CHAPTER ONE introduction The advent of the Atomic or Space Age has focused attention on the specific approach to business decision making. In no field of management has this been more pronounced than in the field of marketing. Following naturally from the more advanced technologically progress and higher standard of living in Canada, the United States and other developed economies, scientific marketing has made greater strides in North America than if has anywhere else in the world. The changes have been swift and far-reaching.
The dynamic characteristics of the North American economy have been fully demonstrated in what has been aptly described as a “marketing revolution”, equaling in importance the industrial revolution of a century ago. The study of marketing has likewise moved forward. Great attention was given to the mechanics of marketing in the first half of the twentieth century. The first post World-War II decade, roughly covering the decade of the 1950’s, saw great changes in both management thinking and management approach to the whole area of marketing.
Zig Ziglar: Today’s sales professional is not the plaid-coated, white-belted, snake oil-selling carnival barker or the outdated stereotype of the fast-talking, back-slapping, joke-telling used car salesman. Today’s sales professional has the appearance of the Harvard MBA, even if he or she didn’t complete high school. Today’s sales professional is educated in what is necessary to be successful in the modern world – from computer literacy to market knowledge. The words we hear most in today’s selling world are change and technology.
The salesperson who refuses to adapt to change and capitalize on the technology of today is going to be left at the starting gate and will have a limited career that will not be nearly as productive as it otherwise could be. The sales professional of the twenty-first century who is going to be a top-performer has to be capable of adapting to change and using the current technology. Our adaptability is directly dependent on our attitude, and when I think of adaptability, change and technology fueled by the right attitude. The change in selling technique alone was similar to the difference in operating a beeper and a laptop.
Many direct sales businesses like Avon have advanced with technology and have corporate computers interact with field sales staff computers to facilitate ordering over the telephone and the internet. THE NEW ERA OF MARKETING The decade of marketing. The years beginning with 1950 have been widely described as ‘the era of marketing’ in the United States. This designation is not merely an academic term. It is generally accepted by business as signifying a definitely new era, a new phrase in the economic development of the United States.
Because, of the proximity of the United States and Canada and the similarity of economic development in these two countries, virtually all the factors that make the current period the era of marketing in United States apply with equal force in Canada. Grolier: Marketing management is faced with the necessity of studying price and price reactions more deeply than has been done in the past. Consumer income and demand will be watched with special care to determine reaction to price both in theory and in practice in the market.
Much more will have to be known concerning geographic differences in demand. The regionalizing of magazine advertising is only a beginning in the direction of sectionalizing markets. Markets segmentation will require greater attention to local differences than in the past. Some way must be developed of making mass production economies available on a mass-marketing basis to individual buyers in different sections of the country. In elimination of waste in distribution, attention will also have to be paid to methods, tactics and practices of the distributors, both wholesale and retail.
A more realistic division of the distribution job may have to be made. Perhaps manufacturers’ advertising and promotion will be limited to the job of promotion sales, while the advertising and promotion of wholesalers and retailers will be concentrated on the job of making sales. AN OVERVIEW OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Dr. Iheanyi C. Achuma: When we look into the market place, it is not always easy to tell what is happening, let alone why. It is easy for consumer to get lost among all the complex inter-relations of the market.
As the leisure time becomes more important, the society getting more dynamic and unpredictable, attitude towards work, goods and services change, the word “consumption” itself is being reinterpreted. It is enough to see chills running up and down the procedures of goods and services. The shock waves that originate with product failures or dissatisfied consumers is ill wind that does nobody any good. The effects of such shock waves are bound to radiate throughout the entire economy and society. The question then is can’t this situation be avoided or controlled?
The answer is fairly simple but economically important. Consumption is a fundamental part of every economic and social system and changes in consumer behavior have varying implications for the whole society. Consumption patterns reflect the personality of the individual. Fundamental institutions are not left out because a great deal of consumption takes place through the family. Consumption and society are related in some other ways too. Consumption is in part culturally determined and thus can be held up as a mirror of society. The things we consume tell a lot about our culture.
What the consumers does has a tremendous impact on economic performance and any radical changes in consumption behavior would revolutionize our thinking on the economy itself. It is therefore imperative that consumers be analyzed to be able to serve them better. The consumer dissatisfaction and frustration to a large extent stem from lack of or ignorance of who the consumer is, the environment in which the consumer operates, what motivates his behaviour and his expectations. This therefore calls for the answers to a whole new set of questions.
The good consumer will expect to understand the present day market place and the different interactive roles of the consumers and producers in it. ADVENT OF TECHNOLOGY ON BUSINESS MARKETING The effects of technology on the business environment can never be over emphasized. In the 21st century, the growth of business corporations and multinationals has been built on the every phase of technological development. These technological advancements have succinctly led to the new generation of business era that has come to be known as the E-business era (Electronic Business).
Business transactions and commerce are now leveraged on the numerous advantages of technological developments. Thus, it is the series of evolution of the leveraging on technological research and advancements that has led to the use of social networking in advancing business transactions across the globe to boost corporations access to information, harnessing the human factor of the business organization which comprises of employees, suppliers, creditors, clients, including third-party such as trade unions, government agencies and other statutorily bodies.
The proper harnessing of these important factors of business consequently helps to efficiency in production, ensure smooth administrative operations and management, which increase organizational effectiveness and efficiency, thus leading to higher profit and increase in revenue generation. It should be noted that social networking is synonymous with e-commerce and e-business as the case may be. Social networking can therefore be defined as a form of e-business. E-business is the process which uses Internet technology to simplify certain company processes, improve productivity and increase efficiency.
Steve Yankee (2008) stated that using social networking sites, as e-business format isn’t so much about soliciting business as it is about establishing yourself as a real, live person with whom others may wish to do business. SOCIAL NETWORKING AS A MODERN BUSINESS TOOL Social networking has been used in business organizations as a modern day business tool to enhance customer relationship management in order to generate more revenue. According to a Customer Relationship Management Journal – INSIGHT (July 2008), Social networking is really connecting, it seems: Revenue in the sector has grown 191 percent the past year, according to IDC.
Forrester Research predicts that Enterprise 2. 0 spending will be a $4. 6 billion industry by the year 2013. With increased momentum, rising adoption on the entreprise level, and noticeable marketing and branding opportunites for businesses- all readily apparent at May’s web 2. 0 conference in San Francisco- Social networking has clearly spread into the mainstream. Rachel Happe, Digital Business Economic researcher with IDC (2008) believes proper harness of the social networking to business functionality will help bolster business Return On Investment (ROI) for the money spent getting wired into social networks.
She noted that, “People are taking a functional business need that you can attach an ROI to, and using social media to experiment and see if they an expand ROIs. ” In addition, she noted that employees are now engaging Enterprise 2. 0 tools beyond those of blogs and wikis, and focussing more on social media with increased conversation on sites and platforms such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. Furthermore she observed that “Employees, in their personal lives, are increasingly using social networks on the consumer level; that puts more pressure on enterprises to adopt social media applications, but it also breeds more familiarity. According to IDC report, “2007 Social Networking Takes Hold”, enterprise social media solutions have started to emerge and are passing up their small-to-midsize business counterparts. In the same vein, enterprises are now leveraging on the popularity of the emergence of social networking sites by integrating their customers with such internally developed social media sites. Rachel Happe (2008) noted that linking Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data with consumer-networking profiles will be the next step for CRM providers.
By integrating these two business elements together can provide a lot of a value, particularly in gathering insight into the consumer mind. “CRM applications are clearly taking things seriously” In addition to this, Happe noted that, “In sales and marketing, it’s all about building trust and getting in to talk to people. What we’re learning is that you can use [networks] to build trust before you ever make an explicit request to speak with [prospective customers]. ” ENTERPRENEURSHIP AND NETWORKING Enterprenuership is fundamentally a process of creating value.
This value can be created by individuals as well as organizations, which involves the use of resources. It must be noted that the essence of entrepreneurship is the profitable mix of various resources in creating wealth that value to the business organization. These resources refer to all existing assets, both tangible and intangible, whose services can be used productively. Penrose (1959) and Wenerfelt (1984). The enterpreneur, who identifies opportunities, combines resources and creates new services, is the catalyst of this wealth creation process.
Yet, one of the main hurdles facing would-be enterpreneurs is the lack of resources. In addition to the traditional lack of financing, nascent enterpreneurs often believe that they possess insufficient skills in marketing and management to launch and to develop the business venture. Those personal deficiencies are further worsened by a lack of information on business start-ups and the feelings that they have no one to approach to listen to them. (Volery et al. 1997) All these hiccups causes impediments to the progress of business enterpreneurs and their business development services.
As a result, modern business enterpreneurs now leverage their business development services on the use of internet tools. There are a number of services that most enterpreneurs require in the pre- and post start-up stages of the business ventures. These services include, among others, information gathering, networking, consulting in various areas. These areas include marketing, management, accounting, legal aspects, counseling and education/training. The internet represents a formidable medium to convey these business development services.
Amongst the various ways by which enterpreneurs use the internet in business development services include – Internet business for information gathering and transactions (which include e-business and e-commerce), networking and consulting et al. However, for the purpose of this study, we are analyzing the impact of the use of internet in business networking. THE CONCEPT OF SOCIAL NETWORKING It must be noted that a major source of business development services can be found in the network of enterpreneur.
The concept of networking often overlaps with those of consulting and counseling, as business enterpreneurs make use of the networks of people and resources around them in their day-to-day transactions. Birley (1985: 108) suggested that ‘Help and guidance received from both the formal networks (banks, accountants, lawyers, Small Business Administration) and the informal networks) family, friends, business contacts) will influence the nature of the firm substantially. Similarly, Larson’s (1991) findings on partner networks indicated that the enterpreneur’s ability to identtify, cultivate and manage a network partnership is an essential condition for survival and success. Johannison (1995) distinguished between personal and non-personal or firm networks. The personal networks of the enterpreneurs function as his or her m ain resource. , which can be enacted and used in the business development process. According to Johannison, (1998: 299) ‘these networks are genuinely personal, intertwining business concerns and social commitments in individual ties.
By way of personal networking the enterpreneur makes her/his venturing career into existential projecting, to a way of life. Personal resources should be mobilized to enact new ventures that are alien to the market and generally struck by liabilities of newness’. Personal networks are particularly important for knowledge-based enterpreneurs engaged in high-tech venturing activities, as a way to transform and transfer competencies. These personal networks, otherwise called informal networks are also known as ‘Social networks’.
The use of these informal resources and people and contacts to harness business development with the integration of the internet to garner adequate information and promote a business brand and services is what is known as ‘Social networking’, various internet sites which the enterpreneurs use to connect between persons and resources are called ‘Social networking websites’ or “Enterprise web commonplaces’ in modern day business. LEVERAGING SOCIAL NETWORKIING SITES TO GENERATE BUSINESS
Social networking websites can be defined as those enterprise social softwares used in company intranets and other softwares and communication platforms. It must be noted however that with the evolution of various social media sites, networking in the business environment now transcends intranet use, as enterpreneurs are employing social softwares and platforms that allow access to not only employees, but also clients, suppliers, creditors, the public, information seekers and government agencies alike.
In modern business operations, more and more organisations are using enterprise social softwares to network within an organizational context. According to Gray and Honick (2008), enterprise social software, also known as Enterprise 2. 0, is a term describing social software used in businesses and enterprises. It includes such tools as blogging, people search, social networks analysis, tagging, wikis and collaboration / groupwares. In the business sense, this modern methodology is a tool that aids social networking within organizations as well as between individuals, organizations and groups as in former years.
In using enterprise social softwares in the modern business applications, there has been an increasing trend of achieving financial and knowledge gains with enterprise social software among organizations – some major organizations that have already adopted the use of Enterprise 2. 0 tools include SAP, IBM, Delloitte, NAB and KPMG (Bushell 2008). Examples of Enterprise 2. 0 technology that have been successfully adopted and integrated into business applications are wikis, podcasts and blogs. However, enterpreneurs also employ the use of other business networking websites to expand the external marketing opeareations and branding.
It is now common for enterpreneurs and business-people to hold meetings via virtual platforms to deliberate on business transactions and dealings with clients and business partners. These business meetings may start from a number of two and grow expand to as a much as desired. Michael Jones (2008) noted that, where services such as friendster, MySpace and Connexion have been successful bringing singles and groups together based on affinity and mutual interests, business networking services are now offering a parallel experience in the professional world. Along with LinkedIn are such offerings as Ryze and Tribenet.
The use of online, friend / associate-based networking will prove to be one of the most valuable business tools the internet has yet provided. Although the nuber of these services available to enterpreneurs and businesspeople is growing, LinkedIn strikes me as the easiest to embrace, amd the most effective. Typically, each service has formal sign-up steps that assist you in creating your online identity. This may include information relating to your current job, previous positions and general interests. Some business networking sites enable you to publish you own ‘blog’, or join specific community discussion groups.
Often, the key to using a business network successfully involves the creation of your personal friends – or business connections- groups. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 1. To successfully test if there is a significant relationship between social networking and effective business marketing process. 2. To successfully test the statistical significance of social networking tool on the new marketing concept. Whereby, the proposed relationships in the tools which were based on a theoretical perspective will be portrayed on the business marketing. 3. To evaluate consumer behaviour based on the influence of the proposed social networking determinants. . To make clients and consumers aware of what influences the social networking tools and softwares can foster better customers relationship management. 5. To successfully test the effects social networking has had on effective business marketing process in various companies and industries. 6. To evaluate how companies can successfully integrate social networking tools into the new marketing concept to achieve effective business marketing. 7. To evaluate how companies can successfully integrate social networking tools to achieve better business output and enhance consumer behaviour of other third party individuals / organization.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. What ultimately influences the use and application of social networking tools in business marketing processes? 2. How important is social networking tools and softwares to business marketing processes? 3. What are the basic factors that need to be considered when integrating social networking tools and softwares to business marketing processes? 4. In what ways can social networking tools, sites and softwares be applied to boost consumer behaviour? 5. What are the basic reasons for applying social networking tools to business marketing & consumer behaviour? . What has been the effect of the application of social networking tools to business marketing and consumer behaviour? FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESES FOR THE STUDY From the proposed research objectives and questions which focus on the effects and application of social networking tools to business marketing and consumer behaviour, we shall take the determinants in this study to formulate the hypotheses of the research proposal. The hypotheses formulated are stated below: H1aSocial networking tools significantly affect business marketing processes and enhance consumer behaviour.
H2aSocial networking tools and softwares significantly affect all areas of business marketing processes. H3aSocial networking tools can be effectively used to generate higher returns and revenue for the business organization SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 1. The study will add to the existing body of knowledge in regards to the application of social networking to business marketing processes. 2. This study will attempt to address the paucity in existing literature by focusing on the significance of social network on consumer behaviour. 3.
The study will highlight the strongest determinant for social networking and its effects on the business marketing processes. 4. The study will highlight the interaction among the independent variables of social networking in customer relationship management. 5. The research has value beyond simply providing researchers with answers to effects and significance of social networking in business organizations, it will also afford marketing managers some insight into which of the variables has several strategic benefits to their firm and the concentration of their primary efforts should be towards consumer behaviour.
PROPOSED METHODOLOGY Questionnaires (number of questions and questionnaires to be determined) will be distributed to willing consumers in various sectors of the economy. Also questionnaires will be distributed to workers in various departments of various companies. The companies will be selected to represent a wide variety of consumers from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, these companies’ clients and consumers would be selected from a population to ensure that all relevant statistical detail is put into consideration.
Upon successful collection of the required number of questionnaires, the data will be coded and entered into SPSS. Several statistical techniques and analysis will be conducted to test the hypotheses. The statistical techniques to be used include correlation analysis (measure of association), cross-tabulation (testing for association or independence among the variables), Chi-square test, multiple regression analysis and factor analysis. BUDGET
Approximately six (6) months is budgeted for this research; six (6) weeks for data collection (one week per companies / industry), six (6) weeks for coding, entering data into SPSS and nine (9) weeks for data analysis, interpretation and presentation of findings. REFERENCES McKay, Lauren. (2008) CRM’s a Social Animal: On the Scene Web 2. 0. Journal of Customer Relationship Management, 14 (July) Greenberg, Paul (2007) Customer Relationship Management 2. 0 Battle; INSIGHT, Journal of Client Relationship Management. 16 (July) Jones, M. (2008). Leveraging Social Networking Sites to Generate Business. Strictly Business Journal Daniel, Evans and Volery, Thierry (2001). Online Business Development Services for Entrepreneurs: an exploratory study. Journal of Enterpreneurship and Regional Development 13, 333-350. Birley, S. (1985). The Role of Networks in the Enterpreneurial Process, Journal of Business Venturing, 1: 107-117 Bryson, J. R. (1997) Business Service firms, service space and the management of change, Enterpreneurship & Regional Development, 9: 93-111 Cronin, B. Overfelt, K and Fourchereaux, K. (1994) The Internet and Competitive Intelligence: A survey of current practice, International Journal of Information Management, 14: 204-222 Larson, A. (1991). Partner Networks: Leveraging external ties to improve Enterpreneurial Performance, Journal of Business Venturing, 66, July-August: 94-101 Zhang, Allee M. , Zhu, Yunxia and Hildebrandt, Herbert (2009). Enterprise Networking Websites and Organizational Communication in Australia, Business Communication Quarterly, March: 114-119 Yankee, Steve (2008).
Social Networking in the 21st Century. Strictly Business Journal, 23: 8 Bushell, S. (2008). Enterprise 2. 0: What is it good for? CIO Business Technology Leadership. Retrieved August 15, 2008, from http://www. cio. com. au. index. php/id;1127599955 Gray, C. & Honick, C. (2008). Enterprise social software. Retrieved August 15, 2008, form http://itc. conversationsnetwork. org/shows/details3612. html Haythornthwaite, C. (2005). Social Networks and Internet connectivity effects. Information, Communication & Society, 8 (2), 125-147