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Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 11:25 - 0 Comments

This week, my colleagues and I hosted Dr Elif Izberk-Bilgin of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Elif has written some influential papers on consumer activism, or what is often termed consumerism, such as one in the Journal of Consumer Research in 2012 on the rise of consumerism in Muslims as a key component of an anti-globalization movement.

Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 16:18 - 1 Comments
This week, my colleagues and I host associate professor Kristine de Valck of HEC Paris, France. Kristine has a long-lasting relationship with ESCP Europe. Luca Visconti and she go way back and she knew Ben Voyer already when he was still a PhD student. Kristine and I bonded over a lunch of dry chicken at the European Marketing Academy Conference in Nantes, France in 2009. Kristine has written some influential papers on marketing, such as one in the Journal of Marketing in 2010 on networked narratives and the tension bloggers feel when they are faced with the question of whether they would discuss a product experience on their blog or rather avoid looking commercial.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 10:48 - 0 Comments
In the past ten years, social media have revolutionized the way people communicate. Each day, 483 million users log on to Facebook. Each minute, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Each second, 4050 tweets are “tweeted” out onto the Web, to a worldwide community. These numbers have been growing exponentially. Many businesses are now providing services in these and other social network sites.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 11:50 - 1 Comments
Companies are used to arguing their case. If you send in a complaint, you get an explanation in return. But if there is one thing complaining consumers do not want to hear, it is a dry list of facts. People who vent their emotions on the Internet want those emotions to be accepted. They want emotional relief. It works best to allow for that emotion. Therefore, companies should always begin with an apology and creatively tell the story from their perspective.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 10:13 - 7 Comments
Tom van Laer answers the question posed after his post of 17th October, 2012 Thank you, Abhijin, for this interesting question. Depending on your age and memory, developments in the modern marketing industry seem radically new or reassuringly old. To me the past five years have seemed like the former. I perceive a new deal: Whereas in the past 150 years, media have been pushed to people, today consumers get to be part of the conversation. Using a Facebook-inspired approach, I argue that companies can piggyback on social actions by online users, because people ultimately influence people.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 10:11 - 3 Comments
150 years ago, Uncle Tom’s Cabin of Harriet Beecher Stowe played an important role in galvanizing public opinion against slavery. That is a novel written by one individual. However, in the past 150 years, communication was mostly one-sided from the company to the customer. Today, the power of the narrative returns as consumers get to be part of the conversation. Marketing communication has become symmetric. Lots of Internet users update their profile pages on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. Whether in the form of status updates or tweets, they share creatively written stories or photos and videos about themselves and their experiences and narratives have the power to change our beliefs.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 10:00 - 0 Comments
A fancy term for persuasion by stories is narrative persuasion. The phenomenon of transportation, or mentally entering a narrative, plays a crucial role in narrative persuasion. Here's why. People find stories entertaining for two reasons. First, they imagine the events the main character experiences. Second, they feel for the character. In 1993, professor Richard Gerrig of Yale University published research in which he observed that people who find reading novels entertaining are changed by their reading experience, after they finish reading, such that readers who become engrossed in the story tend to accept the story as true, as well as the beliefs and behaviours that the characters exhibit as good. If people do not lose themselves in the story (meaning they are not transported), they respond negatively to the story or the characters and dismiss the narrative as nonsense.
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer at 16:10 - 0 Comments
A response to Why Academic Papers Are A Terrible Discussion Forum I agree academic papers aren't good for discussion with the "real" world, but why are books the logical alternative? How about blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets, and Wikipedia updates? Could we invent a system to value our academic contributions through those media? Can we adapt the peer-review system to accommodate these new possibilities to show scholar relevance to the world? Could we win prizes for online contributions?
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