Sociale Mediers Påvirkning af Forbrugerbeslutningsprocesser i et Marketingperspektiv

Querriere Marie Henriette

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

One of marketing’s main concerns has always been to understand consumer behavior, including the consumer decision journey, in order to provide products and marketing activities that fit the consumer. However, the technological development has resulted in the introduction of social media, which have changed marketing’s conditions. The objective of this thesis has been to study the relation between marketing, consumer decision journeys and social media, which I believe is currently an unsearched combination. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to identify social media’s impact on consumer decision journeys and the consequences for the marketing field. The thesis uses running shoes as a case, as I acknowledge that consumer decision journeys differ from low to high involvement product, which makes it difficult to study consumer behavior as an overall phenomenon. Thus, the thesis will analyze the decision journey of consumers who have bought running shoes as well as the marketing activities of Nike and adidas. The companies have been selected due to they large base of followers and their marketing activities on social media. The study analyzes marketing theories related to consumer decision journeys in order to distinguish between classical marketing’s assumption and practices and what is possible on social media. Additionally, the theories included in this research are the foundation of knowledge about consumer decision journeys, marketing and social media, which I need in order to perform the semi-structured interviews and netnografic study, which I also apply in my research. The study concludes that the main difference between classical marketing assumptions and social media marketing are the possibilities of dialogue, relationship and mutual understanding. It also reveals that social media have an influence on consumer decision journeys. Social Media is not dictating the final choice but is important when it comes to consumer preferences prior to the final choice. Moreover, Social Media was important after the purchase, as every respondent had shared their purchase of running shoes on Instagram. It was also identified that the decision journeys can be divided into several steps, where marketing activities have different purposes, which is much alike the cognitive psychology’s theories about consumer decision journeys. Next, the company activities where analyzed and the result was that they did not embrace the communication forms made possible by social media, as their communication was characterized as classical advertising. However, the consumers revealed they sought relationship and dialogue. Furthermore, the results discovered a need of credibility and trustworthiness, which was a challenge on social media, as the respondents identified brand communication as lacking credibility. The result indicated that content from actual persons and brand ambassadors were of higher interest and could overcome the barrier of lack of credibility. All in all, this thesis’ results showed that social media has an impact on consumer decision journey and that consumers embrace the possibilities of relationship and dialogue as a result of social media. However, the companies have, according to the results, room for improvement, which they could overcome by making use of people and context related content, which also helps them overcome social media’s challenge: trustworthiness

EducationsMSc in Organisational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2015
Number of pages84