Digital Marketing and Consumer Purchase of E-products in Imo State
Objective of the study
The objectives of the study are;
- To evaluate the effects of digital marketing on customer perception of e-products
- To determine the effects of digital marketing on business expansion of e-products
- To examine the customers’ perception on the effects of digital marketing on brand positioning of e-products
- To investigate the customers’ perception on the effects of digital marketing on brand preference of e-products
- To determine the customers perception on the effects of digital marketing on brand awareness of e-products
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
Precisely, the chapter will be considered in three sub-headings:
- Conceptual Framework
- Theoretical Framework and
- Empirical Framework
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networksUsers typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktop computers, and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablet computers). When engaging with these services, users can create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities and organizations can share, cocreate, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online. They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between businesses, organizations, communities and individuals. Social media changes the way individuals and large organizations communicate. These changes are the focus of the emerging field of technoself studies. Social media differ from paper-based media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) or traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, interactivity, usability, immediacy, and permanence. Social media operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources to many receivers). This is in contrast to traditional media which operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as a paper newspaper which is delivered to many subscribers or a radio station which broadcasts the same programs to an entire city. Some of the most popular social media websites are Baidu Tieba, Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), Gab, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Viber, VK, WeChat, Weibo, What sApp, Wikia, and YouTube.
EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media have evolved through Web 2.0, a term coined to describe a new wave of Internet innovation that enables users to publish and exchange content online Kaplan and Haenlein (cited in Eun 2011:6). Social media encompass a wide range of electronic forums, including blogs, microblogs (e.g., Twitter), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), creative work-sharing sites (e.g., YouTube), business networking sites (e.g., LinkedIn), collaborative websites (e.g., Wikipedia), and virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life). Among these social media, social networks and microblogs are the most popular, accounting for 22.7% of all time spent online in the United States ACNielsen (cited in Eun 2011: 6). According to Dominick (2009:283) Web 2.0 is the idea of a second generation Internet that is highly participatory, allowing users to improve it as they use it. Social media contents are primarily written and published by their users and not owners or employees of the site. For instance, most adverts, videos and pictures on Facebook and Twitter are uploaded by visitors of the sites. Jenkins et. al (cited in Stagno: 2) observe that Web 2.0 has been growing tremendously as it facilitates the production and dissemination of information, allows for the involvements in participatory culture to share individual expressions or creations and bring people with similar interests and goals to connect with each other on blogs, social networking sites and others. Few years ago, websites were quite static and passive. There was no much interaction going on as they were mostly corporate websites. The only way an individual could participate online was to send an email or form to the owners or web master of the website and hope that they would get back to him. This type of arrangement was called Web 1.0, referred to as “first generation Web where users generally consumed content. The audience went to web pages and looked at content provided by the website owner” Dominick (2009:283). But today, users have become producers which mean that they simultaneously consume and produce information (Bruns, cited in Stagno 2010:1). Igbinidu (2011:26) explains that the first exploitation of the potential of the social media especially to spread a candidates message, gain support and get the public engaged was through the 2008 presidential campaign by the then Senator Barack Obama who eventually became American president. The Obama campaign reached five million people on 15 different social media platforms. As at November 2008, Obama had approximately 2.3 million Facebook supporters; 115,000 Twitter followers and 50 million viewers of his YouTube videos. Facebook is a social network for connecting people with those around themfriends, family, coworkers, or simply others with similar interests. Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 alongside his roommates and fellow computer science classmates Eduardo Saverin, Austin Maskovitz and Chris Hughes at Harvard University in the U.S (Locke cited in Nnaane 2011:15). Initially, Facebook membership was restricted to Harvard students but later extended to other colleges in Boston and Stanford University all in the U.S. “Since 2006, Facebook has expanded beyond Harvard to other schools, corporations, businesses and any user across the world” (Dunay & Krueger 2010:27). Zuckerberg, cited in (Nweze, 2009:41) explains that advertising on Facebook is an opportunity for companies to reach their exact audience and connect real customers to their business. Facebook allow users to connect and share information in a variety of ways. Facebook allow users to post photos, videos and customize their profile content. Facebook has added a number of features over the past few years, including instant messaging/chat and apps (and their developer platform).Users communicate with one another through different methods, for instance, private messaging as well as writing on another user’s wall. Wall posts are visible to that user’s friends, but usually not to the general public. Users can also change their privacy settings to allow different users to see different parts of their profile, based on any existing relationships (the basic privacy settings are “only friends”, “friends of friends”, and “everyone”).
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
Population of the Study
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried out to examine the Digital marketing and consumer purchase of e-products in Imo state. The population of the study comprises of undergraduates in Imo State University, who were present at the time and day of this study.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
To achieve the purpose of this chapter, the following sub-headings are discussed:
- Data Presentation
- Analysis and Interpretation
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter summarizes the findings of the examination of Digital marketing and consumer purchase of e-products in Imo state. The chapter consists of summary of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
SUMMARY ON FINDINGS
In this study, we examined Digital marketing and consumer purchase of e-products in Imo state. The study specifically was set to determine the effects of digital marketing on customer perception, determine the effects of digital marketing on business branding, determine customers’ perception on the effects of digital marketing on brand positioning, determine customers’ perception on the effects of digital marketing on brand preference, and determine customers perception on the effects of digital marketing on brand awareness of e-products.
This research is reported in five distinct yet interrelated chapters. Adopting the survey research design, responses were obtained from students in Imo State university, using the convenient sampling method to select the sample size of the 259 which cut across students in all levels. The results were reported in tables using the frequency counts and mean scores.
CONCLUSION ON FINDINGS
- Digital marketing influences customer perception in various ways, thus, establishing brand awareness, boosting consumer loyalty, expands brand image, and increases purchase intention.
- The effects of digital marketing on business branding include; increases business visibility, increases business recognition, increases customer reach, brand differentiation, and brand effectiveness.
- Customers’ perceive that digital marketing does have an effect on brand positioning, hence, maximizes customer relevancy, increases competitive distinctiveness, enhances customers product knowledge, and maximizes brand value.
- Customers’ perceive that digital marketing does have an effect on brand preference, thus, increases brand loyalty, increases brand equity, increases brand engagement, and increases brand identity, and image.
- Customers’ perceive that digital marketing does have an effect on brand awareness, hence, increases brand recognition, increases brand knowledge, increases brand impression, and creates brand advocacy.
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