Several researchers from all over the word, going by the clarity of their findings, have come up with conclusions about the change in behavior of an individual. Some of these conclusions have been specific while others contain the kind of precision which leaves us with many unanswered questions. It is therefore logical to explore this matter in order to come up with some dependable information with regard to the dynamics that surround the behavior of consumers.
In the business arena, the changes in the behavior of the people in various capacities go along way in affecting the flow of things within the business surrounding. For instance, workers whose motivations and behaviors towards their responsibilities have been boosted will surely deliver. At the same time, when a business organization has twisted the minds of the customers towards a particular way of doing their things then the behavior of the customers will probably be inclined towards such methods.
Just as I have outlined in the general introduction above, a number of factors may affect the changes in behavior of an individual especially in the business arena. In line with that, the main aim of this case study will be to explore the effects that social and relationship marketing has on the behavior of individuals.
The main objective of this study shall therefore involve the application of various methodological approaches to dig into the issues of social and relationship marketing. This shall be done with the main target of finding out how these strategies influence the change in behavior of individuals, especially those who have ever been reached. The study shall involve exploring various concepts and theories as well as carrying out the relevant research. This work shall therefore aim at addressing such issues as understanding the social, cultural, technological, economic and psychological factors which affect the behavior of the consumers.
The above aims will be sought in line with the two marketing scenarios which I have highlighted above, i.e. the social and the relationship marketing. The conclusion of the study shall involve an establishment of the findings and after comparing them with the theoretical stipulations, I will proceed to make the desired conclusion.
In order to have a deeper understanding of what I shall be handling in this case study, it is important to give an insight into some of the core issues. In connection to that, I’ll explore some of the information that has been given before by other researchers and in books which describe the behavior of consumers. In this very portion, I shall also review some literature in line with the social and relationship marketing before moving on to establish the link between the two and behavior change.
To begin with, social marketing is the process through which the strategies of marketing are applied in a systematic manner. This is always done alongside other concepts and techniques hence the main aim has always been to accomplish certain behavioral goals. The targeted behavioral goals are usually meant to achieve a specific social good. One of the major targets of social marketing is usually to promote the use of merit goods. On the other hand, it may be used to discourage people from using demerit goods. For instance, people may be advised against smoking in public areas. This can be done by outlining some of the effects of such behaviors to the members of the public
There were notable early developments of this kind of strategy. For instance, in 1988, there emerged the Victoria Cancer Council in which the campaign against tobacco was stepped up. The title of the campaign which was against smoking tobacco was “quit.” Apart from that, the same institution has continued to use social marketing as a major driver in an attempt to ensure the social well being of individuals in theirs surroundings and especially at the work place. Since the advantages of social marketing were initially felt, governments have continued to apply this strategy. Many at times, they have sought to improve the process to make it more efficient. Majorly some of the improvements include the incorporation of technology in social marketing as well as the use of social marketing and assessment response tools.
The theory and practice of social marketing has therefore been embraced by many countries since its discovery in the early 1980s. some of the countries which have become profound of it include the United States, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K just to mention but a few. In line with the information above, many a policy papers established by the government have largely adopted a special and strategic approach in publications aimed at enhancing social marketing. For instance such slogans as: choosing our health and its our health have become common phrases in such countries as England. In a nut shell, social marketing has had tremendous effects in the lives of many a people around the globe. If anything, many of those who have ever quit such addictive behaviors as smoking, while giving their testimonies have shown great appreciation to social marketing. At the same time several rehabilitation centers seem to be getting established which shows that individuals are continuously responding to this strategy.
The second issue which I also would like to review is the aspect of relationship marketing. In the most ancient of its definitions, relationship marketing was described as a form of marketing which is developed from marketing campaigns. The campaigns which usually solicit a direct response lays a great emphasis on customer satisfaction as well as retention. It is a strategy which therefore has less to do with dominating in the fields of sales and marketing instead, it focuses on consumer satisfaction as a major objective. This type of marketing is different from the other forms in that it concentrates more on establishing long relationships with the customer. This implies, the communication strategies do go well beyond advertisement and messages on promotion of sales.
Just like social marketing, the use and application of relationship marketing has gained root in many countries and business sectors. Perhaps the major factor which has fuelled its popularity is the advancement in technology which has given birth to the use of the internet, computers, electronic billboards as well as the mobile devices. Through this, communication which is the most effective form of establishing strong customer relationships has been widely strengthened. The strategies here involve the analysis of customer service data on top of the analysis of other demographics. The relationships also extend to marketing efforts that are inbound hence there is the use of both strategic and search optimization contents, personal relations as well as
application development. One of the major theories common in relationship marketing is the theory of commitment and trust. in this description, commitment and trust are aspects which are only built when there are strong relational ties between two or more individuals.
The highlighted issues are the major factors whose components I shall seek to explore in this case study. The main task here shall involve revealing the relationship between the two marketing strategies and the change in behavior of the consumers. Several theories have also been stipulated in a bid to fully understand the behavior of individuals. For instance, Piaget, a renowned psychologist put forward various explanations in line with theory concerning the behavior of human beings. He emphasized the fact that human behavior is greatly influenced by his/her environment. This implies, the surrounding in which a person prevails goes along way in shaping the behavior of this individual. In the behavioral theory, the cognitive aspect of change in behavior has also been empasized repeatedly. In other words, the behavior of an individual is majorly a result of the interaction that he has with other aspects especially in the mind.
The aspect of behavior change as a results of influence by the environment or the individuals in the environment is the main theoretical approach which shall be employed in this case study. In line with that, the study shall dig deep in order to explore how social and relationship marketing as external reinforcements affect and hence change the behavior of an individual. In the discussion above, I have given the topic a theoretical approach by reviewing some of the literature in line with the mentioned aspects.
Description and justification of the method data collection of analysis.
The methodological approaches which were given to this research mainly involved the use of primary methods of research. This is because the information had to be obtained from the very individuals who had been reached by these marketing strategies. On the other hand, the information could also be obtained from the relatives and friends of the subjects. Some of the qualitative methods which were used to obtain the required data/information included the use of interviews, a series of observations and a careful analysis of certain target groups. In some case, I also employed the use of questionnaires in order to draw information form individuals at a personal level.
The main strategy though was the use of interviews. The main people who were targeted by this approach included the employees of a nearby tobacco company, the managers, the city dwellers as well as the students from my school.
Form the large population, I managed to pick a sample from which I intended to take my data. I interviewed a group of students from my school. A group of workers from the company and one dweller. Coincidentally, the individual had quit smoking tobacco just a year ago. After deriving some information from these individuals, I sought to reduce the size of my sample to a considerable number. From the large sample, I picked four individuals. Among the workers, I interviewed one of them who served in the marketing department. At the same time, I was able to book an appointment with the senior relationship marketing officer of the company. The third member within my sample was a fellow school mate whose dad was an addict but the mother was under rehabilitation. Lastly, I also interviewed my neighbor who had just retired from a cigarette firm and was also a former addict.
I considered it vital to reduce the number of people to interview as this would help enhance the precision of my results. At the same time, while choosing the people, I had to consider a number of factors like their family backgrounds, the working environments or simply the surrounding in which an individual took the most of his time. The sampling method used was therefore random and judgmental sampling.
I chose to use the interview as my first priority qualitative method because this approach ensures the determination of precise results. At the same time, since the interview involved a one on one, I was assured of the honesty and the willingness of the interviewees to cooperate with me through out the process. In addition to that, the qualitative method of research gave me room for comparison. For instance apart from the four, there is the portion of data that I obtained from direct observations, analysis of statistical data as well as the use of questionnaires. Through the varied sources, I was able to run across the result in order to establish consistency in the obtained data. The above information therefore gives the reasons as to why I resorted to use the above strategy.
In line with the method of data analysis, I applied the interpretation of statistical findings as well as the manipulation of the data obtained from other sources. I sampled some of the responses which were obtained through the interviews. At the same time, I outlined some of the information which I had obtained by carrying out direct observation in line with the main subject of discussion.
This I did by putting together all the responses which seemed to adress the same aspect. In other words, all the answers which were similar were placed together. This enhanced room for comparison of data as well as determination of consistency. After a careful arrangement and interpretation of the findings, I moved on do describe my findings.
Description of findings
Due to the fact that my main approach to obtaining information was through the use of interviews, I managed to obtain the first hand opinion of these individuals. In this particular section, I am going to dwell on the four individuals who I managed to interview. They included the neighbor, the schoolmate, the worker and the relationship marketing manager.
My findings shall mainly be described by using quotes. The quotes in this case will include the words used by the interviewees as they responded to my questions. I really sought to know from each one of them what they could use to describe the level of social and relationship marketing today. At the same time, I requested to know if they had been reached or touched by the mentioned marketing strategies at any one point. The manager gave me such a straight response, he said “ ….reaching people and helping them build their morals is what I dream like every second…..I fell in love with marketing, because some gentleman once approached me, from the way he convinced me and lured me into buying from his company., I realized there is something special with taking your time and reaching people….” He continued to say “ Well the marketing arena has done a lot in influencing consumer behavior, if anything, a whole bunch of the behavior of my customers has a great connection with how we treat them…….”
From his sentiments, it was clear that social and relationship marketing both have a connection with the eventual behavior of a consumer towards a particular activity or good. According to the former employee of a tobacco firm who was my neighbor, I will denote him as Respondent-2, he said that social marketing in particular has engulfed many countries today and many a people who are addicted to smoking tobacco are because perhaps they have had limited exposure to the consequences involved. In his response he said “ I started smoking after this smartly dressed young man came up to me and described to me all the safety with doing a few puffs, he convinced me that I wouldn’t be at any risk of suffering any health complications so long as I never interfered with anyone, what I did not know was that he was luring me into being a buyer of a brand their company had just unveiled.”
As the second respondent relayed his story to me, I realized that his subsequent establishment in a continuous tendency to smoke was as a result of the relationship that ensued between him and the marketing officer. He confessed of becoming a regular buyer of their cigarette brand until he got employed in his former company where he smoked for three quarters the length of the period he stayed there.
According to the worker, (Respondent 3) the change in the behavior of an individual has a lot to do with the amount of influence that the surrounding and people have on this person. This implies, many a people have become more cautious with smoking while other have quit and joined rehabilitation centers mainly because the social marketing strategies caught up with them. In line with the response of my school mate, I realized that the parents were addicts who had been introduced to smoking by a family friend who does the wholesale supply of cigars. “My dad kind off became an addict simply because the friend agreed to sell him cigars at a lower price, it is unfortunate that he even influenced mum and at times, the house becomes awful….”
From the above selection of just a few quotes as the interviewees responded, I was able to draw one common aspect. All the people had either been influenced to smoking or their parents or friend as a result of some sort of outreach which had been done to them.
In addition to the above sample of responses on the issue of the relationship between marketing and behavior change, I was able to tally the findings and hence realized that a quarter of my schoolmates’ friends were smokers. Most of them were addicts while others were beginners. He said, “one of my classmates confessed to us that he gets paid when he manages to convince ten other people to buy from the same shop, the same brand….” This implies, relationship marketing has brought the tie while the resultant behavior change is the motivation from payment and subsequent addiction.
According to the relationship manager “ the number of people who smoke while strictly adhering to rules against public smoking has increased tremendously, all these are fruits of social marketing.”
It is important to note that I did not record every single response by the individuals above, I only sampled what I believe I’d need to draw a tacit conclusion for this case study.
Comparison with literature
From the discussion of the findings above, I managed to derive a number of similarities between the outcome and the data that I had initially relayed as contained in the literary materials. While giving the topic of discussion a theoretical approach, I noted that the change in behavior has a considerable amount of connection to what the environment might offer a person. In this case, the environments may include the people or the things with which we interact on a day t o day basis. A number of responses above can therefore be linked to Piaget’s theory on behavior. For instance, the mother to my schoolmate began smoking after the father influenced her, the father himself had been influenced by the friend in a scenario which can well be termed as some form of ‘relationship marketing’.
My neighbor, the second respondent was actually introduced to smoking by a marketing officer in a meeting that was to alter his behavior for the many years that followed. He actually became a regular customer and hence smoker. This implies, the relative change in behavior was affected by what the surrounding offered just like Piaget had put it.
At the same time, the manager had made an explanation in connection to the effects of social marketing on the change in behavior of individuals. He had noted that many a people observe the health protocols and procedures on public smoking. This is a change in behavior which has since resulted from the social marketing strategies which have been stepped up. This response also tallies with the literary stipulations of the effects that social and relationship marketing has had on the behavior of individuals ever since the marketing styles came into use.
According to the social marketing theory, people either stop smoking, continue smoking or do it responsibly as a result of the exposure that they have in line with the consequences. From the findings, it is clear that the change in behavior of the interviewees who were former smokers had been affected by the amount of exposure they got in line with the effects of excessive or rather irresponsible smoking. This only emphasizes one thing that a number of external factors like marketing go along way in changing the behavior of individuals.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the change in behavior of individual towards certain things is largely affected by the type of environment in which a person dwells. For instance, staying in an environment where almost everyone smokes makes a person so vulnerable that they easily can be lured into the same behavior. Furthermore, the two marketing strategies, i.e. the social and the relationship marketing have had a considerable amount of influence on the behavior of consumers all over the world. This implies, there is a close link that exists between the behavior of individuals in the business world and amount of exposure that they get as far as social and relationship marketing is concerned. In a nut shell, from the case study and results of the research, I was able to make a conclusion that both social and relationship marketing have great effects on the behavior of consumers. These strategies are influential hence should always be used with the main target of making the society a better place on top of boosting sales and establishing strong customer bases.