Archive for the ‘Marketing’ tag

Gossip, Graphs and Guerrilla Marketing   no comments

Posted at 9:38 pm in Uncategorized

WWW Network Graph

Why would Web Scientists be interested in Gossip?

Gossip is defined as “idle talk; trifling or groundless rumour” between people and is usually thought of as being rather innocuous and of little consequence (OED 2013). The Web facilitates the free exchange of information regardless of quality or authenticity and this could be useful or contentious when mining the Web for data.

Gossip is a form of information exchange but unlike scholarly communication or financial transactions it is rarely coherent, uniform or predictable. The prolific use of the Web 2.0 in particular the social networking sites and micro-blogs allows gossip to spread between platforms and in different forms. A mosaic of verbal and pictorial information and more importantly combinations of the two spread throughout the Web.

Ultimately, gossip is a way of exchanging information in an informal and relaxed manner. Before Web scientists attempt to design or engineer new web technologies they must understand what the Web is being used for currently. This is of great use to Web scientists because it can help them understand how information can be exchanged faster and easier and how their efforts can facilitate this exchange.

The reader may feel that this review is nothing but mere folly and they could be forgiven for thinking that. However, the author would ask them to consider how the principles of gossip could be applied to more serious and practical fields e.g. disaster relief, management, law enforcement. Gossip transcends technical and social boundaries and so it will be of use when studying the Web as a socio-technical object.

Why Network Science?

Network science offers a near perfect set of techniques and practices for studying the Web. Due to the mixed lineage of this field it offers a variety perspectives of networks as social and technical entities. Biological networks are of interest as well – the study of other species such as cephlapods or bees could inform Web science about information exchange.

Network science leans upon sub-fields that have themselves been created from interactions by other disciplines e.g. graph theory (mathematics, computer science) and social network analysis (sociology and anthropology). This chimera of a discipline allows for the topic to be fully opened up and examined thoroughly by illustrating its interconnected nature.

Newman, Barabasi and Watts (2006:4) provide clear cut guidance as to why their discipline is different.

  • It is focused on “real-world problems” and is willing to sacrifice theoretical purity for real world application.
  • It views networks as dynamic entities and will not settle for static models.
  • It aims to “understand the framework on which distributed dynamical systems are built”.
  • It explains rather than describes networks and uses stochastic processes to understand the changes in networks.

It will provide a stimulating read to say the least and offers insights previously hidden in the fragments of other disciplines.

Why Marketing?

“The aim of marketing is to make selling unnecessary” Drucker (2001:20).

If gossip is the idle talk amongst people, marketing is the attempt to infiltrate this “idle talk” and make it into a profitable opportunity. Marketing provides a perspective borne out of commerce and academia and offers insight into how information exchange is made into a commercial product.

Marketing is made up of segments and channels. The segments are different markets and the potential consumers within them. The channels are the method by which a marketer will reach them and build a relationship with so as to continually acquire their custom. From humble posters in shop windows to multi-millionaire pound advertising campaigns, marketing is essentially about raising awareness through word of mouth. Marketers make use of traditional (offline) and digital methods and this means that the Web is of great importance to them.

Marketing provides a mixture of theatre and statistics. It has an array of metrics to measure the success of a commercial activity which can give marketing near-science like properties. It is heavily influenced by economics, business studies, psychology and computer science. Especially the statistical techniques and numeric concepts within these disciplines and how they can aid decision making. However, it also attempts to allure customers not through technical or economic measures but through appealing to consumer’s subconscious desires. For a campaign to be successful it must use art and design, music and even activism.

It will provide an opportunity to see how the Web is used to generate custom and subsequent profits. This demonstrates that gossip is used not just as a social mechanism but also as a commercial one.

Convergence of the two disciplines?

The emphasis on analysing social networks is an obvious property of both disciplines. It is not clear as to whether marketers have the capital (human, cultural, financial, physical) to utilise the same tools as network scientists. It may be the case that they can collaborate and share access to data and any insights gleaned from it. The interest in real-world social networks and observing them in real time is something that will be of use to Web scientists and will further extend their influence to other small-world networks.

P.S. This post was originally posted on 15/10/2013 – however, it failed to publish and only showed the title. The author apologises unreservedly for any technical blunders on their part.



Written by Andrew Scullion on October 21st, 2013

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Marketing Management Philosophies – New Economy – Information Bussinesses   no comments

Posted at 9:40 pm in Uncategorized

Marketing is a social and manager process whereby individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and values with others. There are five alternative concepts under which organisations conduct their activities, the so-called marketing management philosophies: the production, product, selling, marketing and societal concepts. The production concept holds that consumers favour products that are available and highly affordable; management’s task is to improve production efficiency and bring down prices. The product concept holds that consumers favour products that offer the most in quality, performance and innovative features; thus, little promotional effort is required. The selling concept holds that consumers will not buy enough of the organisation’s products unless it undertakes a large-scale selling and promotion effort. The societal marketing concept holds that generating customer satisfaction and long-run societal well-being are the keys to both achieving the company’s goals and fulfilling its responsibilities.

Most successful and well-known companies have adopted the marketing concept, according to which achieving organisational goals depends on determining the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors do. Implementing the marketing concept often means more than simply responding to customers’ stated desires and obvious needs. Customer-driven companies research customers to learn about their desires, gather new product and service ideas, and test proposed product improvements.

The explosive growth in connecting technologies has created a New Economy which provides marketers with new ways to learn about and track customers as well as create product and services tailored to meet customer’s needs. Marketers have redefined how they connect with their customers; in contrast with yesterday’s companies that focused on mass markets, today’s companies are selecting their customers more carefully and developing more lasting and direct relationships with them. Web seems to enable customer relationship building as companies can demonstrate the abovementioned marketing concept on their web sites by including features that are important to consumers; online companies have moved from mass marketing to segmented marketing or one-to-one marketing, in which they target carefully chosen individual buyers.

The New Economy revolves around information businesses; information has the advantages of being easy to differentiate, customize, personalise and dispatch at incredible speeds over networks. With rapid advances in connecting technologies companies have grown skilled in gathering information about individual customers and more adept at individualising their products. Marketing companies go to great lengths to learn about and understand their customers’ needs, wants and demands; they build extensive customer databases containing rich information on individual customer preferences and purchases and then they mine these databases to gain insight by which they ‘mass-customise’ their offerings to deliver greater value to individual buyers. Web enables consumers and companies to access and share an unprecedented amount of information with just a few mouse clicks. In order to be competitive in today’s new marketplace, companies should adopt web technologies or risk being left behind.


Armstrong, G. & Kotler, P. (2003) Marketing: An Introduction. New Jersey: Pearson Education Ltd

Drummond, G. & Ensor, J. (2005) Introduction to Marketing Concepts. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth – Heineman

Kotler, P., Armstrong, G., Saunders, J., Wong, V. (2001) Principles of Marketing. New Jersey: Pearson Education Ltd

Palmer, A. (2012) Introduction to Marketing: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press

Masterson, R. & Pickton, D. (2010) Marketing: An Introduction. London: SAGE Publication Ltd

Written by Evangelia Papadaki on November 4th, 2012

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Perspectives of Psychology and Marketing on the issue of Self-disclosure on the Web   no comments

Posted at 9:46 am in Psychology,Uncategorized

The opportunities that marketers are provided with in cyberspace have led them to seek means to facilitate a two-way communication with consumers aiming at building a relationship of trust with them. Given that marketing is much broader than selling as it encompasses the entire business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view, the ability of marketers to glean the types of information needed often depends on consumer’s willingness to volunteer such information.

This essay aims to examine to what extent consumers’ behaviour in cyberspace differs from the ‘real-world’ behaviour and whether concerns about privacy as well as scepticism about how marketers use data prevent consumers from disclosing personal information. The fact that marketing is based on the study of the psychological characteristics of consumers who engage in voluntary self-disclosure, combined with the application of psychological theories and techniques to marketing, indicate the close relationship between these two disciplines.

In order to unfold the different approaches on the abovementioned issue, I decided to first get myself familiar with the basic concepts and techniques of psychology. Psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behaviour. Research in psychology seeks to describe human thought and behaviour, explain why these behaviours occur, predict how, why and when these behaviours will occur again in the future and modify and improve behaviours to better the lives of individuals and society as a whole. There are three types of research methods, causal, descriptive and rational, while psychologists use a range of techniques including naturalistic observation, experiments, case studies and questionnaires. Topics and questions in psychology can be looked at in a number of different ways; some of the major perspectives in psychology include the biological, cognitive, behavioural, evolutionary, humanistic perspective.

Given that the web has created a new type of society where the presence of other human beings is implied rather than actual, I particularly focused my interest on the discipline of Social Psychology which aims to understand and explain the impact of the social environment on the thought, feeling and behaviour of individuals. A basic concept of social psychology that describes our everyday interactions is the concept of self-disclosure which is defined as ‘the voluntary making available of information about one’s self that would not ordinarily be accessible to the other at that moment.’

Self-disclosure has received considerable attention from consumer psychologists as it plays a vital role in relationship development and maintenance. Although self-disclosure research has shown that people are reluctant to divulge information about themselves, one notable exception to this rule involves the norm of reciprocity which refers to the tendency for recipients to match the level of intimacy in the disclosure they return with the level of intimacy in the disclosure they receive; people are more likely to engage in self-disclosure if they first become the recipients of such disclosures from their conversational partners. A few researchers have suggested that consumers interact with the source of electronic communications in the same way they interact with other people; therefore reciprocity could make consumers more involved in self-disclosure even in cyberspace. Thus, theoretically, in order to trigger the reciprocity principle, a company would first have to reveal some information about itself to the consumer.


Botha, B., Strydom, J., Brink, A. (2004) Introduction to Marketing. South Africa: Juta and Co Ltd

Cialdini, R. B. (1993). Influence: Science and practice. New York: HarperCollins.

Derlega,V. J.,& Chaikin, A. L. (1977). ‘Privacy and self-disclosure in social relationships’. Journal of Social Issues, 33, pp. 102–115

Gross, R. (2010) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. London: Hodder Education

Hill, C. T., & Stull, D. E. (1982). ‘Disclosure reciprocity: Conceptual and measurement

Issues’. Social Psychology Quarterly, 45, pp. 238-244

Holtgraves,T. (1990). The language of self-disclosure. In H. Giles & W. P. Robinson (Eds.), Handbook of language and social psychology. Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley

Joinson, A.N. (2001). ‘Self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication: The role of selfawareness and visual anonymity’. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31, pp. 177–192






Written by Evangelia Papadaki on October 22nd, 2012

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