Article critique Essay Example
This critique has been developed from an article on direct marketing:
Palmer A. & Koenig-Lewis N. (2009). An experiential, social network-based approach to direct marketing. Direct Marketing: An International Journal; Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 162-176. Retrieved on 4th September 2013 from < http://marketing5.net/Direct-Marketing-An-International-Journal-download-w668.pdf>
The article introduces the purpose for the review in its introductory part as part of the hypothesis and problem statement formation. In this section, the article describes the problem faced by the companies in their attempts to reach out to consumers and the challenges of direct marketing experienced by these companies with the emergence of new communication channels. It explains the dilemma faced by the companies noting that on the one hand, the companies attempt to control the communication environment to ensure that their brand comes through more clearly and they enjoy the availability of information that they use to target individual members in the network while on the other hand, with the evidence of members usually being part of some community within the network, the companies fear emergence of resentment of the corporate intrusion into the community space. The article therefore clearly states its purpose to critically review the developments in social network media and its proposal of an experiential-based model to guide the direct marketing in the social networks.
The article justifies its focus on social networks by explaining the recent shift in peoples’ preferences. The article explains that more people are shifting their attention to online channels and pointing out that by 2007, 52% of Europeans were regularly online from their homes, around 36% of users watch less TV while 28% have significantly reduced magazine and newspaper reading. This shift caused shift of advertising from print and broadcast media to online networks with different trends in communication with audiences.
The article investigates this subject by exploring several previous literature materials on trends in the online social networks. In this way, the article develops a deep analysis on the subject supported by the vast amount of available information on this subject. The article does not however justify the choice for this method of problem testing. It does not explore any other possible approaches that may have been used in this case neither does it show why this was the best way to test the subject. While this method provides insight into the recent trends in company-customer interactions and the growing shifts into social networks, it is obvious that these trends may not truly reflect the future case. With continuous changes in the social communication and networking, this field is expected to constantly change and previous trends may not provide the appropriate basis for addressing the problem of direct marketing.
The research indentified varied trends in the manner in which companies involve in the advertisement of their various products and the different strategies adopted by these companies to reach out to different groups of consumers, different in terms of age and preferences. The companies have understood that the social network media is at the centre of the interactions between the consumers and the community and is an easy way to achieve fast and low cost communication. The article points out that apart from the consumer-oriented social network sites, there are several other networks set up to exchange information of a unique interest to the members but explains that the research was concerned with personal users of these social networks rather than those that are established for business purposes. Entrepreneur (2013) says that some companies offer either a free trial or a free version to attract users.
In an effort to be at the centre of the community, companies employed several approaches like developing their own blogs and other online forums. The article gives an example of Starbucks which has a Facebook account which they claimed to have 1,727,314 fans in 2009. At the time, Starbucks also had a Twitter account together with its own YouTube channel with other community web pages. The article also discusses the idea of “brand communities” which are a result of individuals becoming interdependent because they share a collective identity, rituals and moral responsibility to other members. This community is capable of collective action over time, helping new members with the necessary assistance and can exert pressure on the other members to the brand. In a given study, over 62% of “Generation Y” users had visited a fan page or brand while about 48% had actually joined such networks with the anticipation of several benefits like product updates, promotions, viewing or downloading music or videos or posting comments. At the same time, the study noted that although most users will notice ads on these networks, only around 19% thought that they were relevant but 36% did not click on any ads. The report also notes that if these brand communities are negatively perceived by users, they could rapidly damage the companies’ reputation. The article has also gone ahead to explain the benefits of these online communities in helping to inform buyers while at the same time spread the seller’s message and the role of the online networks to reconcile the needs and expectations of both the consumers and producers.
This article therefore goes to great lengths in giving an understanding on the marketing trends in the online social media and may be a great guide to the development of strategies in this field. The content touches on the needs to have a good approach in reaching out to the consumers in order to avoid negative perception and shows the consumers on the benefits that may be gained by being a member of these communities. It is therefore a strong contribution to the advertising field may be used by businesses to strategize there online advances.
There is room for further research in this subject though, and a more subjective approach could be adopted. It is important to establish consumers’ thoughts on their experiences with companies’ growing trend of online direct marketing and an assessment of the future advances on other ways of communications that may arise. Research should also be directed to other challenges associated with online advertisements including the chances that the information presented there may not be very accurate and the possibilities of imposters and impersonations addressed. Use of other facilities like search engine optimization will give more desirable outcome (Webopedia, 2013).
Palmer A. & Koenig-Lewis N. (2009) An experiential, social network-based approach to direct marketing. Direct Marketing: An International Journal; Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 162-176. Retrieved on 4th September 2013 from < http://marketing5.net/Direct-Marketing-An- International- Journal-download-w668.pdf>
Entrepreneur (2013). 5 Secrets to Increasing Customer Retention — and Profits. Retrieved on 4th September 2013 from <
Webopedia (2013). Small Business Marketing — Free Online Marketing Tools and Strategies. Retrieved on 4th September 2013 from <http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/small_business_marketing.asp>
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