Table of Contents
2.0 Concept of marketing.
2.2 Evolutions of marketing planning and promotion.
4.0 Digital marketing is the present B2C business environment
4.1 Social media marketing.
4.2 Web 2.0 Marketing.
4.3 Mobile marketing.
5.0 Impact of digital marketing on consumer buying behavior
5.1 What is consumer buying behavior?
5.2 Factors which influence consumers behavior in the digital environment
5.2.1 Access to the internet
5.2.2. Purchases online.
5.2.3 Internet access rate vs. online purchase rate.
5.3 Impact of Social Media as a marketing tool on customer behavior
6.0 Customer Engagement
6.1 Concept of customer engagement
6.2 Impact of customer engagement on business performance.
5.3 How marketers can implement a winning engagement marketing strategy.
The electronic business known as ‘e-business’, which uses electronic capability mainly information and communication technology (ICT) to support its business activities and functions, is nowadays gaining huge success in the current digital business world. SKOLIX (2015) states that e-business provides a flexible and efficient data processing system, enables to make a stronger relationship with stakeholders and meets consumer changing needs and expectations. According to Kotler et al. (2014), there are four major e-business domains: business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), consumer-to-business (C2B), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C), were in this current digital business world B2C is playing an important role.
The aims of this paper are to critically evaluate as well as analyze several marketing strategies developed by business organizations in the Business-to-Consumers (B2C) in building, developing and maintaining strong relationships with the target customers in the digital business environment, and the customer’s role in this business process. To meet the aims the report has used several relevant models and theories used in the B2C sector. In the first section, this paper outlines the concept of marking and its evolution overtimes In the second section, this paper analyses several relevant marketing models and theories used in the current B2C digital environment. In the third section, the paper evaluates how digital marketing influences consumers’ behaviors. In the fourth section, the report describes the model of customer engagement and how a customer can be engaged in B2C businesses. Finally, the last section of this paper concludes the findings related to the approaches used in the B2C business sector.
2.0 Concept of marketing
Marketing can be defined in many ways focusing on the primacy of customers as the exchange process. As customer’s needs and expectations have been changing overtimes, the marketing concepts have also been changing to meet the changing consumer demands. The American Marketing Association in 2008 updated the definition of marketing in Palmer (2010) as ” Marketing is a set of activities, institutions and processes for developing, communicating and exchanging, and delivering offers provided by marketers to value their stakeholders mainly customers”. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK has defined marketing in Plamer (2010) as ” Marketing is the strategic business activities to make values for customers through facilitating, stimulating and fulfilling their changing needs and expectation. The purpose of marketing is to build brand images and equity, develop relationships with stakeholders, nurture innovation, provide excellent customer services, and communicate benefits”.
2.2 Evolutions of marketing planning and promotion
As Kotler et al. (2012) note, the concept of marketing planning and promotion first introduced during the 1850s as a simple trade era, which shifted to production and sales ear during the 1860s to 1940s. Then, the marketing concept disclosed as the marketing department and company era during the 1940s to 1990s. Following these, the newly proposed marketing ear practiced as relationship marketing from the 1900s to 2010s, which moved to the current digital marketing including social media and mobile marketing.
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Figure 1.2: Evolution of marketing Source: Kotler et al. (2012)
The evolution of marketing planning and promotion is discussed as follows:
The early 1900s -1960 Era
The concept of marketing first developed during the 1900s with the idea of bringing goods and services to the market, and distribution and exchange of goods and services to the consumers (Vargo and Lusch, 2014). This marketing concept further developed during the 1940s moving to ‘market orientation’. Following this marketing concept, one widely used marketing theory called the “AIDA model was used to research and analyze both customers and the market and offer suitable products to meet customer needs (Hanlon,2014). Applying this model marketers moved the customers from the awareness stage to a situation where the customer decided to purchases products and services. For making awareness and creating interest in customers’ minds, marketers used both above-the-line marketing strategies such as TV ads, newspaper/magazine ads, internet ads, and poster ads and below-the-line marketing strategies like trade fairs, sponsorship. For making desire and promote the customer to buy products and services, marketers applied strategies like sales promotion, free gifts, special credit terms, direct mailing, personal selling, etc.
Limitations of marketing concepts and theories developed during the 1900s-1960s
The key limitation of marketing during the 1900s-1920s was it could not engage in customer activity. This means customers could not play an active role. On the other hand, the AIDA model used in this marketing concept was not useful to promote lines of products and to make a long-time relationship with customers. Thus, marketers had to research and moved to the next era of marketing.
The 1960s-1990s Era
In this era marketers mainly focused on decision-making activity and marketing mix (products, places, prices, and promotions) to satisfy target customers (Vargo and Lusch, 2014). Marketers tried to gain competitive advantages through product functions and value-added features, and services (Lusch et al., 2012). The widely used marketing model in this era was the “Hierarchy of Effects Model” developed in 1961. Following this model, marketers could monitor customer behaviors and track marketing action which supported marketing decision-making and increase sales.
Limitations of marketing concepts and theories developed during the 1960s-1990s
Although marketers gained more advantages in this marketing era in comparison with the previous era, marketers faced challenges. This marketing era and model developed could not contribute effectively to include repeat purchase, loyalty, advocacy, and evangelism (Hausman, 2011). Therefore, marketers moved to the next marketing era to overcome these limitations.
1990s 2010s Era
This marketing era was called the relationship marketing era, where marketers focused on building a long-term relationship with its target customers to retain and make loyal to them for a lifetime (White, 2010). In this era, the most widely used marketing model was the “Rational Decision-Making Model”. Applying this model, marketers followed a sequenced of six stages to decision making and make a long-time relationship with customers (Garritan, 2014)………….