Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Consumer Marketing, Volume 28, Issue 4
The only thing about change is that it is never constant. This concept creates all type of opportunities and obstacles for marketers. With the ever-increasing amount of information that is available to the consumer, making a product/service selection may not be as straightforward as it once was for the consumer. Yes information is important, but where the consumer obtains this information is also becoming a key factor for the marketer to consider. The digital revolution is definitely affecting the global marketplace, and in turn, any marketing strategy that is being developed must include this into a formula for potentially succeeding in the marketplace. The social fabric of every society is changing and this must be addressed.
Ho and Weinberg seek to assess how different segments in the movie market respond to three marketing drivers, namely prices, product availability and viewing channels (including piracy). Pirated movies have had a definite impact on the way that consumers are both purchasing and viewing movies. The authors found that different segments appear to place a similar value in viewing a movie on an authentic DVD as compared to a pirated movie. The authors demonstrate the need to segment consumers of pirated products by the channels of acquisition and suggest that the movie industry’s attempt to portray piracy as being immoral or unethical has had limited impact.
Leppel and McCloskey examine how age differences affect attitudes and participation in electronic commerce. Compared to younger respondents, those 50 and older showed greater concerns about security issues and more frustration in their pursuit of product information. Respondents aged 50 to 69 made online purchases more often and were more likely to be big spenders than those 70 and older and those 18 to 25. Online firms must take into consideration the frustrations and security concerns of the aging population. Thus, online shopping could play a more important role in the older consumers’ shopping patterns by helping to eliminate the stress of shopping.
Guo, Hao and Shang research consumers’ perception of brand functions in an emerging market: China. The authors also investigate the impact of brand functions on brand loyalty. The results of this research show that for Chinese consumers, brands accomplish various functions such as “recall of past experience”, “quality sign” and “identity”. In addition, “recall of past experience” is a unique brand function for Chinese consumers and has a positive impact on brand loyalty. Overall, consumer perceptions of brand functions represent a multidimensional concept. Marketing managers could reinforce the experiential activities and strengthen the affective link between the consumer and the brand. One other important factor is that the youth market in China (teenagers and those in their 20s) might be an attractive segment for further consideration as there is great potential for this segment.
Spiekermann, Rothensee and Klafft look at the consumer coupon market. While coupon distribution is on the rise, redemption rates remain surprisingly low. The author’s research shows how recognizing context variables, such as proximity, weather, geographic position of the consumer and financial incentives all interact to determine a company’s coupon campaigns’ success. Even though proximity drives coupon redemption, location is key: city center campaigns seem to be much more sensitive to distance than suburban areas. When designing a coupon campaign for a company, coupon distribution should not follow a “one-is-good-for-all-strategy” even for one marketer within one product category. The author’s propose that each coupon strategy should carefully consider contextual influence. This becomes especially feasible in mobile marketing campaigns.
Cudmore, Bobrowski and Kiguradze address the issue of healthcare web sites versus hospital-based web sites. Their research compares two [award winning] hospital-based web sites with two commercial healthcare web sites in an effort to determine significant predictors of positive attitudes toward the web sites when actively searching for healthcare information. The results of this study show how user perception, attitude and gratitude are revealing of the strengths and weaknesses of hospital versus commercial healthcare web sites as a means of providing consumers with information about companies, their services and products. Quality of web site and ease of use are the dominant predictors are most important when comparing commercial healthcare web sites versus hospital based web sites.
Ahmed, d’Astous and Petersen show that the congruency between the source of a product being evaluated and the community held perception of that product’s association with a country of origin leads to a more positive evaluation of the product. Consumers who are familiar with products made in Denmark should be the prime targets for products congruent with Denmark. Because of their strong association with Denmark, these products may benefit from their association with Denmark as the country of design in promotional programs.
In this issue you will also find our Internet currency section, as well as our Book review section.
Richard C. Leventhal