In today’s connected consumer environment, customers are better informed and harder to please, but they also leave a more visible evidence trail in the form of improved databases and customer information. Consumers are increasingly interconnected through various sorts of social networks, a trend that is facilitated by recent advances in electronic media and telecommunication (i.e., MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Cyworld). Consumers are also increasingly connected with brands and seek to play a more participative role in their relationship with companies, stimulating companies to reconsider how to connect with consumers. This book consists of a collection of chapters by thought-leaders in the field of marketing and beyond that deals with the rich facets of connectivity. This edited volume is a great source of research ideas and fresh theory building for academics and students in marketing and related fields who wish to understand this exciting field. It will be a source of inspiration for practitioners who are eager to take up the challenge and adapt their marketing strategies to the changing nature of consumer and business markets.
"The mantra of marketing practice today is connectivity--creating deeper connections with customers to enhance brand equity, generate more loyalty, develop new products, and achieve other goals. This book features research by some of the world's best academics on the topic of connectivity. It is a must-read for any academic, student, or practitioner interested in what we know about viral marketing, social networks, emotion, word-of-mouth, and a number of other topics related to how to create and improve customer relationships." - Russell Winer, Chairman, Marketing Department, Stern School of Business, New York University, USA
" This is a timely topic that should find relatively broad interest. Moreover there are no up-to-date competing volumes and the line up of authors is strong." -Norbert Schwarz, University of Michigan, USA
"The focus on how consumers create networks with marketers and other consumers is an important topic. It has significant relevance to scholarship and research in the field. New ideas would be issues pertaining to connections between consumers and their service providers (e.g. doctors and their patients) social capital issues, and issues of how networks can be of strategic importance to both marketers and consumers. These are new and unique ideas." - Cornelia Otnes, University of Illinois, Champaign, USA
"[This] book offers unique evidence-based insights into a very important and evolving research domain: social networks and consumer connectivity. It is comprised of a well-connected set of scholarly contributions, made by top academic experts in the field. Its three-dimensional structure: overall connectivity, vertical connectivity, and horizontal connectivity, allows for an impressive coverage of what is known as well as what needs to be further researched. It can serve as a very useful guide book for those who want to understand the topic in depth and those interested in adding to the extant knowledge base." - Jehoshua Eliashberg, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Preface. Introduction. Part 1. Connectivity and the New Reality of Markets C. Van den Bulte, Opportunities and Challenges in Studying Customer Networks. C.M. Henderson, R.W. Palmatier, Understanding the Relational Ecosystem in a Connected World. S. Wuyts, Connectivity, Control, and Constraint in Business Markets. Part 2. Leveraging Vertical Connectivity with Channel Partners and Brands N. Camacho, V. Landsman, S. Stremersch, The Connected Patient. B. Shiv, Is Mr. Spock a Good Candidate for Being a Connected Customer? The Role of Emotion in Decision Making. A. Rindfleisch, N. Wong, J.E. Burroughs, God and Mammon: The Influence of Religiosity on Brand Connections. R. Srivastava, T. Wiesel, Brand Platforms as Strategic Investments: Leveraging Customer Connections to Manage Profitability, Growth and Risk. Part 3. Leveraging Horizontal Connectivity Among Customers R. Burt, The Shadow of Other People: Socialization and Social Comparison in Marketing. R. van der Lans, G. Verbruggen, Viral Marketing: What is It and What are the Components of Viral Success? J. Goldenberg, S. Han, D.R. Lehmann, Social Connectivity, Opinion Leadership and Diffusion. A. Bonfrer, The Effect of Negative Word of Mouth in Social Networks.