners, ranking consumer engagement as one of the top priorities of online marketing activities. Among the reasons behind this interest are that consumer engagement is associated with consumer trust, satisfaction and loyalty and commitment, all of them strong indicators of long-term sales, word-of-mouth and brand advocacy.

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