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  • Subject Name : Business Research

Applied Business Research

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction..

2.0 Purpose of Research..

2.1 Aim..

2.2 Objectives.

2.3 Research Questions.

3.0 Literature Review...

3.1 Concept of Social Media Marketing..

3.2 Benefits of Integrating Social Media in Marketing..

3.3 Social Media Content and Brand Communities.

3.4 Advertisement on Facebook and Brand Image.

3.5 Brand Equity Model and Purchase Intention.

3.6 Word of Mouth (e Wom)

4.0 Methodology..

8.0 References.

1.0 Introduction to Applied Business Research

Social media has been observed to have a great impact upon the business sector for nearly several decades. Social media is a platform that has provided the businesses and the marketers with high efficiency in implementing the strategic marketing tactics with the help of which, the target customers can be attracted to the brand (Lee D. H., 2018). As social media is a platform, of sharing open review and opinion for any particular thing such as the brand, it has become easier for the marketers to know about the perception of the customers about the products of the brand. Apart from that, the image that the brand holds in front of the customers can also be effectively understood which provides insight on the potential move the businesses need for achieving more desired outcomes.

Understanding the use of social media in the context of business is very crucial to know the current status of the brand and what changes in the marketing policy is required to be adopted by the company to enhance and grab the potential opportunities (Shanahan, 2019). It has been observed that social media has improved the connection between the customers with the businesses as it is a way of communicating with each other. On the other hand, the brand presentations, chatting, advertising, information sharing also plays a crucial role in making the existence of the brand prominent to the brand marketers. The current study will focus on conducting a detailed analysis of effectiveness of using the social media marketing in enhancing the perception of the customers. In doing so, the current study will conduct an extensive research upon existing literature that worked on the current research topic. A primary as well as a secondary research will be conducted in order to fetch information regarding the perception of the marketers of different sectors about the effectiveness of social media marketing on brand perception.

2.0 Purpose of Research

The current research will be conducted for the search of performance of the social media in influencing the brand perception of the customers. It is a very crucial topic in the contemporary business context as it is a fast growing platform that is providing the businesses with opportunities to improve their marketing outcomes and challenging the barriers faced by the businesses in marketing. The current study will focus on identifying the ways social media has modified the business outcomes in the existing business contexts. Based on the inferences it has provided some recommendations to the marketers for achieving the future endeavor of the marketing (Moe, 2017). Principles that are required to be used for utilizing the best opportunities that social media provides to the business has also been identified by the current study. These all are purported to finding out the effectiveness of marketing through social media in enhancing the brand perception. Therefore, the research is expected to help the marketers to understand the essentialities and tactics to use the social media in enhancing brand perception. Also the study has highlighted the importance of the social media as a marketing tool that will enhance the confidence of the marketers in using the social media for achieving the desired marketing outcomes.

2.1 Aim

The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effectiveness of social media marketing for enhancing the perception of the brand.

2.2 Objectives

  • To identify the impacts of social media marketing on the perception about any brand
  • To evaluate effectiveness of the social media marketing to change or modify the perception of the customers about a brand
  • To determine the impacts of social media marketing upon the purchase behavior of the customers

2.3 Research Questions

  • What are the impacts of social media marketing on the perception about any brand?
  • How effective of the social media marketing is to change or modify the perception of the customers about a brand?
  • What are the impacts of social media marketing upon the purchase behavior of the customers?

3.0 Literature Review of Applied Business Research

3.1 Concept of Social Media Marketing

The marketing opportunities have increased in the context of online setting due to unprecedented growth of technological innovation in the field of business. As mentioned by (Felix, 2017), through the usage of social media, customers can become more empowered and businesses can engage their target customers in the context of brand interactions. Social media has brought an opportunity for the customers for searching for the products fit to their expectations, greater opportunity to get review of the products that helps in make better purchase decision. Social media has improved business outcomes through involving the customers most than the other medium through which brands can reach to their customers. As argued by (Tuten, 2017), customer empowerment and better purchase decision could be taken by the customers have been possible through effective multiple tactics and strategies of marketing applied by the marketers for getting the best out of social media in marketing purpose.

The arguments presented above indicates that social media has helped being empowered both the customer group and the marketers to be empowered about the expectation each of them has. As emphasized by (Iankova, 2019), it can be stated that social media has become one of the most effective and essential factor in developing marketing strategy. This is mainly due to the ability of social media platform for co-creating value. Social media strategy inclusion helps marketers to conduct and monitor discussions and sentiments relating to brand. This also helps in guiding the decision making process of the customers. As argued by (Chen, 2019), Social media has increased the customer to customer interaction which helps them to be converted customers into brand advocates. This might help in spreading the words of mouth which works as a facilitator in brand marketing process. Therefore, it can be stated that the above discussion clearly depicts the social of social media in mediating the customer-brand relationship as well as customer to customer relationship through which businesses can achieve higher effectiveness in their marketing outcomes.

It has been indicated by (Tuten, 2017), in most of the cases brands use social networks and micro blogs for the purpose of marketing. However, it can be stated that some sectors do not apply social media marketing tactics in promoting their brands including health and tourist organizations. Social media has been considered as the easier way to reach the customers with the desired level of engagement as the social media involvement is increasing day by day. However, the applied technological intelligence and marketing tactics are responsible for the success of the application of social media marketing. As argued by (Ceyhan, 2019), social media sentiment has shown better performance in the stock performance of the company as compared to the performance of conventional data.

Different technological tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are widely used by the companies to collect company specific information such as how many times customers are visiting the site, how many customers are visiting more than one page of the site, what are the words shared among the customers regarding a brand and others. In a study conducted by (Chen, 2019), it has been mentioned that “marketing strategies involving marketing intelligence, promotions, public relations, product and customer management, and marketing communications should begin exploring and leveraging social media”. Therefore, it can be stated that Social media marketing involves a great deal of understanding of the customer behavior their expectations, likings and disliking for developing effective marketing strategy applied through social media platform.

3.2 Benefits of Integrating Social Media in Marketing

It has been identified that marketing communication is established in order to achieve some of the business goals. As mentioned by (Wijaya, 2020), the business goals that are developed based on the marketing communication are informing the customers, persuading them and remind them about the brand and its products. The associated objectives of integrated marketing are to create awareness about the brand so that more target customers become attracted towards the brand and to promote brand through social media in a certain way that helps in stimulating demand.

Apart from that, brands also encourage product trails for their customers so that the personal experiences of the customers work as a key for increasing their interest further. It also helps in retaining the royal customers. For instance, if the existing customers can be satisfied with a new product offered by the company, it will be a greater opportunity to sell the product in a higher degree. This is achieved through using social media where brands may offer a small product trial through which customer’s perception about the product may change. As mentioned by (Sobari, 2018), most of the brands have been observed to believe in conventional marketing tools for communicating with the customers. For instance, McDonald’s still use event marketing (Pinpointer, 2020). As argued by (Valos, 2016), marketing communication strategy is not only limited to certain tools; It can be stated that marketing communication is a process that can take different shape and can be channelized through different medium. Therefore, social media communication must include several marketing communication tools such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sources to be integrated and used by a company to maximize their impact upon the customers or the end users.

It has been identified that social media marketing involve some stages through which, the diverse form of marketing communication can be coordinated. These stages include planning, development, integration and implementation of the tools mentioned above. This process is required to be adequately elaborated so that its impact upon the customers/target customers can be enhanced. Therefore, the goal of social media marketing communication and integrated marketing communication strategy differs from each other. As per the views of (Duralia, 2018), the main goal of integrated marketing communication strategy is to accumulate the power of different marketing communication tool so that the target audiences can be approached and persuaded by different uses of marketing communication tools. As argued by (Valos, 2016), integrated marketing communication strategy helps marketers to convey the same message to the customers through different means or tools. This helps in maintaining authenticity and effectiveness of the information about the brand shared with the customers.

The mix of social media tools used for the purpose of communicating with the customers is required to be tailored and applied in perfect blend helps brands to share an integrated image of their products. As mentioned by (Damnjanovic, 2016), in order to present clear, consistent and compelling messages about the product companies are required to indulge in personal selling, developing public relations, involve in direct marketing, advertising and promotion. It is evident that unclear and inconsistent message provided to the customers through different sources may create confusion regarding the product and brand images. As argued by (Sobari, 2018), confusion regarding the brand images and products may arise as a result of independent planning and implementation of the marketing communication strategy by different functional specialists of the organization. Lack of coordination among the functional specialists working for improving marketing outcome through different social media tools may lead to disintegration of the use of the marketing communication tools. Different messages from different sources confuse the customers and impact negatively on perception.

As per the contemporary researchers like (Ceyhan, 2019) the shift of the modern day marketers from marketing communication to social media marketing communication is it has already demonstrated its performance worldwide in improving the business outcomes. In the case of social media marketing communication, different advertisement agencies tie up with different suppliers which have broadened their communication scope with the customers. Brand organizations are required to be integrated so that a consistent message can be provided to the customers. It is an integrated process where the marketers and functional experts or the brand managers effectively collaborate with the company suppliers in order to use different marketing communication tools for the improvement of the current business. Integrated marketing has led businesses to explore different areas of contribution shifting from conventional advertising to use of numerous communication forms. It also helps in using specialized media, dominance of the retailers, greater accountability of the agency and compensation provided based on performance (Schivinski, 2016).

3.3 Social Media Content and Brand Communities

It has been observed several times that brands face difficulties in developing content which leads them to be self-promoted. It can be stated that the conventional style of presenting the brand and product related information has become monotonous nowadays which is very menacing for the businesses to stand. As mentioned by (Jiao, 2018), if the social media can be used effectively by the marketers, it may help in building a community. In order to use the marketing communication tools wisely brands are required to be played the monitoring role. They are required to consistently focus on the ups and downs the social media promotions of the organization are facing for some times. Through using this information, the marketing strategies can be designed in different manner so that the available marketing tools and techniques can be applied effectively for obtaining better results or outcomes. Strategies might include budgeting, allocating resources on the focused group and others (Thompson, 2017).

It is one of the main requirement that the core values of the organization are needed to be presented by the organizations in a way that may help the customer to be engaged and develop with those values. The brand communities are observed to present effective and valuable marketing and innovation management tools along with establishment of relationship between the customers and the brand. As mentioned by (Rialti, 2017), the role of integrated marketing strategy is to seize every opportunities of business in the context of social media. It can be stated that the social media is a place of inter connectivity among the people. Therefore, it can be stated that a brand community is a highly preferred and effective factor for every company to create a highly successful business position in the market. Simply, a brand community is a group of consumers that have invested into a particular brand irrespective of what the brand is selling to its customers. In a brand community, customers are influenced in a way that they have the only goal to be a part of the brand or the company. As argued by (Carlson, 2019), customers within a brand community are investing their emotional connection with the brand when they are putting their money on the products of the brand, their interest upon the product and their time. This interest of the customers is related to more than simple purchasing of that certain brand’s products.

It is not required to be focused that how the community has been made. The only purpose of the businesses is to make these connections that would help them to get a closer look to the customer’s behavioral intentions and their values and emotions attached with their purchase. It is required to be mentioned that awareness regarding a brand is not a brand community. For instance, brand awareness may be spread through different means of marketing through which customers can be attracted to certain products of the brand. On the other hand, brand community is an already developed institution where the brand has been perceived from a different point of view as opposed to only awareness (Hudson, 2016).

The most obvious signs that the customers are creating a brand community which is highly devoted to the brand and holds a strong positive view regarding the brandare the excitement of the customers to join into a community (Rialti, 2017). For instance, the urge of the customers to create account for joining a community, sharing company information into the community, creating value of the products and showing high adherence to their consistent purchasing behavior can be considered as an indicator of the eagerness of the customers to engage with the brand. When a community builds up, customers advocate the process of promotion by themselves. For instance, customers tend to share their word of mouth with the other customers or the potential customers which accelerate the process of brand promotion. Apart from the brand messages shared by the brand itself, brand community helps in conveying integrated message to the customers that strengthen the performance of the current organization (Stier, 2018).

3.4 Advertisement on Facebook and Brand Image

Facebook is a social media platform used extensively by the marketers for reaching to the customers effectively. The major focus is given on Facebook advertisements as it helps in providing greater opportunity to the customers to actively engage with theadverts. As Facebook allows the users to like and share the posts they come across in the social media, it helps in understanding their responsiveness to the posts shared by brand. As per the views of (Quan-Haase, 2018), social media platforms like Facebook provide opportunity to understand how much credible the brand is. Therefore, using social media with wise strategies may help the marketers to attract opportunities that social media is providing. As argued by (Lee .. H., 2018), user generated advertisements act upon modifying the perception of the customers more effectively than the advertisements generated by the advertising agencies. It has been identified that the success of an organization is dependent upon the brand perception of the customers. Therefore, the evaluation of the advertisements may actually lead to infer the interest that is aroused by the advertisements. Facebook is used by the consumers as one of the vast and extended platform for online recommendations that becomes viral.

Therefore, adequate understanding of the path through which the social media advertisements are influencing the customer perceptions encourages the advertisers or the marketers to allocate a reasonable portion of their marketing budget on developing, designing and promoting the advertisements for enhancing brand perception. As mentioned by (Haro-de-Rosario, 2018 ), the advertisers are shifting their focus from push advertisements to trust based advertisements. In this venture, marketers try to promote their brand in a way that stimulates the words of mouth promotion. It has been observed by several researchers that Words of Mouth have a high impact upon modification and redeveloping the brand perception and the brand image for the customers.

As argued by (Stier, 2018) brand image is generally used as an indicator of information recalled by the customers about the brand. Therefore, it has been inferred that brand image may have both the virtual and real connection with the perceptions of the customers. Social media enhances access of the customers to the tangible and intangible products offered by the companies through brand images through channels of media. This has been observed to have a highly positive impact upon gathering marketing intelligence. As mentioned by (Farkas, 2018), some of the brands have been observed not to have any intrinsic attraction or ability to generate desired level of trust with the customers; though the customers have been observed to become associated with the brand based on the image it has on advertisement platforms like social media. Therefore, if brand groups can be developed effectively by the marketers for a particular type of product, it may help in spreading awareness about the brand.

3.5 Brand Equity Model and Purchase Intention

According to Keller, it is required for the brands to create salience and to give meaning to it (Yousaf, 2017). The customer responses here are highly important here as they spread their likings and disliking about the brand with the brand through their behavior on social media and at the time of purchasing. Brands are required to target brand resonance where customers develop a psychological bonding with the brand. It is required to mention that like the brand image, brand equity is also important to modify the perception of the customers about a particular brand. Brand equity can be considered as the benefit served by the brand to the products. As mentioned by (Coursaris, 2016 ), effective and strong brand image helps the marketers to build positive attitude and feeling regarding the brand which enhances the perceived value of the brand. Brand image and brand equity are mutually dependent.

If the brand image is powerful and dominant with the help of attitude of the customers toward particular products are the indicators of attitude and brand affiliations of the customers which results as developing positive brand image and high brand equity. As argued by (Poturak, 2019), the purchasing intention of the customers is dependent upon the recommendations and product value that have been shared by other consumers shared in social media platform. Purchase intention can be considered as the probability of the customers lies in the hands of the consumers to intending to purchase a particular product.

However, it has been identified that a perfect blend of word of mouth and the implementation of the brand created advertisements may lead spontaneous spread of recommendations by the customers that find the brand to be worthy to consider.

3.6 Word Of Mouth (eWOM)

It can be considered that a eWOM is a highly effective in the social media advertisement context as this allows the customers to associate with their friends, peers and other acquaintances to generate and spread information related to the brand without any constriction (Ajina, 2019). Sharing brand information has been considered by the business researchers as a process of dissemination of the information that involves communication about the brand, sharing of the sentiments and opinions. There are three perspectives from which the use of eWOM can be examined. Seeking for information about a brand on social media, giving opinion to other about the brand and passing opinion are the three ways of spreading the words of mouth. (Carlson, 2019).

As per the views of (Rahmadini, 2018), consumers having behavior of seeking information about the brand have been observed to search for information along with seeking advice from the other customers at the time of making decision about purchasing a particular product. Another group of customers possess opinion giving behavior that can be addressed as opinion leaders are highly crucial for directing the purchase behavior of the customers. This group of customers provides review and on the products they have personally used or observed their acquaintances to use. On the other hand, it is observed that there is a widespread tendency among a group of customers to forward information about a brand which facilitates the information flow (Shanahan, 2019).

4.0 Methodology of Applied Business Research

Methodology in research plays the role of a guiding principle in conducting the research in a way that helps in providing adequate answers to the research questions.

References for Applied Business Research

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Ceyhan, A. (2019). The impact of perception related social media marketing applications on consumers’ brand loyalty and purchase intention. . EMAJ: Emerging Markets Journal, 9(1), , 88-100.

Chen, S. C. (2019). Understanding the effect of social media marketing activities: The mediation of social identification, perceived value, and satisfaction. . Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 140, , 22-32.

Coursaris, C. K. (2016 ). Do Facebook likes lead to shares or sales? Exploring the empirical links between social media content, brand equity, purchase intention, and engagement. In 2016 49th Hawaii international conference on system sciences (HICSS) , 3546-3555.

Damnjanovic, V. F. (2016). The planning process of integrated marketing communication. International Scientific Days.

Duralia, O. (2018). Integrated marketing communication and its impact on consumer behavior. . Studies in Business and Economics, 13(2) , 92-102.

Farkas, J. S. (2018). Cloaked Facebook pages: Exploring fake Islamist propaganda in social media. . New Media & Society, 20(5) , 1850-1867.

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Iankova, S. D.-B. (2019). A comparison of social media marketing between B2B, B2C and mixed business models. . Industrial Marketing Management, 81, , 169-179.

Jiao. (2018). Social value, content value, and brand equity in social media brand communities. . International Marketing Review.

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Poturak, M. &. (2019). Influence of social media content on consumer purchase intention: Mediation effect of brand equity. . Eurasian Journal of Business and Economics, 12(23) , 17-43.

Quan-Haase, A. &. (2018). Uses and gratifications of social media: A comparison of Facebook and instant messaging. . Bulletin of science, technology & society, 30(5) , 350-361.

Rahmadini, Y. &. (2018). The Influence of Social Media Towards Emotions, Brand Relationship Quality, and Word of Mouth (WOM) on Concert’s Attendees in Indonesia. . In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 150, p. 05058). EDP Sciences. , 05058.

Rialti, R. Z. (2017). Exploring the antecedents of brand loyalty and electronic word of mouth in social-media-based brand communities: do gender differences matter? Journal of Global Marketing, 30(3) , 147-160.

Schivinski, B. &. (2016). The effect of social media communication on consumer perceptions of brands. . Journal of Marketing Communications, 22(2) , 189-214.

Shanahan, T. T. (2019). Getting to know you: Social media personalization as a means of enhancing brand loyalty and perceived quality. . Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 47 , 57-65.

Sobari, N. A. (2018). Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy (IMC) of Provincial Tourism Office of Banten in Promoting Banten Tourism. Prosiding Semnasfi, 1(1) , 65-75.

Stier, S. B. (2018). Election campaigning on social media: Politicians, audiences, and the mediation of political communication on Facebook and Twitter. . Political communication, 35(1) , 50-74.

Thompson, A. J. (2017). Fans’ perceptions of professional tennis events’ social media presence: Interaction, insight, and brand anthropomorphism. . Communication & Sport, 5(5) , 579-603.

Tuten, T. L. (2017). Social media marketing. . New York : Sage.

Valos, M. J. (2016). Exploring the integration of social media within integrated marketing communication frameworks. Marketing Intelligence & Planning .

Wijaya, L. S. (2020). Socialization as Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy in Increasing Brand Awareness (Case study" Solo Destination" Application of Solo City Government). . Petra International Journal of Business Studies 3(1) , 54-63.

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