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Article
Publication date: 22 December 2020

Jari Salo, Teck Ming Tan and Hannu Makkonen

The purpose of this paper is to cast light on the nature of the digitalization process that occurs when digital technologies are adopted in buyer–seller relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to cast light on the nature of the digitalization process that occurs when digital technologies are adopted in buyer–seller relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The study features a case study from the steel processing industry.

Findings

The present research builds on and extends the interaction approach to the context of buyer–seller relationship digitalization process. The study explicates the interrelated elements of digital infrastructure, digital communication and degree of digitalization of the buyer–seller relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The study aims at theoretical generalization and thus produces conceptual understanding that is to some extent applicable to various contexts. The generalization of the empirical insights to other process-focused industries is to some extent possible. However, further research in versatile empirical contexts is needed to validate the results.

Practical implications

For managers, the study presents a success case of digital technologies use for improving a buyer–seller relationship.

Originality/value

The originality of the present research is in the way it depicts how a buyer–seller relationship is gradually digitalized in successive digital technology adoptions, that is, a virtuous cycle of digitalization, that creates and alters the digital infrastructure and digital communication processes between the buyer and the seller resulting in different outcomes (degrees of digitalization in the buyer–seller relationship).

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2020

Helen Cripps, Abhay Singh, Thomas Mejtoft and Jari Salo

The purpose of this research is to investigate the use of Twitter in business as a medium for knowledge sharing and to crowdsource information to support innovation and…

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3869

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate the use of Twitter in business as a medium for knowledge sharing and to crowdsource information to support innovation and enhance business relationships in the context of business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a combination of methodologies for gathering data in 52 face-to-face interviews across five countries and the downloaded posts from each of the interviewees' Twitter accounts. The tweets were analysed using structural topic modelling (STM), and then compared to the interview data. This method enabled triangulation between stated use of Twitter and respondent's actual tweets.

Findings

The research confirmed that individuals used Twitter as a source of information, ideas, promotion and innovation within their industry. Twitter facilitates building relevant business relationships through the exchange of new, expert and high-quality information within like-minded communities in real time, between companies and with their suppliers, customers and also their peers.

Research limitations/implications

As this study covered five countries, further comparative research on the use of Twitter in the B2B context is called for. Further investigation of the formalisation of social media strategies and return on investment for social media marketing efforts is also warranted.

Practical implications

This research highlights the business relationship building capacity of Twitter as it enables customer and peer conversations that eventually support the development of product and service innovations. Twitter has the capacity for marketers to inform and engage customers and peers in their networks on wider topics thereby building the brand of the individual users and their companies simultaneously.

Originality/value

This study focuses on interactions at the individual level illustrating that Twitter is used for both customer and peer interactions that can lead to the sourcing of ideas, knowledge and ultimately innovation. The study is novel in its methodological approach of combining structured interviews and text mining that found the topics of the interviewees' tweets aligned with their interview responses.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Saku Hirvonen, Tommi Laukkanen and Jari Salo

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between brand orientation and business growth in business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises…

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2545

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between brand orientation and business growth in business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The authors also explore whether this relationship is moderated by internal firm-related factors (firm age, firm size) and/or external market-related factors (market life cycle, industry type).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and empirically test a conceptual model using data from 396 B2B SMEs operating in Finland. Structural equation modeling is used for testing the research hypotheses.

Findings

Brand orientation contributes to business growth via two indirect paths, the first one going through brand performance and the second one going through brand performance and customer relationship performance. However, although the effects are positive, the results reveal that the regression coefficients are relatively small, implying only a limited impact of brand orientation on growth among B2B SMEs. The results further suggest that firm age, firm size and industry type moderate the brand performance–business growth relationship, whereas market life cycle moderates the effect of brand orientation on brand performance.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could extend this study by examining brand orientation in industrial markets simultaneously with alternative strategic orientations, such as market, technology and innovation orientation. New moderator variables should also be considered, such as market or technological turbulence. Furthermore, given that this study uses a cross-sectional data set, it is recommended that future research should attempt to test the model using longitudinal data sets.

Practical implications

B2B SMEs are able to gain business growth through developing a strong brand. However, brand orientation per se appears to be of limited relevance for such an endeavor. Consequently, managers of small industrial firms should consider brand orientation only with, and in comparison to, alternative strategic orientations.

Originality/value

Brand orientation has been very rarely examined from the perspective of B2B firms or that of SMEs. Interestingly, the findings indicate that the performance benefits of brand orientation seem to be smaller among B2B SMEs than what earlier research would imply. The analysis of moderation effects offers additional insights into whether there are differences between industrial SMEs as to the relevance of brand orientation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2018

Teck Ming Tan, Jari Salo, Jouni Juntunen and Ashish Kumar

The study aims to investigate the psychological mechanism that motivates consumers to pay more for a preferred brand that reflects their actual or ideal self-concept, by…

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1548

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the psychological mechanism that motivates consumers to pay more for a preferred brand that reflects their actual or ideal self-concept, by examining the shift in attention between consumer’s present, future, and past moments.

Design/methodology/approach

First, in a survey setting, the study identifies the relationship between temporal focus and self-congruence. Subsequently, we conduct three experiments to capture the effects of temporal focus on brand preference and willingness to pay (WTP). In these experiments, we manipulate consumers’ self-congruence and temporal focus.

Findings

The findings show that consumers with a present focus (distant future and distant past foci) tend to evaluate a brand more preferably when the brand serves to reflect their actual (ideal) selves. However, in the absence of present focus consumers’ WTP is more for a brand that reflects their ideal selves.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not have an actual measure on consumers’ WTP; instead we use single-item measure.

Practical implications

This study sheds new light on branding strategy. The results suggest that authentic and aspirational branding strategies are relevant to publicly consumed products. Brand managers could incorporate consumers’ temporal focus into branding strategy that could significantly influence consumer preference and WTP for their brands.

Originality/value

This study expands our understanding of brand usage imagery congruity by showing that temporal focus is an important determinant of self-congruence. In this regard, this study empirically investigates the relationship of temporal focus, self-congruence, brand preference, and WTP. It further reveals that mere brand preference does not necessarily lead consumers to pay more for symbolic brands.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Internet Research, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2021

Shahid Rasool, Roberto Cerchione, Jari Salo, Alberto Ferraris and Stefano Abbate

This study aims to examine the role of hunger, environmental, economic, landfill and water shortage concerns as significant dimensions of consumer social awareness…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the role of hunger, environmental, economic, landfill and water shortage concerns as significant dimensions of consumer social awareness marketing in socially responsible plate food consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

To carry out their purpose, the authors validate the hypothesized model empirically through data from 1,536 households using structural equation modeling (SEM). In particular, the construct measures of the structural model have been tested by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Findings

The outcome the authors came up with is coherent with the hypothesized model, and it proves a positive relationship of the five dimensions identified on consumer awareness. Moreover, the study results show the crucial role of landfill and water shortage concerns in measuring consumer awareness.

Practical implications

These findings may be of interest to practitioners, academics and policymakers for socially responsible food consumption guidance and training for planning consumer awareness programs. More in detail, this study offers the indication that the dimensions of the social consumer awareness construct are differing from commercial consumer awareness.

Originality/value

Even though several previous studies have addressed the concept of consumer awareness concerning product and service purchase decisions, this is one of the first research studies on consumer awareness as a multidimensional construct in social marketing studies domain.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2018

Giuseppe Pedeliento, Daniela Andreini, Mara Bergamaschi and Jari Salo

End users are often involved in organizational buying, but very little is known about the role that they play and how they influence purchasing decisions. This study aims…

Abstract

Purpose

End users are often involved in organizational buying, but very little is known about the role that they play and how they influence purchasing decisions. This study aims to explore the factors behind end users’ attempts to influence purchasing and the strategies they use.

Design/methodology/approach

The research draws on the concept of purchasing task involvement, which describes the feelings of personal relevance that a buying center member has for a specific organizational purchasing decision. This concept is used to gain a deeper understanding of users’ influence in organizational purchasing and link it to sources of power and the corresponding influence strategies. The study is based on 90 in-depth interviews with buyers, drivers and sellers of heavy trucks.

Findings

End users’ purchasing task involvement is only marginally determined by the product’s performance or technical features. Purchasing task involvement leads to influence when there are specific power relationships between the buyer and the user and under specific circumstances.

Originality/value

This is the first study that links end users’ purchasing task involvement, power and influence strategies in organizational buying.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2018

Muhammad Junaid Shahid Hasni, Jari Salo, Hummayoun Naeem and Kashif Shafique Abbasi

Branding has become a permanent source of competitive advantage for any leading business. Predominantly, it is execution inside the organization for employees. The purpose…

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1699

Abstract

Purpose

Branding has become a permanent source of competitive advantage for any leading business. Predominantly, it is execution inside the organization for employees. The purpose of this paper is to measure the influence of internal branding (IB) on customers-based brand equity (CBBE) and the mediating effect of organizational loyalty (OL) between two retail store chains of an under developing country (e.g. Pakistan).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on primary data. Data were collected from frontline officers and customers of selected retail stores. Descriptive analysis, mediation analysis and independent sample t-test data analysis techniques were applied through smart PLS and SPSS.

Findings

The results of the study revealed that IB influences OL and CBBE. The outcomes showed the mediation effect of OL on the relationship between IB and CBBE partially. Furthermore, results of this papers also disclosed a difference in the levels of IB and OL in both organizations. But, there was no difference in the level of brand equity among customers of both retail stores.

Practical implications

The retail store sector is growing at fast pace with new innovations in all dimensions of the sector. These results could help the retail industry with empirical pieces of evidence to implement IB in their organizations to make the strong relationship between store and customer through efficient and well-trained frontline officers.

Originality/value

The study’s noteworthy contribution to the industry and academic world is the empirical support for the relationship between IB and CBBE. This study has explored the IB in the service sector (i.e. the retail store) from the non-western and under developing context.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 46 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Jari Salo

The impacts of information technology on business relationships have been of interest to managers for decades, and this stream of research has also steadily gained…

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2201

Abstract

Purpose

The impacts of information technology on business relationships have been of interest to managers for decades, and this stream of research has also steadily gained recognition among academics. However, the emergence of mobile technologies and the use of mobile solutions within business relationships is a less well studied area. Thus, the purpose of this research is to show how mobile solutions can be deployed within industrial buyer‐supplier relationships to enhance processes, coordination and overall value creation.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical part of the research presents an in‐depth case study in the context of the steel industry.

Findings

It is shown that mobile technology usage has a central role in key business relationships to improve internal and inter‐organizational coordination. Mobile technology usage grid was conceptualized from the literature to categorize the possible impacts of mobile technology deployment on coordination.

Practical implications

As a practical result, this research shows that a wi‐fi infrastructure based system that uses handheld devices like PDAs can be used to shorten and cut costs of internal and interfacing processes between buyer and supplier. In practice, the steel hardness test report measurements and transmissions from one organization to another are made more effective.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of the research is the use of only one case study and the resulting lack of generalizable results. Future studies could include case studies in other contexts, and later a quantitative study could be conducted to validate and broaden the findings.

Originality/value

The paper presents how mobile technology is used in a business relationship and what kind of impacts the usage has on the relationship. The paper contributes to the evolving bonding discussion in business relationships as well as indicates ways to use mobile technology effectively in a business relationship.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Helen Cripps, Jari Salo and Craig Standing

The purpose of the paper is to describe the impediments to information technology (IT) adoption and possible solutions in the context of business relationships by drawing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to describe the impediments to information technology (IT) adoption and possible solutions in the context of business relationships by drawing on case studies conducted in both Australia and Finland in the heavy manufacturing sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The in depth case studies were conducted in the steel manufacturing industry in Finland and in the marine defence (shipbuilding) industry in Australia.

Findings

The findings indicate that doubts about the security of shared information, missing mutual benefits, incompatibility of IT systems, inadequate IT resources, uncertainty about the future directions of the relationship, information rich working routines, i.e. face to face communication, IT deployment not being part of the industry standard and investments not justified by the relationship seems to be the most significant impediments to IT adoption in heavy manufacturing in Australia and Finland.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on one industry sector using case studies. Further work could be conducted in other industry sectors to determine if the same impediments arise.

Practical implications

Through the cases discussed an attempt is made to identify some of the impediments to IT adoption, strategies for overcoming them and by doing so, adding to the body of marketing knowledge on business relationships. For managers this paper provides some insights to manage IT adoption in the heavy manufacturing industry.

Originality/value

Across various industry sectors managers have adopted different types of IT tools to coordinate their relationships with their counterparts. However there has been little academic research in this area until recently, as the research has been focused on large firms in technology rich industry sectors. This paper broadens the discussion on IT adoption in the context of business relationships in industry sectors that have not been traditionally targeted.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

Keywords

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