Social Crm and Digital Marketing Communication in B2B Relationships

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UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ School of Business and Economics

SOCIAL CRM AND DIGITAL MARKETING COMMUNICATION IN B2B RELATIONSHIPS

Marketing Master’s Thesis December 2011 Author: Marjo Himanen Instructor: Heikki Karjaluoto

JYVÄSKYLÄ UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS Author Marjo Himanen Thesis Title Social CRM and Digital Marketing Communication in B2B Relationships Major Subject Object of the Study Marketing Master’s Thesis Month and Year Number of Pages December 2011 85 + appendices Abstract The growing importance of the Internet as an everyday communication channel has transformed the marketing environment. Digital channels and the expansion of social media have produced several new tools which organizations can use for their marketing efforts. Yet, it still remains somewhat unclear how companies can utilize digital marketing communication in their customer relationship management and what it actually contains. This study investigates what meanings B2B companies give to digital marketing communication and social CRM. In particular, the study aims describing the means, moderators and outcomes of digital marketing communication in B2B relationships. In addition this study attempts to shed some light on the meanings of social CRM and its application elements. The empirical study comprises of eight interviews with managers responsible for managing key account relationships. Both the buyer side and the seller side were investigated, in order to form a coherent representation of the phenomenon. The findings of this study indicate that communication content and frequency are the means of digital marketing communication. Interestingly, the study reveals that the form of a message matters in B2B digital marketing communication as short and visual messages are more desirable for the receivers. Along with channel preferences, the importance of the right sender and receiver of messages were found to be moderators of digital marketing communication. In contrast to prior studies, the results suggest that the outcomes of digital marketing communication include value co-creation. No support was found that digital marketing would enhance trust, commitment or loyalty. The findings of the study also revealed that the elements of social CRM might have some influence on the digital marketing communication. The results suggest that online customer listening, responding, connecting and collaborating could provide inputs to the digital marketing communication process. Nevertheless, the study demonstrates that companies do not use social CRM activities at the fullest potential. Keywords Digital Marketing Communication, Social CRM, Business-to-Business relationships Place of Storage Jyväskylä University School of Business and Econom ics

FIGURES
FIGURE 1 Structure of the study ................................................................................. 5 FIGURE 2 CRM process ................................................................................................ 8 FIGURE 3 Traditional CRM and social CRM in business context ........................ 11 FIGURE 4 Digital marketing ...................................................................................... 21 FIGURE 5 The proposed research model of DMC.................................................. 22 FIGURE 6 DMC model based on the results ........................................................... 66

TABLES
TABLE 1 Traditional CRM vs. social CRM .............................................................. 12 TABLE 2 CRM and social CRM activities of marketing ........................................ 15 TABLE 3 CRM and social CRM activities of sales .................................................. 17 TABLE 4 Social media categories .............................................................................. 27 TABLE 5 The case firm and its customers................................................................ 37 TABLE 6 List of interviews...
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