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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.
Mobile advertising is in an experimental phase in MENA region, where marketers are simply just “trying it out” and hold the attitude that the mobile “doesn’t work yet”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Chapter 6 of the second edition of Research Methods for Business Management, I expand on how the Internet and Social Media can be used to gather both primary and secondary data to answer many (if not all) of your research questions in your business dissertation.
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.).
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.
A challenge associated with the use of fan pages by a brand is to elicit engagement behaviours towards it, by attracting people’s attention and enticing them to click on the page to become a fan, or clicking on the content.
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...
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...
A couple of colleagues at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh and Dubai have gathered to launch: It's not you, it's your data! - A blog that looks to make life easier for everyone in their late years of undergraduate education, as well as to those in postgraduate...
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.
During the summer period, two of my dissertation supervisees decided to turn part of their dissertations into conference papers. I was very pleased to learn that the two papers were accepted to be presented in the upcoming International Conference on Organization and Management (ICOM 2015) in Abu Dhabi.
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...