Volume 9 (2021-22)

Each volume of Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing consists of four 100-page issues in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 9 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

The articles published in Volume 9 are listed below.

Volume 9 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher, Journal of Digital Social Media Marketing
  • Papers:
    How L’Oreal adopted new technologies to scale personalisation, adapt to new customer demands and evolve into the top beauty tech company
    JaKenna Gilbert, Nordic Group Digital Director, L’Oréal Denmark

    Across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive — and likely long-lasting — impact on commercial and consumer trends. For companies specialising in consumer packaged goods and traditionally reliant on physical stores for the majority of their sales, success is no longer about staying relevant, but rather on preparing for a world where significant portions of their business will emanate from e-commerce. With brick-and-mortar sales declining and consumers becoming more tech-savvy, this paper argues that beauty companies (both large and small) must look to advanced ways for customers to discover, consider and purchase beauty products. By way of illustration, the paper describes how L’Oréal embarked on a programme of digital transformation that would prepare it to outlast the current context and continue to advance in spite of a challenging market.
    Keywords: beauty tech, virtual-try-on, digital services, digital marketing, consumer behaviour, digital transformation, innovation

  • Using social media benchmarking to inform strategy
    Casper Vahlgren, Senior Strategist, Falcon.io, Denmark

    With the continued growth of social media, there is an increasing volume of data available for marketers to measure, understand and use to compare the performance of one company with that of its competitors. This article outlines how social media benchmarking can be used to create performance targets for social media and measure the related key performance indicators. It also discusses how these benchmarks can be used to analyse the need and potential for market penetration. Finally, it outlines how marketers can use competitive benchmarking to deliver insights around competitor strategies and content approaches, as well as the potential hazards when doing so.
    Keywords: Benchmarking, strategy, market penetration, marketing strategy, positioning, social media marketing, social media content, white space

  • Behind a success story: How the NFL used digital marketing to grow a mainstream sports audience in the UK
    Jamie King, Director of Social Media & Digital Content Strategy, NFL International and Lewis Wiltshire, CEO, Seven League

    The US National Football League (NFL) staged its first regular season game in London in 2007. Since then, London has hosted 28 games, featuring 31 of the 32 teams that make up the NFL. These games have provided local relevance in the market, while the season-long marketing approach taken by the NFL has grown the fanbase to the point where the UK can be considered ‘franchise-ready’ for an NFL team to move there at some point. This paper looks at how the NFL has used digital and social media marketing to appeal to this strong fanbase while continuing to bring in new audiences and deliver high levels of growth, with a view to making American football a mainstream sport in the UK.
    Keywords: social media marketing, digital marketing, NFL, sport marketing, digital, social media

  • Ethical design: Persuasion, not deception
    Jeanette R. van der Lee, PhD student, Utrecht University and Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, Dries Cuijpers, Senior Enforcement Official, Mareille de Bloois, Behavioural Scientist, Jessanne Mastop, Senior Behavioural Scientist, Winnie van Heesch, Senior Enforcement Official, Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets and Elianne F. van Steenbergen, Professor, Utrecht University

    Companies are continuously developing and refining techniques to influence the online consumer. There is, however, a fine line between persuasion and deception. This article discusses the boundaries of online persuasion, drawing on the guidelines developed by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets. It describes the pitfalls associated with knowledge disparity between sellers and consumers, and argues that information asymmetry, cognitive biases and personalised communications can all impair the ability of consumers to make an informed choice. Using real-life examples, the article demonstrates how the design of online sales environments can go wrong. The article goes on to describe the benefits of ethical design, and provides guidance on how to make ethical design choices and use consumer data to test whether the design of an online environment is unfairly influencing consumers. Using these guidelines, marketing professionals can make thoughtful choices in the design of their online environment that will benefit both their company and its customers.
    Keywords: cognitive biases, consumer protection, dark patterns, online marketing ethics, unfair commercial practices, fairness by design

  • Managing the business-to-business customer’s experience using engagement insights
    Xenthe Bang, Global Customer Experience Director, S&P Global Ratings

    Digital transformation has made today’s business environment more global, dynamic, complex and competitive. Customers have higher expectations than ever and are more likely to interact with firms through a wide range of omni-channel touch points. To remain relevant and target growth effectively, business practitioners must leverage these omni-channel engagement insights and deliver efficiently with agile and innovative execution. In the business-to-business (B2B) professional services environment, where the business relationship traditionally hinges on service, how does the customer’s experience across the firm’s human and digital touch points ultimately impact their engagement with the firm? Leveraging the fundamental propositions of Brodie’s customer engagement framework, service-dominant logic and its associated lexicon, this paper presents a management approach that focuses on customer engagement as a business outcome and discusses the associated challenges particular to practitioners in B2B professional services organisations.
    Keywords: customer experience, customer engagement, SD logic, business-to-business professional services, touch points, omni-channel

  • Digital engagement strategies in a pandemic
    Seanice Lojede, Group CEO, Blu Flamingo Digital

    This paper discusses Blu Flamingo Digital’s approach to digital marketing in a pandemic, examining the trends that have emerged and how the ecosystem has changed, along with solutions to mitigate the risk of not understanding how these developments are affecting consumer behaviour. More than anything else, however, the paper stresses the importance of flexibility, that is learning to adapt to an evolving situation without losing sight of one’s original goals.
    Keywords: new normal, digital marketing strategies, pandemic, digital strategy, new media, e-commerce, PPC, digital engagement strategies, SEO, CRO, search terms, mobile traffic

  • What are consumers saying online about your products? Mining the text of online reviews to uncover hidden features
    Miriam Alzate, PhD candidate, Marta Arce-Urriza, Associate Professor of Marketing and Javier Cebollada, Professor of Marketing, Public University of Navarre

    Thanks to the growth of the internet and the increasing use of social networks, companies can now access huge volumes of online texts in order to understand consumers’ preferences and needs. This article illustrates some methods to extrapolate information from such texts. The text-mining analysis covers such issues as word frequency, sentiment analysis, paired words, similarities in textual content and the main topics discussed in online reviews. From a practical point of view, brand managers can use the proposed methods to gain consumer insights into products and brands, to be able to improve and adapt their marketing strategies.
    Keywords: eWOM, online reviews, text mining, sentiment analysis, topic modelling

Volume 9 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher, Journal of Digital Social Media Marketing
  • Papers:
    The US Army’s path to virtual recruiting
    Xeriqua Garfinkel, Public Affairs Officer and Shauna M. Clark, Digital Media Program Manager, US Army Recruiting Command

    The US Army is currently undergoing a multi-year process of adopting virtual techniques to recruit its target market. When the world pivoted to social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army easily adapted to the new environment. The US Army Recruiting Command, responsible for marketing the Army and processing new recruit packets, focused on leveraging virtual tools, social media intelligence analysis, and adapting its traditional culture of in-person recruiting to a more online, story-centric and visual content recruiting effort. The COVID environment expedited the expansion of virtual recruiting practices from just marketing to include most of the job application process, traditionally completed in-person. The result is an engaged online following that is reaching the target audience who are eligible for military service. The Army achieved its personnel end-strength goal for fiscal year 2020 despite closing 1,400 physical recruiting stations for two weeks, reopening less than 1 per cent through the summer and cancelling nearly all physical recruiting events. The Army also demonstrated its adaptation to virtual recruiting by digitally processing eligible civilians into the military while taking care of its existing force by adhering to nationwide social distancing mandates.
    Keywords: Virtual recruiting, digital media, social media marketing, online influencer, marketing strategies

  • How agencies are adapting during COVID-19
    Marco Giuliani, Content Marketer and Xenia Muntean, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Planable

    The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by agencies, big and small, worldwide. The advent of the ongoing pandemic saw many agencies scrambling for new ways of working, as non-essential businesses closed down and workers around the world bunkered down in their homes. While much ink has been spilled on the impact that COVID-19 has had on agencies, little research has been conducted into how agencies are adapting to it. Teams have replaced meeting halls with Zoom calls and water cooler chit-chat with online, socially distanced team-building exercises. This paper explores how agencies have been affected by COVID-19, the implications, and various ways of adapting to the new economic landscape.
    Keywords: COVID-19, agencies, marketing, digital media, advertising

  • Scaling search engine visibility for franchises: A guide for multi-location brands
    Steve Wiideman, Chief Executive Officer, Wiideman Consulting Group

    Organisations with multiple brick-and-mortar locations face an array of challenges controlling and improving visibility within popular search engines such as Google and Bing. Problems stem from content development at scale to rogue franchisees or location managers competing against corporate efforts rather than working collaboratively. This article references case studies and research to provide a multi-location strategy for improving keyword rankings within blended search results, including digital maps, navigation and organic web search results.
    Keywords: SEO, SEO strategy, search engine optimisation, local marketing, franchise marketing, inbound marketing, Google, maps

  • Is offline media becoming the biggest driver of online engagement? A review of recent trends and opportunities
    Srikanth Ramachandran, Founder and Chief Executive Officer and Mehul Mandalia, Co-founder and Head of Demand Platforms, Moving Walls Holding Pte

    As advertising spend continues to shift online, out-of-home (OOH) advertising has bucked the trend by transforming itself using digital technologies. Indeed, in all types of locations, the age-old billboard is proving to be an effective driver of online engagement. This article examines how this offline channel has intertwined itself with online media and the various ways in which marketers can use it to drive digital campaign performance. It also looks at OOH’s pivotal role at different stages of the marketing funnel.
    Keywords: Out-of-home media, outdoor advertising, digital marketing, offline media, programmatic advertising, location data

  • How the study of social media data has evolved through time, putting social media insights-led actions at the heart of many organisations’ strategy
    Jackie Balchin, Senior Social Strategist, NetBase Quid

    This article reviews how the use of social media data has evolved over the last ten years. It also provides actionable tips on how social media data obtained through social media listening platforms can be analysed more efficiently, with examples of how to go beyond standard platform outputs to obtain a deeper understanding of customers. The article argues that social media data should be a guiding force for brand action and thus have a seat at the table when strategic decisions are being made. It also provides guidance on how to obtain this level of maturity.
    Keywords: Social media insights, campaign reporting, social data, social listening

  • Marketing collaborations between luxury brands and hip-hop artists: An analysis of community feedback on Instagram
    Jonas Polfuß, Professor of Brand Management and Marketing, EBC Hochschule

    Luxury fashion and hip-hop music have become intertwined, but their relationship remains conflict-ridden. This study examines the collaboration between luxury brands and rappers based on three marketing collaborations from 2019: Gucci, Fendi and Chanel. Critical user and community feedback are examined using quantitative and qualitative in-depth analyses of Instagram posts. The evaluation takes the form of an engagement and sentiment analysis, the results of which mirror previous research on hip-hop marketing and social media monitoring. This study provides insights into the opportunities and risks of lifestyle marketing in collaboration with artists.
    Keywords: Marketing, social media, Instagram, likes, user engagement, luxury brands, hip-hop, community

  • The influence of the relationship life cycle on business-to-business social media: Theory and practice
    Loran Jarrett, Instructor and Sajeev Varki, Associate Professor, Muma College of Business

    Business-to-business (B2B) firms are increasingly using social media platforms to engage with their customers as they seek to maintain and grow their relationships with customers. This study examined the social media communication objectives of B2B firms at the exploration, expansion and maturity phases of the relationship life cycle. Social media experts were interviewed regarding social media efforts and objectives. The objectives observed in practice were contrasted with theoretical recommendations of appropriate objectives at corresponding phases of the relationship. Several gaps between practice and theory were identified. Further research is necessary to better understand those social media communications objectives deemed important in practice but for which there is little theoretical support.
    Keywords: relationship quality, relationship life cycle, relationship marketing, social media, business to business