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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Volume 28, Issue 2
In this issue, we start with a paper by Helen Reijonen and Tommi Laukkanen of the University of Joensuu in Finland on customer relationship practices in SMEs. Relationship marketing is crucial to the sustainability of small businesses which form the backbone of our economies. This study examines how SMEs engage in marketing-related activities and act on customer information in the context of profitability. The authors conclude that not enough attention is given to marketing in many SMEs, especially the very small organisations. Furthermore, the study highlights the leading role of owner-managers in the level of marketing focus and thus emphasises the need to enhance their marketing capabilities and awareness.
Steve Dix and Ian Phau of Curtin University of Technology in Australia contribute the next paper on situational triggers of television channel switching, thus helping advertisers to understand the environmental and advertising content impacts on keeping young viewer’s attention. Pankaj Priya of the Birla Institute of Management Technology with Rajat Kanti Baisya and Seema Sharma of IIT Delhi in India also address children’s behaviour, in this case in the context of associating the impact of television advertisements on their buying activity. Based on a study of child psychologists, advertisers, parents of young children and children themselves, they found that the demand for the advertised products is indeed heavily influenced by the children’s attitude towards advertisements. Further, in very young children the entertainment value of advertisements is a crucial influence and as they get older, the credibility of advertisements has the potential to create a positive attitude to consequent behaviour. They conclude that a focused approach is required by advertisers in planning their advertisement campaign for different age groups of children who cannot be considered an homogenous group.
Ying Fan and Yixuan Li from Brunel University in the UK continue the theme of understand the important young consumer segment, contributing their research on information sources that impact on the buying behaviour of children in China – an important emerging market that represents a significant element of the future global market. Complimentary to the previous paper, they find that though advertisements are an important source of information to children, they place a greater level of trust in interpersonal information sources, especially in their parents who are perceived as the most credible information source, thus highlighting the importance of understanding the range of customer roles, including influencer. This implies that to influence children, promoters must also influence parents as a pre-cursor to developing positive child purchase behaviour.
Simon Hudson and Vincent Wing Sun Tung of the University of Calgary in Canada report their analysis of marketing film locations. Presenting examples of the best marketing practices they highlight how three key strategic marketing approaches can be employed when promoting locations to film producers – product differentiation, service differentiation and cost advantages. They show how six main specific promotional tactics (advertising, sales promotions, joint promotions, public relations, online marketing and direct marketing and personal selling) are used to good effect and conclude by suggesting a model explaining the relationship between film commissions and film producers involving these strategies and promotional tools.
Mehmet Haluk Köksal of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and Engin Özgül from the University of Dokuz Eylul in Turkey follow this theme of capitalising on international competitive advantage with their paper on the export competitive advantages of Turkish companies. Through a comparison of high and low performing companies, they found that brand image, product quality and cost of goods sold in the export markets were the most important factors in competitive advantage and thus success in the export markets. Secondary to these factors they found that the ability to understand consumers’ needs and wants, developing strong relationships with consumers in the marketplace and export managers’ knowledge are important skills and resources that differentiate successful export companies from unsuccessful ones.
Ann M. Torres of the National University of Ireland in Galway presents a case study paper about the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), providing an examination of the branding and communications strategy of a prominent non-profit organisation. The ICRC is the world’s oldest non-religious organisation dedicated to humanitarian relief with a remit that includes civilian and military victims of armed conflicts and internal disturbances, as well as human rights issues that transcend conflict situations, such as disaster response and preparedness, health and care in the community, and humanitarian principles and values. The ICRC’s longevity is attributed to its ability to evolve, albeit at times slowly. However, the environment in which the ICRC operates is changing rapidly and like many international non-profit organisations, the ICRC faces considerable challenges to ensure it remains relevant by responding to the shifting environment in a flexible and creative manner and consequently, this study concludes that the ICRC’s marketing – especially its communication efforts have become increasingly important to its continuing effectiveness.
Finally, let me highlight some future special issues of Marketing Intelligence & Planning: Branding in Emerging Markets; Marketing Practice and Methods of Enquiry; Educating Tomorrows Marketers.
All of these issues are very important to us as marketing academics and practitioners. Branding in emerging markets reflects the twin challenges of maintaining brand value in a rapidly changing international environment. Marketing practice and methods of enquiry addresses the need to maintain rigour and relevance in our research and is particularly important as we increasingly consider the impact on practice of the findings of research in marketing. Educating tomorrow’s marketers continues the theme of the 2009 Academy of marketing keynote presentation concerning the imperative of new and imaginative approaches to nurturing effective marketing managers of the future. Full details of all these issues are available in the journal homepage “news” section at: www.emeraldinsight.com/mip.htm