10 Dec 2015

Virtual worlds, social media gaming, celebrity branding and personal branding

I recently attended the ANZMAC (The Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy) 2015 conference which was hosted by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. It ran from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December.

I presented a paper titled "Lady Gaga goes virtual: Social network gaming communities’ response towards virtual branding efforts" which I co-wrote with Dr. Ezlika Ghazali, The University of Malaya and Dr. Bang Nguyen, East China University of Science and Technology.

Here is the abstract of the paper:
"This study examines community members' response towards a one-off online personal branding campaign of Lady Gaga. Using a qualitative content analysis approach, the study critically examines forum messages from the official Zynga forums of the social game, Farmville. The findings reveal that in the context of social network games, the marketers' role is, to some extent, reduced, while the roles of consumers, especially opinion leaders, become paramount. Theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed."
The background of how I thought about doing a research on this topic is quite interesting (at least to me). While doing my PhD a few years back, I was introduced to Farmville, a game on Facebook. I think that this game as well as other social games helped me through some of the most stressful times during my PhD journey. It was around the time I was writing up my thesis that American
singer and songwriter Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, who brands herself as Lady Gaga, partnered with Zynga, the creators of Farmville to launch and promote her album 'Born this way'. As far as I know, she was the first artist to ever launch an album on a social media game.

I did a bit of preliminary research and realised that this campaign presented several research opportunities to examine the response of members of an online community towards a branding campaign.

Most studies on virtual worlds have focused on World of Warcraft and Second Life and no one has actually looked at games on Facebook. The gaming communities are different from the Brand communities on Facebook and present a totally different context. I also discovered that studies on celebrity branding mostly examined their role as a brand ambassador and specifically how the brand image fits with the personality of the celebrity. There was a lack of studies on the celebrity as a brand - which I feel is linked to concept of personal branding. To my surprise, when I looked at pesonal branding literature and how I could link to celebrity branding, I discovered that most of the papers were in human resource journals and linked to personal development.

There is of course the question of methodology. I could have used the increasingly popular Netnographic techniques made popular by Robert Kozinets. However, in the end I used content analysis method for this research.

I would love to hear from and to collaborate with other researchers who are researching in any of the areas listed here.

19 Oct 2015

Academics and the dark side

Many of us grew up watching Star Wars and the various films has had an impact on a number of us. Anyway, one of my papers is titled  "Customer relationship management: advances, dark sides, exploitation and unfairness." My friend Bang Nguyen (my co-author) came up with the name. He is a big sci-fi fan and though I have not confirmed it with him, you can probably guess where the phrase "dark sides" come from. In fact, he has written a few other papers with the phrase "dark side" in the title.

Today while going through some academic papers, I came across one with "dark side" in the title. This made me wonder and a quick search on Google Scholar reveals that there are around  3,920,000 paper with the phrase "dark side" in the title. When I restrict the search results to publications which came out this year (2015),   there were an astounding 50,100 results including books, chapters and journal papers.

I further narrowed down the search to the keywords "dark side marketing" and restricted to publications this year, gave me 8,770 results.

The Force is definitely with us.

12 Oct 2015

Malaysia is top market for luxury car brands in South East Asia

updated: 15/10/2015; 13/10/2015

The biggest car market in ASEAN is Indonesia (sales of 830096 units in 2014) followed by Thailand (with 579273 units sold) and Malaysia (444551 units sold) (ASEAN automative federation, 2014).

However, when it comes to luxury car brands, my research shows that Malaysia is the leading country in ASEAN.

For example, take the BMW group. 2014 was a fantastic year for them with record breaking sales through out the World (including the 3 countries listed above) with 2,117,965 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles sold. Let us compare the sales in these 3 countries:

1. Indonesia: 9,046 vehicles, comprising 7,808 BMWs, 655 MINIs and 583 BMW Motorrads
2. Thailand; 8,386 vehicles of both BMW and MINI brands
3. Malaysia: 9,419 vehicles with monthly sales upwards of 900 units.

Mercedes-Benz, which is the leading premium car brand in all the three countries also shows a similar trend.

Mercedes-Benz Thailand sold more vehicles with 11,524 units sold as compared to Malaysia (a record-breaking 9,419 vehicles) in 2014. In the first five months of this year, Mercedes-Benz Thailand took the lead in the premium car segment in the country with sales record of 4108 units. However, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia recorded their all-time sales record in the first quarter of 2015 with 5163 units passenger cars sold. This is also higher than in Indonesia which saw sales of 1800 cars between January and July 2015.

Though I cannot generalise based on sales figures of only two luxury car makers, preliminary results from other luxury companies also show that Malaysia is one of the top markets for their cars as well in the ASEAN region.

This thus leads to some interesting questions. Besides population and income, what do marketers also need to take into account when it comes to luxury products?

  • http://www.bmw.co.th/th/en/general/bmwinsight/news_read.php?id=565&year=
  • https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/asia/pressDetail.html?title=bmw-group-indonesia-reports-significant-growth-in-volume-in-2013&outputChannelId=16&id=T0166566EN&left_menu_item=node__4100
  • http://paultan.org/2015/01/14/mercedes-benz-malaysia-record-sales-2014/
  • http://paultan.org/2015/06/03/mercedes-benz-malaysia-best-ever-sales-in-may-15/
  • http://www.mercedes-benz.com.my/content/media_library/malaysia/media_library/About_Us/events___sponsorship/2015_Events/pr-1st-half-sales-pdf.object-Single-MEDIA.tmp/MBM1H2015NewsRelease7Jul15.pdf

9 Sept 2015

Call for contributions for book on Islamic finance, marketing and management from an Asian Perspective

We invite all colleagues to submit chapters for a book titled 'Advances in Islamic Finance, Marketing and Management: An Asian Perspective' co-edited by Dilip Mutum, Muhammad Mohsin Butt and Mamunur Rashid. The book will be published by Emerald.

Important Dates:

Expression of interest – a 500-word proposal – September 30, 2015
Decision on the proposal – October 10, 2015
First draft of the paper – February 10, 2016
Submission after preliminary editing/correction/proofreading – March 10, 2016
Review by Emerald – May 10, 2016
Final submission after secondary editing/correction/proofreading – June 10, 2016

Please email your proposal to mamunur.rashid@nottingham.edu.my on or before September 30, 2015.

15 Jul 2015

Call for marketing case studies

There is a call for case studies for an edited book entitled STRATEGIC MARKETING CASES IN EMERGING ECONOMIES co-edited by Atanu Adhikari (Indian Institute of Kozhikode) & Sanjit Roy (The University of Western Australia), which will be published by Springer.

Important dates:
  • Submission of expression of interest through case interest form: 15th August 2015.
  • Decision on the case interest form to be announced: 30th August 2015.
  • Submission of complete case and teaching note: 15th December 2015.
  • Communication of reviewers’ comments to the authors: 30th January 2016.
  • Submission of final version of the case and the teaching note: 27th February 2016.
  • Communication of decision on acceptance of the case: 30th March 2016.

For submission of case related documents and for any clarification, please contact either:
Dr. Atanu Adhikari
Associate Professor - Marketing
Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode
Email: atanu.adhikari@iimk.ac.in
Dr. Sanjit Roy
Assistant Professor, Marketing
University of Western Australia
Email: sanjit.roy@uwa.edu.au

11 May 2015

The vinyl strikes back

Recently, I was in a second hand shop at a nearby mall here in Malaysia and it looked like they were doing great business in used records. They were playing some really great songs and I do not know whether it was due to their music system or the acoustics in the shop, but some of the songs sounded really good even with the hisses and other extra noises. In fact, I would have to agree with the description "warm" used by many record aficionados.

In case you were not aware, vinyl records are back in fashion. As someone who grew up with cassettes and then CDs, I was never really exposed to this music format. Even when I read about rise in sales a couple of years back, I dismissed it as a short fad that would go away soon. I have to admit that I was wrong, and it is the Generation Y or Millennials, who are behind this phenomenon. According to a recent Guardian article, "Vinyl sales accounted for £20m in 2014".

Along with the growing demand, sales and prices of old record players are also growing on auction sites including eBay and I was regretting not grabbing one of those record players on sale at various car boot sales while I was in the UK - many of them going at ridiculous prices.

It is not surprising that manufacturers of record players are ramping up their production and also coming out with new models to cater to this new demand. This includes companies like the 130 years old Thorens who recently came out with a budget turntable. In fact, Czech turntable company SEV Litovel was reported to have sold an amazing 96000 units in 2014.

It is really interesting to see the growth of analogue tech in this digital era and wonder where this is going. This phenomenon is definitely not a fad.Looking at it from an ethical consumption perspective, as it involves recycling of records which would have ended up on landfills, it can be seen as something positive.

What do you think? Would love to hear your views.

2 Mar 2015

UK Universities with Malaysian campuses

There are now a total of five UK Universities with campuses in Malaysia. Three are located in Iskandar, Malaysia EduCity, Johor Bahru - the new Malaysian education hub. This indicates the importance of the Malaysian higher education market. These universities not only cater to Malaysian students but students from China, the Indian sub-continent, middle east and African countries.

The five Universities are:

1. The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
They have a 101-acre site in Semenyih, 30 KM south of KL and The Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre (KLTC) located within the Chulan Tower in KL. One of the oldest in Malaysia with first students in September 2000.

2. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
Recently opened their £35m 4.8 acres campus in Putrajaya in September 2014.

3. University of Reading Malaysia
15-acre campus at Iskandar Malaysia EduCity and the City Campus in Johor Bahru,

4. The University of Southampton Malaysia Campus
Located in Iskandar, Malaysia EduCity, Johor Bahru.

5. Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed Malaysia)
Also located in Iskandar, Malaysia EduCity, Johor Bahru.

25 Feb 2015

ABS ranking of Marketing journals 2015

Updated: 02/04/2018

The ABS Marketing Journals List 2018 is now out.

The latest Association of Business Schools (ABS) list of journals 2015 is finally out (called as the Academic Journal Guide 2015). There was a bit of drama as the server hosting the guide was attacked and the guide went down for a while.

After all the initial hiccups, the guide is finally up. However, unlike the previous  version, you now have to register in order to access the guide and you cannot download it either.
There are a few changes in the rankings. Also the format seems to have changed. They now have 5 categories as opposed to 4 in the past. There is now a 4* category on the top followed by 4, 3, 2 and 1 ranked journals. The star is missing from the rest.

Overall, I would say that this list is a big improvement from the last. It now covers areas of marketing previously ignored including health, sports, social and HE marketing. I was hoping that European Advances in Consumer Research would be included in the list (at least 1) but I guess the editors did think so. However, Advances in Consumer Research (which is the proceedings of the North American Association for Consumer Research (ACR) conference). Anyway, here is the list:

4* Journals

Journal of Consumer Psychology
Journal of Consumer Research
Journal of Marketing
Journal of Marketing Research
Marketing Science

The Journal of Retailing has lost it's spot in the top rank and has been replaced by the Journal of Consumer Psychology which was not even in the old list (ABS ranking of Marketing Journals, Version 4 - Updated 2010).

4 Journals

Only 3 journals in this list. As mentioned above, the Journal of Retailing seems to have been relegated while two journals previously ranked 3* are now in this list.

International Journal of Research in Marketing (official Journal of the European Marketing Academy)
Journal of Retailing
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

The Journal of Service Research is listed under Sector studies but I have added it here anyway as a number of services marketing papers are published in the journal.

3 Journals

Few new journals in this list. One notable change is that the Journal of Marketing Management has now gone down in the rankings and is no longer in this list. Three journals previously ranked 2*, have been upgraded to 3, viz., the Journal of Interactive Marketing, Marketing Theory and Quantitative Marketing and Economics.

European Journal of Marketing
Industrial Marketing Management
International Marketing Review
Journal of Advertising (official journal of the American Academy of Advertising)
Journal of Advertising Research
Journal of Interactive Marketing (formerly JDM)
Journal of International Marketing
Journal of Public Policy and Marketing
Marketing Letters
Marketing Theory
Psychology and Marketing
Quantitative Marketing and Economics

2 Journals

Several journals which were previously ranked 1* has now been upgraded to 2. I am delighted as this includes two journals in which I have recently published papers, viz., the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services and Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal.

A surprising change was that of the Journal of Marketing Management which was previously 3* has been downgraded.

Also quite surprised that the Journal of Marketing Communications which used to be a 2* journal has been downgraded to 1.

The Journal of Consumer Affairs is a new addition to the guide and goes straight into the list of 2 ranked journals.

Academy of Marketing Science Review
Advances in Consumer Research
Consumption, Markets and Culture
Electronic Markets (previously 1*)
International Journal of Advertising
International Journal of Consumer Studies (previously 1*)
International Journal of Market Research
International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management (previously 1*)
Journal of Brand Management (previously 1*)
Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing
Journal of Consumer Affairs *New
Journal of Consumer Behavior
Journal of Macromarketing
Journal of Marketing Management (previously 3*)
Journal of Marketing Theory and Practise
Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (previously 1*)
Journal of Services Marketing
Journal of Strategic Marketing
Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal  (previously 1*)

1 Journals

Several new journals added to the guide under this rank (marked by *)

Advances in International Marketing*
Australasian Marketing Journal
Corporate Communications: An International Journal
Corporate reputation Review
Health Marketing Quarterly*
International Journal of Bank Marketing
International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising*
International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
International Review of Public and Non-Profit Marketing*
International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Journal of Consumer Marketing
Journal of Customer Behavior
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management *
Journal of Financial Services Marketing
Journal of Global Marketing*
Journal of Marketing Channels*
Journal of Marketing Communications (was previously 2* ranked journal)
Journal of Marketing  for Higher Education*
Journal of Non-Profit and Public Sector Marketing*
Journal of Product and Brand Management
Journal of Relationship Marketing*
Marketing Intelligence and Planning
Review of Marketing Science*
Science Marketing Quarterly*
Social Marketing Quarterly*

Academic Journal Guide 2015

20 Feb 2015

Chapter in book Ethical and Social Marketing in Asia

I am delighted to learn that the book 'Ethical and Social Marketing in Asia' Edited by Bang Nguyen and Chris Rowley has been published.

My co-authors are Dr. Ezlika Ghazali (University of Malaya) and Dr. Anvita Kumar (Coventry University). Our chapter is  'Chapter 8: Social marketing: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh'. The book is published by Elsevier.

Given below are the learning objectives of the chapter:

1. understand the importance of social marketing and comprehend the challenges and barriers to social marketing campaigns in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh;
2. demonstrate how to organise and manage social marketing in different parts of this region; and
3. appreciate the application of the concepts of social marketing and marketing mix in a case study.

Marketing and FT 50 Journals list

Another prestigious list of business journals is the FT 50 Journals list . This is a list 50 journals compiled by the Financial Times and in...