Review of Marketing Research: Volume 10


Table of contents

(17 chapters)

Review of Marketing Research, now in its 10th volume, is a fairly recent publication covering the important areas of marketing research with a more comprehensive state-of-the-art orientation. The chapters in this publication review the literature in a particular area, offer a critical commentary, develop an innovative framework, and discuss future developments, as well as present specific empirical studies. The first 10 volumes have featured some of the top researchers and scholars in our discipline who have reviewed an array of important topics. The response to the first nine volumes has been truly gratifying and we look forward to the impact of the 10th volume with great anticipation.

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to examine the connection between actual variety (the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs)) and amount of useable variety that the consumer perceives. The optimal combination for a retailer is to offer an assortment that maximizes the perceived assortment variety while minimizing the perceived inter-item complexity. Both measures are a function of the actual variety offered in an assortment but other factors such as attribute structure of the individual items, assortment organization, and individual differences can alter the way the actual variety is perceived.Design/methodology/approach – The main methodology used in the chapter is a comprehensive, critical literature review of the empirical research on the topic.Findings – We find that while assortments with a large number of SKUs are desirable for attracting consumers to the category, too large assortments can result in consumer frustration and confusion. On the other hand, when assortments are small, the perceived variety or attention to the category may be limited.Value/originality – Our review shows ways a retailer can adapt to these challenges. First, we show that assortments are viewed in stages. In the first stage, high perceptions of variety are beneficial. When assortments are small, increasing perceived variety can be accomplished by increasing the number of subcategories within the assortment, adding in packaging cues, or using other emotional affective descriptors to further define options within the assortment. In the second or choice stage, too much variety can increase perceived complexity. Perceived complexity at this stage can be reduced by simplifying the complexity of the individual items within the assortment by increasing alignability of attributes, using a simplifying external organizational structure for the assortment, or helping consumers learn their preference.

Purpose – This chapter provides a critical review of the emerging field of consumer experience and experiential marketing.Design/methodology/approach – We review definitions, perspectives, and key research areas on the topics of consumer experience, product and service experiences, off-line and online experiences, as well as consumption and brand experiences. We report empirical findings, seminal studies, and insight into the experience process (e.g., how consumers process experiential attributes, how they process experiences over time, and whether positive and negative experiences can co-occur). We present research on experiential dimensions, experiential themes, and the nature of extraordinary experiences.Value/originality – The chapter provides value by discussing the key measurement and marketing management issues of experiential marketing and discusses the original issue whether it is rational for consumers to include experiences in their decision making.

Purpose – This study draws on conflict management literature to examine service recovery by service organizations and its effect on the important marketing outcomes of customer perceptions of service quality (satisfaction, trust, attribution/praise, and value) which influences customer retention rate (loyalty) and thus firm profitability.Design/methodology – Data from 412 banking customers are first employed to test the study’s model, and the results are subsequently cross-validated using a sample of 421 health-care customers.Findings – In services marked by moderate to low customer contact (i.e., task oriented) such as banking, effective conflict management tends to increase customer satisfaction, trust, and perceived customer value. It also has a positive effect on customer loyalty, albeit mediated by the above three variables. However, in high contact service contexts (i.e., personal oriented) like health care, conflict management seems to have relatively weak direct and indirect effects on customer loyalty.Research limitations/implications – The single country (Malaysian) origin of the present study’s data suggests the need for corresponding research in a Western context, where customers likely have different service expectations. Additionally, the research scope could be extended to focus on the relational nature of conflict management (the way in which a conflict is framed and resolved) in service recovery and how this moderates the relationship between perceived service quality and customer loyalty. The bi-industry approach taken in this research could also be extended to other low- and high-contact service sectors.Practical implications – Service organizations may benefit from training their employees on conflict management, honing skills in sensing and halting potential customer conflicts, and instituting a rapid and procedurally robust conflict resolution mechanism.Value/originality – This research is the first to examine firm’s conflict management across two service sectors. It contributes to theory by situating conflict management at the crux of the service failure/recovery relationship quality debate and underlining its relevance for a range of desired outcomes namely, customer satisfaction, customer trust, customer value attribution or customer praise, and customer loyalty.

Purpose – With the rapid proliferation of digital technology for creating and disseminating content in different forms – textual, music, video – both firms and consumers have a number of alternative technology and formats available for creating and consuming content. While this has led to more value for consumers, the firms have had mixed results. Some firms have seen their value erode through the adoption of newer formats as compared to the older ones (e.g., streamed music format vs. CD format), and other firms have been generally reluctant to embrace newer technology and formats for the similar reasons.Design/methodology/approach – In this chapter, we review the research issues in designing and pricing such digital content and formats and the various strategies that firms can adopt in ensuring that both firms and consumers benefit through the use of newer formats.Findings – We review and discuss the extant research in this domain and identify research issues for future research.Value/originality – As more traditional products morph into digital services, it is critical that these issues are addressed so that the content creation industry can survive in the short term and prosper in the long term.

Purpose – Although some literature exists on how consumers may interpret firm-generated signals about the unobservable quality of their product, there has been little effort to examine whether and how managers deploy signals about unobservable quality to compete.Design/methodology/approach – In this chapter, we address this issue by examining whether managers consciously use signals to compete with other firms, and how they choose between the vast number of signals available to them. We develop a formal model that allows us to generate a set of predictions drawn from information economics and behavioral decision theory. The predictions specify a pattern of managerial behavior according to which signals belonging to some categories are relatively attractive (for economic as well as psychological reasons).Findings – We report on the results of a series of three experiments in which executives are given the opportunity to deploy signals to communicate unobservable quality to skeptical consumers in a competitive market.Value/originality – The results of the studies provide compelling evidence in support of the formal argument.

Purpose – Extensive research in the area of consumer behavior has documented the “Country of Origin Effect,” which identifies country of origin as an important decision variable in evaluating products and services. Past research has mostly assumed that country of origin effect is driven by the performance of the products originating in that country. However, consumers can also form opinions about countries based on exposure to information that is unrelated to the product and may have roots in macro factors such as history, culture, and politics. These emotions, while extraneous to the product, can also influence product evaluations along with performance-related country information.Design/methodology/approach – This review examines research addressing both performance and emotional perceptions related to country of origin.Findings – This review presents an integrating framework termed “Nation Equity” to systematically understand and examine the influence of various dimensions of country of origin on consumer decision making.

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to advance knowledge on how firms should rethink and develop their innovation architecture by leveraging emerging market opportunities.Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a conceptual framework comprising the drivers and consequences of innovation architecture across emerging and developed markets. It also highlights emerging market innovation characteristics using detailed examples.Findings/conclusions – Most of the future growth in the global economy will come from emerging markets. Successful global firms will have to rethink and develop their innovation architecture by leveraging innovations developed for emerging markets. By balancing the long-term costs and benefits of innovations in both developed and emerging markets, global firms can successfully reshape their innovation architecture.Practical implications – From a practical perspective, the paper provides guidelines to executives for managing innovation architecture across emerging and developed markets. Innovations appropriately developed and launched in emerging markets have the potential to expand global consumer base and increase shareholder value.Social implications – From a societal standpoint, the paper helps improve consumer welfare in emerging markets by offering a roadmap to develop safe, relevant, and affordable products for mainstream customers. Reverse innovations, developed primarily for emerging markets also benefit consumers in developed markets and enhance their social welfare.Value/originality – The paper provides an original theoretical contribution in an important and underexplored research area – emerging market innovation. It is the first to develop an in-depth analysis of innovation architecture, advance a conceptual framework of the role of emerging markets in the development and consequences of innovation architecture, and offer a roadmap for strategic management of innovation architecture. Academic researchers, practitioners, and policy makers will benefit from this paper.

Purpose – The advancement of multimedia technology has spurred the use of multimedia in business practice. The adoption of audio and visual data will accelerate as marketing scholars become more aware of the value of audio and visual data and the technologies required to reveal insights into marketing problems. This chapter aims to introduce marketing scholars into this field of research.Design/methodology/approach – This chapter reviews the current technology in audio and visual data analysis and discusses rewarding research opportunities in marketing using these data.Findings – Compared with traditional data like survey and scanner data, audio and visual data provides richer information and is easier to collect. Given these superiority, data availability, feasibility of storage, and increasing computational power, we believe that these data will contribute to better marketing practices with the help of marketing scholars in the near future.Practical implications: The adoption of audio and visual data in marketing practices will help practitioners to get better insights into marketing problems and thus make better decisions.Value/originality – This chapter makes first attempt in the marketing literature to review the current technology in audio and visual data analysis and proposes promising applications of such technology. We hope it will inspire scholars to utilize audio and visual data in marketing research.

Purpose – Service-dominant logic (S-D logic) has conceptualized value as value-in-context where context is defined as a “set of unique actors with unique reciprocal links among them” (Chandler & Vargo, 2011, p. 40). The chapter proposes a means of measuring value-in-context as experienced by an actor while integrating resources, called the ValConRIA model (value-in-context of resource integrating activities).Design/methodology/approach – Value emerges from experiencing interactions in a service-for-service exchange. The actor perceives value as emerging with his activities and hence experiences the emerging value as connected to either his activities or the items supporting his activities or the people he is interacting with. We call these realms of experience the I (–Me) realm, the I–It and It–I realm, and the I–You and You–I realm, composing five dimensions. An exploratory principal component analysis supports this structure. The measurement process has been tested for reliability and validity and applied to different activities: using a laptop, using cigarettes (=smoking), using a smartphone, and using Facebook.Findings – According to where the actor mostly experiences the value emergence, five dimensions of value-in-context have been identified using principal component analysis. The measurement scale shows high construct reliability and discriminant validity.Implications – Being able to measure value-in-context as proposed by S-D logic brings S-D logic into practice. Practitioners can use the measurement process to identify value their customers co-create. The proposed means of measuring value-in-context does not measure the value of things but instead values as it emerges from an actor’s activities, exchanging service for service.Value/originality – To our knowledge this chapter is the first to propose a means of measuring value-in-context, which is based on S-D logic.

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Review of Marketing Research
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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