+1443 776-2705 panelessays@gmail.com

Complete a two paragraph discussion post. Below is the link for the resource Keller's Brand Equity Model: Building a Powerful Brand and below that is the full text of the source Toward a Theory of Customer Engagement Marketing.

In this discussion, you will assess ways of measuring or evaluating brand equity or customer engagement of a brand and identify key takeaways for a marketing consultant to know about managing a brand across its life cycle.

First, read the required resources, including the articles Toward a Theory of Customer Engagement Marketing and Keller's Brand Equity Model: Building a Powerful Brand.

In your initial post, address the following:

  • Considering the customer-based brand equity (CBBE) model and other metrics, assess one to two ways of measuring or evaluating brand equity or customer engagement of a brand and explain why these evaluations are effective. For example, how can assessment tools be applied to demonstrate the success of a brand? Explain.
  • Considering the work you have done for this course and final project, think about the role of the marketing consultant in developing and maintaining the relevance of a brand. What are one to two key takeaways for a marketing consultant to know about managing a brand across its life cycle?

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/keller-brand-equity-model.htm

J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2017) 45:312–335 DOI 10.1007/s11747-016-0509-2

CONCEPTUAL/THEORETICAL PAPER

Toward a theory of customer engagement marketing Colleen M. Harmeling1 & Jordan W. Moffett2 & Mark J. Arnold3 & Brad D. Carlson3

Received: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published online: 15 December 2016 # Academy of Marketing Science 2016

Abstract Customer engagement marketing—defined as a firm’s deliberate effort to motivate, empower, and measure customer contributions to marketing functions—marks a shift in marketing research and business practice. After defining and differentiating engagement marketing, the authors present a typology of its two primary forms and offer tenets that link specific strategic elements to customer outcomes and thereby firm performance, theorizing that the effectiveness of engagement marketing arises from the establishment of psychological ownership and self-transforma- tion. The authors provide evidence in support of the derived tenets through case illustrations, as well as a quasi-experimental field test of the central tenet of engagement marketing.

Keywords Customer engagement . Marketing strategy . Task-based engagement . Experiential engagement . Quasi-experiment

Anne Roggeveen served as Area Editor for this article.

Whether intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, guided or un- guided by the firm, customers are now active contributors to a wide variety of marketing functions (e.g., customer acquisition and retention, product innovation, marketing communication, merchandising) (Malthouse et al. 2013; Nambisan 2002). They are pseudo-marketers, often with greater influence, lower costs, and more effective reach than their firm-based counterparts (Kozinets et al. 2010). This transfer of control to the customer can be a significant threat or potential opportunity for firms. This has led to an explosion of interest in Bcustomer engagement,^ which, in the past decade, has gone from a completely unused term (0 hits prior to 2007) to a topic that raises more than 6 million Google search hits. Consequently, firms are devoting substantial resources in an effort to steer customer engagement strategically; often hiring full-time man- agers (e.g., Director of Customer Engagement) (Verhoef et al. 2010). For example, Anheuser-Busch is expected to spend more than $200 billion annually on engagement marketing strategies, beginning in 2017 (Barris 2015). Yet confusion about the meaning of customer engagement is nearly as ubiq- uitous as its use, and research on customer engagement remains scarce and fragmented. The question thus remains, BHow can firms strategically guide customer engagement in ways that benefit their performance?^ Accordingly, the goal of this article is to present an emerging theory of customer engagement mar- keting and provide a foundation for the use of customer engage- ment to achieve marketing objectives.

As a first step, we explicitly delineate customer engagement, a customer outcome, as distinct from customer engagement marketing (henceforward, engagement marketing), which re- fers to a firm’s strategic efforts. Engagement marketing repre- sents the firm’s deliberate effort to motivate, empower, and measure a customer’s voluntary contribution to its marketing functions, beyond a core, economic transaction (i.e., customer engagement). It actively enlists customers to serve as pseudo-

page1image3823574992 page1image3823575280

*

1

2

3

Colleen M. Harmeling [email protected]

Jordan W. Moffett [email protected]

Mark J. Arnold [email protected]

Brad D. Carlson [email protected]

Florida State University, 821 Academic Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306-0111, USA

Louisiana State University, 2114D Business Education Complex, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Saint Louis University, 3674 Lindell Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63108, USA

J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2017) 45:312–335

313

page2image3854700880

marketers for the firm. Effective engagement marketing can reduce acquisition costs, promote customer-centric product in- novations, and enhance post-purchase service quality (Malthouse et al. 2013; Nambisan 2002). It can provide a means to monitor behaviors outside the core transaction, to capture a more holistic view of the customer and more accurate measures of customer value (Kumar 2013), as well as enhanc- ing customer satisfaction, loyalty, and, ultimately, firm perfor- mance (Ranjan and Read 2016; Rapp et al. 2013).

This research takes several steps to provide a foundation for engagement marketing. We review marketing literature and detail various explicit or implicit meanings of customer engagement, to distill the essence of this foundational con- struct as a customer’s voluntary contributions to a firm’s mar- keting functions. Implicit in this conceptualization of custom- er engagement is the idea that customers have something of value to add to the firm, beyond their financial patronage, so we present a defense of four customer-owned resources—net- work assets, persuasion capital, knowledge stores, and crea- tivity—that underlie engagement marketing. Then, building on the foundational understanding of customer engagement, we define engagement marketing. Next, we present a concep- tual model to position engagement marketing in a nomologi- cal network and identify two paths through which engagement marketing drives long-term customer engagement. We use this model to derive tenets for employing engagement marketing to achieve firm objectives, as well as advance research in the domain. Empirical tests of each tenet are beyond the scope of this article, but we provide some illustrative business cases and a quasi-experimental field test of the proposed founda- tions. Finally, we outline research directions that emerge from this newly proposed theory of engagement marketing.

With these efforts, our research makes several key contri- butions. First, we distill the essence of customer engagement to provide a foundation for examining engagement marketing. We identify its universal characteristics, differentiate it from other marketing strategies, and offer a descriptive typology of two types of engagement marketing (task-based and experien- tial). All engagement marketing shifts control over some as- pect of a firm’s marketing functions, from the firm to the customer, and depends on the firm’s ability to identify and leverage customer-owned resources (network assets, knowl- edge stores, persuasion capital, creativity). Task-based en- gagement initiatives go beyond the economic transaction and use structured, and often incentivized, tasks to guide cus- tomers’ voluntary contributions to marketing functions (e.g., write a review, refer a customer, provide support to other cus- tomers). Experiential engagement initiatives instead reflect the firm’s attempts to drive pleasurable experiences with cus- tomers outside the core transaction, such that these events motivate voluntary, autonomous customer contributions. Extant literature typically theorizes about each specialized form of engagement marketing separately (e.g., word-of-

mouth marketing, crowdsourcing, brandfests); we integrate these forms to provide a more parsimonious theoretical foun- dation for understanding engagement marketing.

Second, we develop a conceptual model and identify two tenets, with corresponding propositions, that capture the the- oretical essence of how engagement marketing affects partic- ipating customers. Engagement marketing has a twofold in- fluence on long-term customer engagement (beyond partici- pation in the initial initiative). First, engagement marketing can enhance the experience of the core offering, a key driver of customer engagement, by strengthening existing psycho- logical connections to the core offering (e.g., task-based) and by building new, diverse connections (e.g., experiential). Second, both task-based and experiential engagement initia- tives can drive long-term customer engagement by transforming the customer’s perception of the self in relation to the firm. Thus, engagement marketing can drive long-term customer engagement through transformation of the experi- ence of the core offering and customer self-transformation.

Third, we provide illustrative cases to support our pro- posed tenets, along with a preliminary empirical test of our conceptual model. Because the long-term success of an engagement marketing initiative is predicated on its ability to transform the customer from a passive receiver of the firm’s marketing offering to an active contributor to the firm’s marketing functions, a successful initiative should facilitate this self-transformation. We test this foundational prediction with a quasi-experimental field study in which we investigate the effects of an engagement initiative on customer engagement. It reveals that experiential engage- ment initiatives facilitate the transformation of the partici- pating customer’s perception of self, which in turn in- creases customer engagement.

Theoretical assessment of customer engagement marketing

A frenzy of rapid growth and creative energy has marked recent research on customer engagement (Bowden 2009; Kumar 2013; Van Doorn et al. 2010; Vivek et al. 2012), gen- erating a significant amount of knowledge but also consider- able variation in the definitions, concepts, and arguments used to examine the construct. This variation can become problem- atic. Without definitional precision, operationalization and dif- ferentiation from other marketing constructs is arduous or im- possible. Replicating findings is difficult and contradictory findings are inevitable making theory testing challenging and hindering the development of the domain. Thus, these foundational constructs must be Bnarrow enough to strip away unintended connotations and surplus meaning but … concep- tually broad enough to capture the underlying essence of the phenomenon^ (Suddaby 2010, p. 347–48). Therefore, in

314

J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2017) 45:312–335

page3image3841544976

approaching a theory of engagement marketing, we begin with the recognition that, even despite some underlying sim- ilarities, many diverse viewpoints exist and must be reconciled.

A primary challenge related to diverse viewpoints on cus- tomer engagement is that the term is often used interchange- ably to refer to both firm strategies and customer responses, construed as Bactivities initiated by … the organization^ (Vivek et al. 2012, p. 127) and as Bcustomer behavioral man- ifestations toward the brand or firm, beyond purchase^ (Van Doorn et al. 2010, p. 253). In response to this conundrum, we begin by disentangling customer engagement, a desired cus- tomer outcome, from engagement marketing, which is a firm’s strategic efforts. With an inductive approach, we review influ- ential theoretical statements and recent empirical work to dis- till the unique essence of customer engagement: the desired outcome of engagement marketing. Figure 1 provides a visual summary of relationships among the key constructs; Table 1 details the implicit and explicit meanings of customer engage- ment in extant research.

What is customer engagement?

In an attempt to consolidate diverse viewpoints and build a strong foundation for conceptualizing engagement marketing, we first contemplate the merits of the unique perspectives on customer engagement. It has been construed as either behav- ioral or psychological (Hollebeek 2011; Jaakkola and Alexander 2014), though a general consensus indicates that it is a customer’s behavioral response to a firm, going beyond what is necessary for the core economic transaction (Van Doorn et al. 2010). Specifically, it is Bactivities engaged in by the consumer that are not directly related to search, alter- native evaluation, and decision making involving brand choice^ (Vivek et al. 2012, p. 128). Curiously, many re- searchers claiming a psychological perspective emphasize its interactive nature asserting that Bcustomers choose to invest … resources in particular brand interactions,^ thus, implying a behavioral component (Hollebeek et al. 2016, p. 3; see also Brodie et al. 2011). Defining it behaviorally rather than

Fig.1 Visualrepresentationof key constructs in customer engagement marketing

psychologically may be preferable; it does not preclude the relevance of psychological constructs (e.g., involvement, sat- isfaction, brand love, cognitive and affective commitment) but rather allows these constructs to fluctuate independently, with unique antecedents and consequences, and relate to customer engagement as either a key antecedent or outcome (Pansari and Kumar 2016). Defining customer engagement as behav- iors outside the core transaction also has the benefit of clearly distinguishing the concept from behavioral loyalty (i.e., repeat purchases) and other transaction-focused behaviors frequently studied in marketing (Dick and Basu 1994). Yet, construing it as any activity beyond purchase subsumes a wide variety of customer behaviors (e.g., product returns, product usage, product disposal, brand learning), potentially at the expense of retaining surplus meaning that could dilute the effective- ness of the term. Thus, we argue that a behavioral conceptu- alization of customer engagement better captures its implicit and explicit meaning and also that narrowing and clarifying this definition can help establish more effective Bbuilding blocks for strong theory^ (Suddaby 2010, p. 347).

The essence of customer engagement Taking an inductive approach, we turn to examples used previously to illustrate customer engagement. In particular, it has been construed as Bword of mouth, blogging, [or] providing customer ratings^ for a product or brand (Verhoef et al. 2010, p. 249). Other sources suggest it is Bcustomer contributions of resources such as knowledge, skills, and time, to facilitate the focal firm’s development of its offering^ (Jaakola and Alexander, p. 255, emphasis added) or Bcustomer recommendations and referrals … webpostings … and many other behaviors influencing the firm and its brands^ (Van Doorn et al. 2010, p. 253, emphasis added). It is relevant in contexts where Bcustomers can cocre- ate value, cocreate competitive strategy, collaborate in the firms innovation process, and become endogenous to the firm- ^ (Bijmolt et al. 2010, p. 341, emphasis added). Jaakkola and Alexander (2014, p. 248) thus suggest that customer engage- ment is Bbehaviors through which customers make voluntary resource contributions that have a brand or firm focus but go beyond what is fundamental to the transaction.^

+ ++

page3image3856966000

Customer–Owned Resources

Customer Engagement Marketing

Firm’s deliberate effort to motivate, empower, and measure a customer’s voluntary contribution to the ????irm’s marketing functions beyond the core, economic transaction

Customer Engagement

Customer’s voluntary resource contribution to a ????irm’s marketing function, going beyond ????inancial patronage

Customer network assets Customer persuasion capital Customer knowledge stores Customer creativity

Firm Performance

Revenue bene????its Cost savings

J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2017) 45:312–335
Table 1 What is customer engagement? Implicit and explicit perspectives

315

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Product innovation

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Product innovation
• Customer acquisition,

expansion, and

retention • Marketing

communication
• Product innovation

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Product innovation

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Product innovation
• Customer acquisition,

expansion, and

retention • Marketing

communication
• Product innovation

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Marketing communication

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Product innovation
• Customer acquisition,

expansion, and retention

page4image3854515296page4image3854515584

Sources

Kumar and Pansari (2016)

Hollebeek et al. (2016)

Jaakkola and Alexander (2014)

Verleye et al. (2013)

Vivek et al. (2012)

Brodie et al. (2011)

Hollebeek (2011)

Bijmolt et al. (2010)

Kumar et al. (2010)

Customer engagement

Bthe attitude, behavior, the level of connectedness (1) among customers, (2) between customers and employees, and (3) of customers and employees within a firm^ (p. 2)

BA customer’s motivationally driven,
volitional investment of focal operant resources (including cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social knowledge and skills), and operand resources (e.g. equipment) into brand interactions in service systems (p. 6)^

Bbehavior through which customers make voluntary resource contributions that have
a brand or film focus but go beyond what is fundamental to transactions^ (p. 248)

Bvoluntary, discretionary customer behaviors with a firm focus… customers’ interactive, cocreative experiences with a firm^ (p. 69)

Bbeyond the purchase. .. events and activities engaged in by the consumer that are not directly related to search, alternative evaluation and decision making involving brand choice^ (p. 127)

Bpsychological state that occurs by virtue
of interactive, cocreative customer experiences with a focal agent/object (e.g., a brand) in focal service relationships^ (p. 9)

Bthe level of an individual customer’s motivational, brand-related and context-dependent state of mind characterized by specific levels of cognitive, emotional and behavioral activity in direct brand interactions^ (p. 790)

BCustomers can cocreative value, cocreate competitive strategy, collaborate in the firm’s innovation process, and become enogenous to the firm^ (p. 341)

BCustomers. .. contribute to firms
in many ways that are beyond direct transactions.^ (p. 297)

Typologies/examples

• Customer purchases (e.g., posting content on social media, inventing alternate uses for products)

• Customer referrals
• Customer influence (e.g. word of mouth) • Cusomer knowledge (e.g., feedback and

ideas for innnovations and improvements) • Customer resource integration
• Customer knowledge sharing (e.g., sharing

information or experience with others)
• Cusomer learning (e.g., customer socialization,

education, training, post-purchases learning)

• Augmenting behaviors (e.g., posting content
on social media, inventing, alternating alternate uses for products)

• Co-developing behaviorse (e.g., customer support, ideas for new or improved products, involvement in product development and innovstion)

• Influencing behaviors (e.g. word of mouth, blogging,recommendations, referrals, customer-to-customer interaction)

• Mobilizing behaviors (e.g., recruitment, boycotts) • Compliance (e.g., showing respect to employess, following organizational rules and procedures

• Cooperation (e.g., providing information and assistance to employees )

• Feedback (e.g., suggestions for product improvements, participation in new product development)

• Helping other customers (e.g., encouraging
other customers to show appropriate behaviors, helping others to have better service experiences)

• Positive word of mouth (e.g., recommendations, referrals)

• Feedback to marketers, consumers, and society
• Participation in activities (e.g., skill development

activities and events, creative events, online activities, product innovation and development events, workshops)

• Word of mouth • Cognitive
• Emotional
• Behavioral

• Cognitive activity (e.g., level of concentration and /or engrossment in the brand)

• Emotional activity (e.g., level of brand-related inspiration and/or pride)

• Behavioral activity (e.g., level of energy exerted in interacting with a focal brand)

• Co-creation (e.g., participation in the firm’s activities, suggestions for service improvements, participation in brand communities)

• Customer complaints (e.g., revenge activities) • Word of mouth
• Customer influencer beahvior (e.g.,

word of mouth)

Marketing functions

page4image3856697968 page4image3856698320 page4image3856698608 page4image3856698896

316
Table1 (continued)

J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2017) 45:312–335

page5image3854533616page5image3854533904

Sources

Van Doorn et al. (2010)

Verhoef et al. (2010)

Customer engagement

Bcustomer behavioral manifestations toward the brand or firm, beyond purchase^ (p. 253)

Ba behavioral manifestaion toward the brand or firm that goes beyond transactions^ (p. 247)

Typologies/examples

• Customer knowledge behavior (e.g., feedback and ideas for innovations and improvements)

• Customer referral behavior (e.g., referrals)
• Blogging, web posting
• Customer-to-customer interaction
• Feedback, suggestions for new products ideas • Organizing public actions against a firm

• Recommendations, referrals, word of mouth • Writing reviews

• Blogging
• Co creation with new product

development activity
• Providing customer ratings
• Customer-to-customer interactions

(i.e., word of mouth)

Marketing functions • Product innovation

• Customer acquisition, expansion, and retention

• Marketing communication

• Product innovation
• Customer acquisition,

expansion, and

retention • Marketing

communication
• Product innovation

page5image3855716336 page5image3855716688 page5image3855716976 page5image3855717264page5image3855717552

If customer engagement is the customer’s voluntary, behavioral contributions to the firm, it begs the question: Contributions to what? Insight comes from extant operationalizations of the construct (Kumar 2013; Kumar et al. 2010; Kumar and Pansari 2016). Measures of cus- tomer engagement value capture Bthe profits associated with the purchases generated by a customer’s … influence on other acquired customers and prospects^ (Kumar 2013, p. 36), as well as Bthe profits generated by a customer’s feedback, suggestion or idea to the firm over a period of time^ (Kumar 2013, p. 39). Thus, they quantify behaviors in which customer engagement (e.g., word of mouth, re- ferrals, reviews, feedback) increases Bacquisition, reten- tion, and share of wallet^ (Kumar et al. 2010, p. 298). Underlying these descriptions and operationalizations is an implicit prioritization of behaviors in which the cus- tomer contributes to the firm’s marketing functions. For example, word of mouth (e.g., blogging, webposting) contributes to marketing communication effort, as well as to customer acquisition, expansion, and retention through customer-to-customer communication. Customer feedback contributes to product innovation (Cui and Wu 2016). On this basis, customer engagement becomes rel- evant to the firm.

We therefore define customer engagement as a customer’s voluntary resource contribution to a firm’s marketing func- tion, going beyond financial patronage. When customer en- gagement occurs organically, or naturally in response to prod- uct experiences or marketing communications with no delib- erate actions from the firm to motivate or empower the cus- tomer, it engenders more trust and is more memorable than firm-sponsored communication (de Matos and Rossi 2008). It is twice as effective as radio advertising, seven times more

effective than print advertising, and four times more effective than personal selling (Katz and Lazarsfeld 1995); thus, it af- fords many benefits to the firm.

Customer-owned resources in customer engagement

Essential to the proposed definition of customer engagement is the idea that customers have something desirable, other than their financial patronage, that they can contribute to the firm’s marketing functions (Hollebeek et al. 2016; Jaakkola and Alexander 2014). On the basis of our analysis of extant re- search, we propose that customers possess some combination of four separate, yet interrelated, valuable resources (i.e., customer-owned resources) that otherwise would be unattain- able to the firm: network assets, persuasion capital, knowl- edge stores, and creativity (Table 2). These customer-owned resources are Btangible and intangible assets [that] firms [can] use to conceive of and implement its strategies^ (Barney and Arikan 2001, p. 138) and can be drawn on to accomplish the firm’s goals (Kozlenkova et al. 2014). The resources make customer engagement relevant to firms; they underlie the very existence of engagement marketing.

First, customer network assets refer to the number, diversi- ty, and structure of a customer’s interpersonal ties within his or her social network. Customers participate in social networks that connect them to other existing and potential customers. Access to these networks can increase a firm’s reach beyond what is available through its own resources (e.g., purchased leads, current customers) and provide access to broad and diverse audiences that otherwise would not be easily reached by the firm (Brown and Reingen 1987), so leveraging these assets can provide a source of competitive advantage to firms.

Second, customer persuasion capital captures the degree of trust, goodwill, and influence a customer has with other

J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2017) 45:312–335 Table 2 Typology of customer-owned resources

317

page6image3853788144page6image3853788432

Types of customer-owned resources Customer network assets

Customer persuasion capital Customer knowledge stores

Customer creativity

Descriptions

The number, diversity, and structure of a customer’s interpersonal ties within his or her social network

The degree of trust, goodwill, and influence a customer has with other existing or potential customers

A customer’s accumulation of knowledge about the product, brand, firm, and other customers

BProduction, conceptualization, or development of novel, useful ideas, processes, or solutions to problems^ (Kozinets et al. 2008, p. 341)

Value to firm

page6image3853856048 page6image3853856400 page6image3853856688

• Increases reach of engagement marketing initiative
• Provides access to particularly influential individuals

or unique subgroups
• Increases the influence of the content shared over

other customers’ purchase decisions

• Improves the quality and relevance of the content shared throughcustomer engagement behaviors (e.g., blogging, writhing reviews)

• Aids in the development, management and dissemination of the brand narrative

• Improves customer-to-customer support and customer contributions to new product development

• Provides unique insights into marketing functions (e.g., new product development, product usages)

page6image3853926048

existing or potential customers. Extant research suggests that information from a customer who is similar or familiar engen- ders greater trust, appears more authentic, and seems more diagnostic to the receiving customer’s purchase decision than the same information received from marketing communica- tion or salespeople (Arndt 1967; Brown and Reingen 1987; Trusov et al. 2009). Importantly, a person can be part of a very large social network (high network assets) but exert very little influence over or even be distrusted