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The Comparative Effectiveness of Web 2

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1. The Comparative Effectiveness of Web 2.0 Marketing and Online Technology Tools on Baby-Boomer, Generation X and Generation Y Trade Show Visitors By N. Irem Akin…
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  • 1. The Comparative Effectiveness of Web 2.0 Marketing and Online Technology Tools on Baby-Boomer, Generation X and Generation Y Trade Show Visitors By N. Irem Akin Supervisor: Robert Davidson Thesis submitted to the Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism School of Business University of Greenwich In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS In Events Management September 2014
  • 2. Table of Contents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.......................................................................................... 1 ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................. 2 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................. 3 1.1 Aim of the study..................................................................................................... 3 1.2 Objectives of the study........................................................................................... 3 1.3 Hypothesis of the study.......................................................................................... 3 1.4 Background of the study........................................................................................ 3 1.5 Significance of the study........................................................................................ 4 1.6 Research outline ..................................................................................................... 5 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...................................................................... 5 2.1 Trade shows and stakeholders................................................................................ 5 2.1.1 Visitor Types and Motivations ................................................................... 8 2.1.2 Marketing at trade shows......................................................................... 10 2.2 The Web 2.0 Concept.......................................................................................... 13 2.2.1 Web 2.0 As A Marketing Tool................................................................. 14 2.2.2 Role of Web 2.0 and Technologies at Tradeshows.................................. 17 2.3 Generation theory and the characteristics............................................................. 18 2.3.1 Generations and marketing....................................................................... 21 2.3.2 Generations and trade shows.................................................................... 22 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY .............................................................................. 23 3.1 Introduction to the chapter................................................................................... 23 3.2 Philosophical approach........................................................................................ 23 3.3 Research approach............................................................................................... 24 3.4 Research triangulation, reliability and validity.................................................... 26 3.5 Research method and design................................................................................ 27 3.6 Sampling............................................................................................................... 30 3.7 Methods of data analysis...................................................................................... 32 3.8 Ethical considerations........................................................................................... 32 3.9 Limitations of the study....................................................................................... 33 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND FINDINGS.............................................................. 33 4.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................... 33
  • 3. 4.2 Statistical Analysis of Results.............................................................................. 34 i. Age distribution.............................................................................................. 34 ii. Main reason for attending the trade show of different generations............... 34 iii. Webpage and mobile application usage at trade shows of different generations 35 iv. Attitudes towards Web 2.0 tools and trade show social media marketing tools of different generations...................................................................................... 39 v. Trade show marketing professionals' perspective on social media marketing at trade shows and generations.............................................................................. 43 4.3 Findings................................................................................................................ 46 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.............................. 50 5.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................... 50 5.2 Conclusions about the research............................................................................ 50 5.3 Recommendations ................................................................................................ 52 REFERENCES............................................................................................................ 54 APPENDECIES.......................................................................................................... 62 Appendix-A Sample of Questionnaires............................................................. 62 Appendix A.1 Questionnaire Sample with Visitors............................................ 62 Appendix-A.2 Questionnaire Sample with Marketers ....................................... 64 Appendix-B Graphs .......................................................................................... 67 Appendix B.1 Visitor motivations ...................................................................... 67 Appendix B.2 Official Webpage visits ............................................................... 67 Appendix B.3 Online registration rate ............................................................... 67 Appendix B.4 Mobile application downloads .................................................... 68 Appendix B.5 Tweeting about the event ............................................................ 68 Appendix B.6 YouTube video views.................................................................. 68 Appendix B.7 Importance of Web 2.0 tools....................................................... 68 Appendix B.8 Importance of Web 2.0 tools....................................................... 69 Appendix B.9 Marketing professionals objectives of using Web 2.0................ 69 Appendix B.10 Success measurements............................................................... 69 Appendix B.11 Demographic information captures........................................... 70
  • 4. Table of Figures Figure 1: Trade show Stakeholders and Relationships............................................ 7 Figure 2: Three conceptions of trade fairs: major interactions for a focal exhibitor 10 Figure 3: A theoretical model of antecedent and performance of trade show processes 11 Figure 4: Flow chart of social media decision making process............................ 15 Figure 5: Age distribution..................................................................................... 34 Figure 6: Preferred device to use internet.............................................................. 35 Figure 7: Web page visit frequency....................................................................... 36 Figure 8: The reason for downloading the mobile application.............................. 38 Figure 9: Checking Seminars/Conferences Online Before Visit .......................... 38 Figure 10: Social Media Tools Preferences.......................................................... 39 Figure 11: Following the official Twitter Account............................................... 40 Figure 12: Reasons for following the Twitter Account ........................................ 41 Figure 13: Official Facebook Page Likes ............................................................. 42 Figure 14: Reason for following the Facebook page............................................ 42 Figure 15: Preferred Tools for Social Media Marketing....................................... 44 Figure 16: Importance of the tools........................................................................ 44 Figure 17: Arranging the contents according to generations’ interests or needs.. 46
  • 5. List of Tables Table 1: Stakeholders model in governance context .............................................. 7 Table 2: Generations and their birth years............................................................ 19 Table 3: Deductive versus Inductive research...................................................... 25 Page | 1
  • 6. ABSTRACT As Web 2.0 sites growing fast globally, marketers started to shape their marketing strategies more on these tools than their traditional marketing strategies. However, the generational cohorts are became a growing theme for marketers. Trade shows marketers also using Web 2.0 in terms of reaching more people and combining the generations and marketing together under Web 2.0. This study assessed the differences between Baby-Boomer, Generation X and Generation Y trade show visitors' Web 2.0 marketing and online technology tools usage. There is a slight difference found between the generations' usage of the certain tools. However, there are many similarities found between Generation X and Generation Y members. 106 sample were collected from trade show visitors in London, United Kingdom. Furthermore, trade show marketers' perspective to multi-generational marketing were examined and it has been found that 64% of the trade show marketing professionals are not arrange their marketing strategies according to multi-generational marketing. 14 sample were collected from trade show marketers via online survey. Keywords: Generations, Web 2.0, Social media marketing, Trade shows Page | 2
  • 7. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Aim of the study The overall aim of this research is to explore the comparative effectiveness of Web 2.0 marketing tools and online technology tools on Baby-Boomer, Generation X and Generation Y trade show visitors. 1.2 Objectives of the study The objectives of this research are: 1) To determine how different generations respond to social media marketing tools 2) To analyse the social media marketing of the trade shows 3) To analyse and determine mobile application, online registration tools and the internet usage of different generations at tradeshows 4) To analyse trade show marketing professionals' perspective in multi- generational marketing utilization 5) Pursue recommendations for future practice in the trade show marketing sector 1.3 Hypothesis of the study It hypothesized that if each generation has different technological tendencies , then the effectiveness of the Web 2.0 marketing and the Web 2.0 and online technology tools' usage differs significantly between generations. 1.4 Background of the study Karl Mannheim‟s generational theory argues that individuals are influenced by the socio-historical situations pertaining in the era which they born (Mannheim, 1964). This research will focus on three active consumer population generations which are: Baby-Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Williams and Page (2011) defined Baby-Boomers as individuals born between 1946-1964, Generation X individuals as those born between 1965-1976 and Generation Y individuals as those born between Page | 3
  • 8. 1977-1994. Each generation has their own tendencies and expectations. Some of these generations are identified as highly technological, some of them are highly traditional and anti-technologic. However, there is a huge fact that social media sites in other name Web 2.0 tools, such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogging sites have grown enormously quickly in last ten years. IAB platform report (2008 p.1) states that: ''In 2008, if you are not on a social media networking site, you are not on the internet''. To be able to utilise that trend, marketers used social media as a global marketing tool in various markets. Companies are choosing social media techniques to communicate with their possible clients or existing clients and boost their brand awareness. Use of Web.2.0 tools and technologies at trade shows is growing very fast. In the trade show industry there is 80% of usage of internet to provide information which is 20% more than other MICE (Meetings-Incentive-Conventions-Exhibitions) events sectors (Davidson et al. 2002). Yet, applying these social media marketing tools on different generations involves challenges. Marketers have mainly focused on two generations; Baby-Boomers and Generation Y. (Kehl, 2005). Marketers should understand and adapt these generations‟ needs and behaviours to built relationships, customer retention and satisfaction. Most importantly in terms of increasing the ROI (Return On Investment). Multi-generational marketing can increase of the attendance such industries like event industry. As a part of the events industry, trade shows have key role and trade show marketers aim to adapt their marketing plans and strategies to reach targeted visitors more effectively. However, generational differences can cause issues and marketing strategies may not engage with the target visitors. Consideration needs to be given to the important baseline data on the characteristics of Baby-Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y and how they use social media tools at trade shows, as well as how they respond to social media marketing strategies. This research will address the experiences and attitudes of different generations at trade shows in United Kingdom, London area. 1.5 Significance of the study Whilst, there are some relevant studies about the different generations' usage of social media marketing and the generations' expectations from MICE industry components as conferences, there is no existing in depth research about those Page | 4
  • 9. generations‟ responses to social media marketing specifically at trade shows. The findings of this research will indicate how to achieve the maximum effectiveness of the social media marketing on targeted visitors, based on their experiences at trade shows. Moreover, this research will help trade show marketers to improve their future practices in terms of marketing strategies and usage of social media tools and mobile applications. 1.6 Research outline The outline of the dissertation is as follows: The following chapter includes literature review of the documents relevant to the investigation gathered from sources including other researches, books and journals. The literature review chapter has three main sections: Section 1 is related to trade shows including stakeholders visitor motivations and marketing. Section 2 is related with Web 2.0 including Web 2.0 marketing and Web 2.0 at trade shows. Section 3 is related with Generations including marketing to generations and trade show and generations. The literature chapter is followed by the methodology chapter which includes a review of existing research methods and the discussion of choices made. The methodology chapter is followed by data analysis and findings chapter which includes in depth analysis of the study and discussion of the findings according to the existing literature. The final chapter includes conclusions of overall study and future recommendations for marketers and academic researches. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Trade shows and stakeholders Meeting-Incentive-Convention-Exhibition (MICE), also known as business events, one of the core section of this huge industry is exhibitions. Exhibitions are often confused with the term 'trade shows'. Rittichainuwat and Mair (2012) explain this Page | 5
  • 10. confusion by stating that exhibitions are any showcase of merchandise or services. On the other hand, they stress that the trade shows differ from exhibitions with the attendees segment. Exhibitions are open only to specially invited customers and suppliers. Likewise, Godar and O'Connor, (2001) also state that exhibitions are only open to prequalified personnel and buyers. Exhibitions, in other words expose the products or services, while the trade shows focus on business to business sales (Solberg Søilen, 2013). The definition of trade shows by Bathelt et al. (2014 p.1) is ''Tradeshows are temporary marketplaces where suppliers from a given industry convene to showcase their products and services''. Even though there is a difference between trade shows and exhibitions, both of the events aims to create brand awareness, gathering the information, building and improving the relationships and networking between buyers and sellers. Solberg Søilen (2013) notes that the earlier trade shows only focused on sales but today's modern trade shows industry also focus on building relationships and information exchanging and the author explains that the trade shows of today arranged for special segment of various industries or can be more general shows. Current trade shows can be divided as two sub groups such as: First, horizontal fairs which have a wide range of product exposure and wide visitor diversity. Second, vertical fairs which include specific displays to increase visitor purchase and create a tough selling environment for the exhibitors (Solberg Søilen, 2013). Each trade shows' main objective is creating the business environment and relations between the exhibitors and visitors. However, there are various relationships within the trade shows between the main stakeholders. The stakeholders chain can be explained as: exhibitors are the customers of the organizers, visitors are the customers of the exhibitors and partly customers of the organizers and the organizers are the customers of venues (Kay, 2007). The relationships of the main stakeholders of a tradeshow according to relationship degrees are illustrated in the Figure 1 below. Page | 6
  • 11. Figure 1: Trade showStakeholders and Relationships (Liu 2006,cited in Kay 2007,p. 14). The trade show stakeholders model in governance context, examined by Bathelt et al. (2014 pp. 109) and the table below illustrate the United Kingdom trade show industry. Table 1: Stakeholders model in governance context Indicator Trade show industry in United Kingdom Main facility ownership Private investors Main objectives Profit Main trade show ownership Private organizers Main objectives Profit Dominant type of trade shows National import trade shows Page | 7
  • 12. Due to main topic of this research paper, the following literature review on this section will focus mostly on visitors rather than on other stakeholders. 2.1.1 Visitor Types and Motivations Trade show visitors are divided to three sub categories such as: 1. Current buyers 2. Potential buyers 3. Non-buyers Current buyers are attending these events to decrease the contradiction levels and finalise the purchase decision. Siskind (2005) indicates that the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research report shows that 76% of attendees planned their visit and decided to visit certain booths. These potential buyers' plans are include various purchase options for various reasons such as the firms are already invested some money to send their people to attend (Godar and O'Connor, 2001). Non-buyers are the majority of the trade show visitors and most of the visitors are not concerned ab
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