Customer Engagement in Digital Marketing (Research Paper Sample)
For this piece of coursework, you are asked to:
a) evaluate the capacity of customer engagement found in digital marketing strategies (i.e. content development strategy, customer interaction strategy, customer experience strategy, social media strategies etc.) used by the online fashion retailer - ASOS;
b) recommend improvements to the brand’s digital marketing strategy that will enhance customer engagement and customer loyalty.
Guidelines / Key Contents:
• A brief introduction to ASOS online brand (roughly 300 words).
• A brief review of current literature relating to customer engagement strategy for online brands, (roughly 600 words).
Discussion of the various dimensions of digital customer engagement (behavioural, emotional and cognitive, see Harrigan et al 2017, So et al, 2014), (roughly 600 words).
• An evaluation of ASOS digital marketing strategy (ies)/ e-communications mix to enhance customer engagement (i.e. content development strategy, customer interaction strategy, customer experience strategy, social media strategies etc.) in light of digital customer engagement literature (behavioural, emotional, cognitive), (roughly 1000 words).
• Suggest any recommendations for the business to enhance customer engagement and customer loyalty and justify these suggestions (roughly 500 words).
*Word count for each bullet point is a guideline only, and these bullet points are for guidance only as the structure of your essay is your own choice.
CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT IN DIGITAL MARKETING
Customer Engagement in Digital Marketing
ASOS Plc is an online retail company headquartered in the United Kingdom but whose operations span the entire world. ASOS has grown over the past twenty years into the leading online platform that sells clothing in the UK. It offers detailed fashion-related content on its website, ASOS.com. Its main geographic market segments include RoW, European Union countries, United Kingdom and the United States (Forbes, 2021). However, its products spread to other parts of the world including countries such as Australia, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Sweden. ASOS has over 90,000 products that it offers to its market. Its main brands include Edition, ASOS 4505, ASOS DESIGN, AsYou, Topman, HIIT, Reclaimed Vintage, Topshop, and Miss Selfridge (Reuters, 2021). The organization offers and sells a wide range of clothing spanning footwear, menswear, womenswear, beauty collections, accessories and jewelry (Bloomberg, 2021). Its products serve multiple customer segments across all price points and categories. Its distribution channels include local delivery to clients where the products are dispatched from the central points in America, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. As of today, ASOS has about 23.4 active customers who all in the category of fashionable, web-savy men and women between the ages of 16 and 34. The company manages to reach this segment well due to its provision of on-trend fashion, low prices, and advanced distribution channels. ASOS stocks its apparel from an array of over 800 top fashion labels including Vans and Adidas in addition to its own brands. ASOS entirely relies on e-commerce capabilities including an application and a mobile and desktop optimized application to advertise its products, receive orders and plan for their delivery. Having been founded in 2000, ASOS has spread to be a leading retailor in the UK market from which it garners over 35% of its revenue. The founders, Quentin John Griffiths and Nicholas Jon Robertson have led its workers into having real time engagements with customers to enhance customer retention and loyalty. The current report therefore, examines the capacity of customer engagement at the company in relation to its digital marketing strategies. The information will then be used to offer recommendations on what the company can do to improve its customer engagement.
Hollebeek (2011) and Hollebeek et al. (2014) performed a review of previous studies to examine the similar expressions and features of the dimensions of consumer engagement. The review led to three classes of consumer engagement dimensions including behavioral, cognitive and emotional dimensions. The cognitive dimension of customer engagement is a level of engagement that results from the development of interest and concentration on a particular object by a customer. The object could be either the brand, the online social network, a business enterprise or a brand community. The emotional dimension, on the other hand, is a state of psychological activity or a feeling of inspiration or pride that results from the engagement object. Lastly, the behavioral dimension is the state of client behavior in relation to the engagement object. The behavior is measured in terms of the energy or endeavor given during an interaction. A cognitive consumer engagement dimension can be demonstrated through activities such as brand practices. For instance, when a client focuses only on a single brand and shows a great interest in it as compared to the other branches. The dimension also entails a high level of cognitive processing regarding an engagement object. Cognitive dimension can therefore be defined as the client’s level of thought processing and elaboration about an engagement object during brand interaction.
Under the cognitive dimension of engagement, there are other engagement dimensions including social, hedonic, vigor and utilitarian dimensions. The utilitarian dimension is the level of evaluation that a customer does regarding the advantages and utilities of the online auction website. The vigor dimension reveals a client’s degree of mental stability and flexibility when interacting with a brand or an organization (Abdul-Ghani, Hyde, Marshall, 2011). The cognitive dimension of engagement also reflects the willingness of a client to give their tine, energy and time to participate in the activities of a business.
The emotional dimension of engagement, on the contrary, views engagement as a subconscious emotional construct. The term emotion describes any stimulation of feelings. The emotional dimension explains the experiences of pleasure or positive emotions that a client develops when using a website or engaging with a brand or an organization through different platforms. It is therefore the responsibility of a brand or an organization to ensure that they develop user-friendly platforms that influence the development of positive emotions during their interaction with the entity (Bilro and Loureiro, 2020). Whereas the object of engagement during customer engagement is either the brand, the product or service or the organization itself, the emotional dimension is expressed through the elements of emotion such as dedication, affection and a sense of belonging that makes the customer feel attached and proud of the brand. Once a customer achieves a sense of commitment and dedication to a given brand, they become ready to patronize and tell the world about it (Okazaki & Taylor, 2013). Therefore, the emotional dimension describes the positive feelings that a customer develops after interacting with a given brand. Lastly, the behavioral dimension relates to the actual engagement with the brand. It is the energy and degree of interaction between the client and the organization. It is measured through elements such as consumer communication, the level of employee-client interaction and the amount of energy that a consumer gives when engaging with the brand.
In 2016, ASOS, which was founded in 2000, was one of the world's largest online fashion retailers. The company, which targeted youthful consumers aged 16 to 25, offered over 80,000 goods on its websites, far more than the top fashion stores, and launched thousands of new lines every week. ASOS, based in the United Kingdom, sold products in 240 countries and territories, with foreign sales accounting for more than half of total income. However, when new CEO Nick Beighton took over from creator Nick Robertson in September 2015, he was confronted with a number of serious issues. Traditional fashion stores were developing their own online sales capabilities, and Amazon was growing its clothes offering. Meanwhile, new internet competitors arose at a breakneck pace.
The emergence of digital technology and its widespread application in the field of business has attracted significant interest from scholars and academicians. Subsequently, extensive research findings exist in the field of digital marketing and customer engagement and are used to determine how businesses can leverage the capabilities to improve their performance online. Hofman-Kohlmeyer (2017) elaborates the concept of customer engagements and its importance to businesses. According to him, interactions among businesses and people across the world has become possible through technological tools such as instant messaging, social networking and virtual worlds. Such interactions enable companies to improve their knowledge of customer needs. Consequently, they are able to upgrade their products to meet the identified customer needs. The internet enables entities to converse with customers at all times. Such interactions and conversations can support research activities, enhance market testing results, and enable the company to involve clients in the process of developing new products. Customers, on the other hand, are able to work with marketers and engage in processes that increase value to the organization. Additionally, companies that constantly engage their clients through the internet achieve high level of consumer satisfaction, retention and commitment. Satisfaction helps maintain a connection between the entity and its clients. Satisfaction happens when an entity exceeds the expectations and needs of a client regarding the entire purchase and consumption period of the goods or services. The ability to meet such expectations and leave a client happy contributes to high retention levels. Customer retention comes as a result of positive emotions that come when a client is satisfied by a product or a service. Once a client is satisfied and chooses to remain loyal to the entity, their commitment increases. The achievement of the three elements enhance customer engagement. According to Hofman-Kohlmeyer (2017), customer engagement is possible when clients are loyal and happy. In such states, they can share their views with the world on different social platforms and advocate for the specific company, product or brand. Consequently, to increase the capacity of customer engagement, a company must develop strong emotional connections with clients (Rodgers and Thorson, 2018). Customer engagement entails inclusion of clients in creation of value to constantly improve their satisfaction.
Customer engagement also transcends the normal constant interactions with clients to involve the formation of online brand communities where clients can discuss their concerns and give reviews regarding certain products or services. Wirtz (2013) engages in a research to examine the dimensions of online based communities and their importance in customer eng...
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