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THE EFFECTS OF DIGITAL MARKETING ON CUSTOMER

RELATIONSHIPS
Emad Rashid
University of Central Punjab, emad_rashid@ucp.edu.pk

Abstract
With the opportunities to mitigate costs, achieve larger and new audiences, personalize, interact, and assist
customers greater than before; marketers are learning how to utilize digital channels, subsequent to the
Internet, email, mobile phones and digital television. The probabilities to use digital channels for building
customer relationships and long-term allegiance has recently gained rising attention. This paper, manifests
a model which transpire how brand communication, services, personalization, and interactivity can back
marketers boost customer dealings and encourage customer relationships. The cost optimization of digital
channels ease marketers supple and frequent brand communication. This assists gain constructive effects
upon customer-brand relationships via numerous routes. Digital brand communication enhances sales,
construct sure brand attitudes, emotions, and allegiance. Interactivity in digital media offer customers
enlarged options to search the data and even can get start-up opinions and ideas and put it on gain.
Furthermore, digital marketing has the ability for the provision of enlarged choice, right of entry, control,
and ease over conventional marketing techniques. Since it provides personalization; help to amplify the
customer relationship and loyalty. It also triggers the marketers to customize the products or services
according to the customers/prospects interests and behaviors. This model facilitates marketer’s better
apprehension and carry out digital marketing plan and its interactive procedures from a customer
relationship perspective.

Keywords: Brand Communication, Customer service, Personalization, Interactivity, Customer relationshp

Introduction:
Digital marketing is one type of marketing being widely used to promote products or services and to reach
consumers using digital channels. Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing including channels
that do not require the use of Internet. It includes mobile phones (both SMS and MMS), social media
marketing, display advertising, search engine marketing and many other forms of digital media. The
apprehension to utilize digital communication in the likes of Internet, e-mail, Smart phones and Smart TVs’
have amplified the marketing activities. For instance, some utilize them for getting new clients, while some
concentrate on serving clients better. SNS has commonly have the data about items, promoting on the web,
and direct advertising by means of mail and Smart phone. It appears like the channels and ideas of digital
advertisement have been utilized independently and operationally, while the key comprehension and
models of how and why to utilize distinctive digitalized channels are as yet to create. In the meantime,
marketers have recognized the significance of developing customer relationships. Subsequently, there is
presently expanding discourse about how to utilize digital promotion to create customer relationship, an
approach that has not been completely used yet.
Reasons why marketers might not have completely exploit the chances of advanced channels incorporate
methods for speculation and understanding, and conceivably absence of encounters and models how to
utilize digital channels from a customer relationship point of view. It appears like much of the time drawing
in new customers and lessening promoting costs have turned into the primary objectives in showcasing by
the means of digitized channels. (Schefter, 2000) Examine how marketers ought to focus consideration on
holding as opposed to drawing in customers on the Internet. Following is the digital marketing
communication options:

Website Organizations must develop their websites that shows their purpose, motivation,
history, products and vision. A key test is outlining a site that is appealing on first
review and sufficiently intriguing to support continuous visits. Devoted websites
for cell phones are on the rising trend.
Social Media Organizations are grasping social networking due to its potential for engagement
and joint effort with customers. Social media will yield moderately more grounded
outcomes due to its capacity to firmly target audiences of people in view of social
media activity.
Mobile Mobile phone marketing will turn out to be progressively significant. Smart phone
use specifically is developing among travelers. In this way, they get to know more
Marketing about the company's products and services in more productive and efficient way.
Internet- With user-created content websites, in the likes of; YouTube, MySpace Video and
Google Video, customers and advertisers can upload promotional ads and videos
Specific Ads to be shared virally across all formats amongst millions of users.
and Videos
Display Ads Display ads are small, rectangular boxes containing content and maybe a pic that
companies pay to put on significant sites. The bigger the group of audience, the
more the placement costs.
Search Ads Paid-search or pay-per-click advertisements, speak to 40% of all on-line
promotions. 35% of all searches are purportedly for products or services. The
search terms fill in as an intermediary for the customer's consumption advantages
and trigger significant connects to product or service offerings close by list items
from Google, MSN and Yahoo! Advertisers pay just if individuals tap on the links.
Online Numerous organizations support on-line communities whose individuals convey
through postings, texting and talk dialog's about extraordinary interests identified
Communities with the organization's products and brands.
Blogs Blogs are typically kept up by a person with normal sections of analysis,
descriptions of occasions\events, or other material in the likes of designs, graphics
or video. Most great quality blogs are interactive, allowing user to leave
comments\remarks and even message each other.
Email Mailing campaigns are also very productive to entice the prospects into the
organization’s products and services deals.
Customer Communications Management in the New Digital Era

Marketers are figuring out how standard reaching influences the building and maintaining of customer
relationships. The overwhelming rationale of marketing is moving from the trading of merchandise toward
service, intelligence, network and progressing connections. (Vargo & Lusch, 2004). Technological
Improvise, new channels, and changing media situations encourage this move (Bhattacharya & Bolton,
2000) the topic of how firms ought to interact with their clients is picking up in significance, particularly
as firms consider the cost contrasts between conventional interchanges media, for example, TV and sales
forces, and electronic media, for example, the Web and email (Reinartz et al. 2005). The cost effectiveness
and intelligence of digitized platform encourage progressing exchange between the enterprise and the client.
Marketing practitioners can now be in contact with their clients on a more successive premise and increment
the level of personalization and intuitiveness with low or non-intemperate cost. The fundamental claim is
that being every now and then in contact with customers ought to help accomplish constructive outcomes
on customer loyalty. In spite of the developing utilization of advanced directs in promoting and the
developing exploration around it, there are few models for clarifying the system of how digital marketing
communication correspondence functions from a relationship showcasing point of view, particularly to
enhance customer loyalty. Thoughts have been proposed in numerous regimes of advertising literature;
Relationship marketing (RM), customer relationship management (CRM), as well as brand management
and service literature accentuate the significance of building and overseeing customer connections, and
offer helpful models to see how customer relationship is been created. Likewise, consumer behavior,
advertising, direct marketing, and e-marketing literature give apprehension into how digital channels can
be utilized to communicate with customers keeping in mind the end goal to improve customer relationship.
Studies suggests that social media has cultivated the development of trusting connections amongst
customers and brand, making it an inexorably essential medium to use with a specific end goal to amplify
brand loyalty. By examining the on-going strategies of social media marketing tend to enhance consumer
loyalty, public relations and marketing professionals who use this channel of communication for a brand to
take advantage. The purpose of this study is to draw together previous research into an integrative
conceptual model for apprehension how digital marketing communication affects customer relationship.
This paper inspects how marketers can utilize digital channels to create and strengthen customer
relationships. In our framework, brand communication, service, personalization, and interactivity are
recommended to be the key components.

Literature Review:
Brand Communication
Ventures are searching for clearer picture to begin, yet don't know where and how to begin doing digitized
promoting. In today's opportunity, SNS (social networking sites) in the likes of; Facebook, Twitter, Google
and other social media platforms have effectively changed the attitudes and perceptions of customers and
consequently, helped revolutionized numerous organizations. This was done through quantifiable
boundless system of clients with reliable information with ongoing input of client experiences. It is
considerably more advantageous for organizations to conduct surveys online with a reason to get pertinent
data from targeted customers and breaking down the outcomes in light of their reactions. Prospects can
search for reviews and suggestions to settle on informed choices about purchasing an item or using the
services. Then again, organizations can utilize the practice to make a move on client’s input in addressing
their needs more precisely. Digital marketing is the use of technologies to help marketing activities in order
to improve customer knowledge by matching their needs (Chaffey, 2013). Marketing has been around for
quite a while. Entrepreneurs wanted to get the message out about their product or services through daily
papers and word of mouth. Digital Marketing on the flip side is getting to be distinctly well known since,
it uses mass communications gadgets like Smart phones, smart TV's and importantly the internet. The most
common digital marketing tool used today is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Its role is to maximize
the way search engines like Google find your website. Digital marketing idea began from the Internet and
web indexes positioning (search engines) of sites. The first engine was begun in 1991 with a system
convention called Gopher for question and pursuit. After the launch of Yahoo in 1994 companies started to
maximize their ranking on the website (Smyth, 2007). At the point when the Internet bubble burst in 2001,
market was ruled by Google and Yahoo for search optimization. Internet search traffic developed in 2006;
the ascent of SEO developed for real organizations like Google (Smyth, 2007). In 2007, the utilization of
cell phones expanded the Internet use moving definitely and individuals everywhere throughout the world
began associating with each other all the more advantageously through social media. “Customer
relationship management is the use of technology in acquiring, retaining and enhancing customer
relationships” (Berry 2002 and Chaffey 2009). Utilizing SNS to amplifies sales of existing clients and
encourage regular usage of online services (Chaffey 209). The digital marketing can maybe be said to have
reformed the media picture, making correspondence amongst corporations and people crosswise over
national boarders simple and available. It has additionally extended the correspondence designs,
empowering correspondence not just between two people and between a sender imparting to a mass market,
yet above all correspondence between numerous people at one time. Following picture illustrates typical
communication patterns online: (Figure 1)

By Mette and Shamaila

Frequency:
In recent times the frequency of brand communications and its influence on customer relationship has
gained interests (Reinartz, 2013). Concepts of effective frequency and recency are central in brand
advertising. Effective frequency implies that repeating messages to consumers will translate to awareness
and learning, and eventually result in action. Recency theory emphasizes timing, suggesting that advertising
is most effective when it occurs close to the time when consumers are ready to buy (Broussard, 2010).
Marketers seek optimal frequency: too little advertising and communication may be ineffective while too
much is waste of money. Active and regular communication can have several positive effects on customer
relationships. A response to communication does not always have to be a direct response by the consumer
(e.g. purchase, inquiry, etc.), frequency effects are established and brand attitudes potentially enhanced
already when a consumer processes more information about the brand (Mitchell, 2013). That is, when a
brand keeps in touch with its customers it evokes commitment in the form of positive affective responses
(emotions, feelings, moods, primary affect, and satisfaction) about the brand in the consumer’s mind (Dick,
2014). Building brand commitment also leads to additional benefits in information-processing, as
commitment limits the impact of negative brand-related information to the target attribute of
communication and enhances the impact of brand-related positive information to other related attributes,
which leads customers to restrain switching inducements (Ahluwalia, 2005). Brand literature manifests that
how frequent communication can influence on customer relationships and makes it formidable. To begin
with, customers take part in brand relationships to rearrange purchasing and consuming tasks, data handling,
and keep up cognitive consistency and a condition of psychological comfort and gratification (Sheth, 2010).
Later on, when the relationship develops, a consumer may begin to perceive a brand as a person, a trusted
friend who is part of his or her everyday life (Fournier, 2009). Brand credibility depends upon the
interaction of customers either direct or in-direct in the likes of trail, usage etc for direct and for in-direct;
brand reputation, WOM, advertisement etc. (Keller, 2010). (Delgado-Ballester, 2015) Suggests that
conventional methods of customer satisfaction programs are not enough and effective of contemporary
customer relationship there must be a customer commitment towards brand. CRM literature similarly
suggests that marketers benefit from being in regular and active contacts with their customers to build and
maintain loyalty (Barnes, 2001). From a company’s point of view; using digital channels to interact with
customers frequently is cost effective (Brondmo, 2005). Eventually, digital marketing enhances
communication frequencies. Brand communication via digital channels is also effective from the recency
theory perspective, as interactivity allows customers actively receive or seek advertising and other
information at the moment they want (usually when they consider buying something). That is, the timing
of brand communication can be perfectly matched, which is more difficult to achieve through traditional
media. Indeed, to compensate the timing problem, interactive elements that are accessed through digital
channels are often attached to conventional media (e.g. direct response ads). For instance, mobile phones
can be used with print media as a reply channel. At the point when customers are frequently in contact with
a brand, they may start to see it as a person a trusted companion who is a piece of their daily life (Aaker,
2016).

Content
While so far we have examined how frequency influences customer relationship, additionally the content
of communication affects how customers see and value the information they get, or recover, and how this
influences their relationship with the brand and the marketer. A basic way to arrange the content of brand
communication is isolate it into promotional and relational communication. While promotional
communication like price promotions and persuasive letters are proposed to rapidly create sales and
different reactions, social communication centers around improving customer's attitudes and loyalty in the
long term by giving content, in the likes of, data about new products, use tips, or invitations to occasions.
Social brand communication can be seen by the recipient as a service other than as commercial or offer,
which may permit expanded frequency before the messages begin to destroy. (Tellis, 2010) Who expresses
that complex messages, including soft-sell or emotional appeals and novel messages, might have the
capacity to manage and advantage from higher advertisement frequency. Customer packaged goods (Mela,
2010) found that in the long run price promotions (temporary price reduction, feature, or coupon) make
consumers more price sensitive in both loyal and non-loyal segments. In contrast, non-price-oriented
advertising (e.g. brand building) makes consumers less price sensitive in both segments, the impact being
stronger on the non-loyal consumers. Hence, brand advertising increases the relative strength of brand
preference, making consumers more loyal. (Jedidi, 2010) Discovered that in the long haul, advertising
positively affects brand equity while promotions have a negative impact. Besides, their outcomes
recommend that at times frequent promotions of brands may likewise make it pointless for buyers to switch
brands since it turns out to be progressively likely that an arrangement on the favored brand will be
approaching. Subsequently, frequent promotions are often unprofitable for an organization and may not
influence customer relationship, making clients more inclined to switch brands if they show signs of better
price than somewhere else. Parallel implications on the connection of the content of brand communication
and customer loyalty can be drawn from more contemporary concerning digital channels.

Information processing:
Under such heading it manifests how brand communication leads to formidable customer relationship.
Influence of brand communication construct customer mind’s through information processing leading to
commitment and perceived value. Consumers take part in brand relationships to simplify buying and
consuming tasks, to process data, and to keep up cognitive consistency and a condition of psychological
comfort and delight (Sheth, 2010). It has been discovered that previously introduced stimuli are simpler to
encode and process than are novel or unfamiliar, which is interpreted by the individual as preferring
(Bornstien, 2005). Brand communication frequency and repeated exposure enhances brand attitudes of
customers; that triggers them to process more information (Mitchell, 2013). The tendency of repetitive
messages are perceived more valid (Fandricks, 2008). Repetition also influences customer relationship
that transpires into customer loyalty. It has been discovered that learning and expanded positive
encounters with a specific brand diminish the look for information about alternative brands (Bansu,
2009). Besides, when a customer invests time with a brand and procedures information, positive affective
reactions (feelings, emotions, states of mind, essential effect, satisfaction) about the brand are evoked in
the shopper's mind (Dick, 2014). In the literature, this information handling is likewise depicted as
cognitive loyalty, a stage where information on the brand at attribute performance level is the dominant
driver of loyalty (Olivier, 2015). Eventually, the customer satisfaction effects to build a substantial
customer relationship.

Perceived Value:
At the point when customers take part in brand relationship and process brand communication, they start
to perceive the value (additionally regularly alluded as advantages) identified with the brand. Customers
who have greater expected advantages and utility from a progressing relationship will probably focus on it
(Anderson, 2011). Perceived value in the likes of functional, economical, emotional, social/self-expressive,
and epistemic (Barnes, 2001). Functional value portrays overall satisfaction with the functional quality of
a product or service (e.g. car is dependable). Economic value might be consistent (e.g. consistent customer's
low cost), quick (e.g. deals offers) or conceivable (gathering focuses, rivalries). Emotional value
incorporates sentiments like delight and entertainment. Social and self-expressive value identifies with our
relationships with others (e.g. brand as a status symbol, having a place with a group). Epistemic value
identifies with experienced interest, oddity or information picked up and learning. Customers may perceive
conditional value that exists just inside a particular circumstance (Hoolbrooks, 2006) ). Due to the
unspecific nature of conditional value it is not explicitly listed in our model.In a more holistic view,
customer-perceived value can be regarded as a ratio between perceived benefits and perceived sacrifice
(K.B, 2007) or in another words “the consumer’s overall assessment of the utility of a product based on a
perception of what is received and what is given (Ziethaml, 2005). In this way, from the communication
point of view marketers active contacting diminishes perceived sacrifice by bringing down customer's effort
to look for information. Notwithstanding customary items, brands, and services, researchers have
additionally effectively utilized the already talked about measurements of perceived value to evaluate
consumers' impression of innovation based self-services, similar to mobile services. These value categories
are very effective in capturing the effects of digital marketing on customer relationship.

Commitment:
The perceived value of brand communication identifies with commitment, and they both identify with
customer relationship. This is consistent with research showing that commitment mediates the connection
between brand satisfaction and loyalty (Gordon, 2010). Commitment is defined as a desire to maintain a
relationship (Moorman, 2016). Usually, commitment confines the effect of negative brand-related
information and improves the effect of brand-related positive information, which drives customers to
oppose exchanging inducements. Usually, commitment confines the effect of negative brand-related
information and improves the effect of brand-related positive information, which drives customers to
oppose exchanging inducements (Ahluwalia, 2005). Interactive media changes the manner by which
commitment is shaped. It has been discovered that on the Internet shopper secure is more prominent than
in a conventional retail condition (Smith, 2010).For instance; at the point when clients figure out how to
utilize a web store and customize their own menus, continuation commitment is made. Likewise, the
Internet can be exceptionally viable in making full of feeling commitment, one case being virtual groups
like Habbo Hotel (www.habbohotel.com). Habbo Hotel is a virtual inn where you can hang out with your
companions or meet new individuals: walk, move, eat, drink and talk in the cafes, eateries, swimming pools
and amusement rooms. You can even enrich and outfit your own particular room.
Personalization:
Personalization is required to be a component that can work to help to make strong customer relationship
by making more individual, intriguing and applicable brand communication, and better service. In the
literature = distinctive terms are utilized when discussing personalization (e.g. customization, targeting,
segmenting, profiling, and one-to-one marketing). Kotler’s (1997) idea of personalization is that the
ultimate level of segmentation leads to segment of one, customized marketing, or one-to-one marketing.
(Rogers, 2009) Characterize one to one marketing essentially: treating distinctive customers in a different
way. The objective is to differentiate customers exclusively and customize marketing messages to every
customers’ needs. This is additionally the essential thought of personalized brand communication. For
instance, the planning of brand communication could be diverse for various customers, in view of their buy
frequency, requirement for help, and so on. Or then again if a marketer would know at what time and where
a customer might want to have her coffee, a local cafe could send a personalized offer to the customer's cell
phone. This would agree to the recency hypothesis, which recommends that advertisement is best when it
happens near the time when customers are prepared to purchase (Gerard, 2015). Also, versatile mobile
location could be utilized to recognize the customer being close to his most loved cafe and he would
automatically get an invitation to visit. In this manner, the marketing communication would have the
potential for a more grounded impact on boosting sales and customer loyalty in light of utilizing
personalization. Marketers are progressively utilizing personalization. For instance, Tesco, the UK's biggest
merchant, has more than 8 million distinctive message designs, and offers custom-made mailings to
particular groups of audiences (Humby, 2007). Furthermore, (Simonson, 2016) proposes that customers'
reactions to personalized offers are controlled by how steady and all around built up their inclinations are
and by the customers' self-insight into those preferences. Marketers can make more individual brand
communication in view of customers' behavior and preferences, which can expand the viability of brand
communication by influencing customers perceive it as more applicable and fascinating, and consequently
need to keep up their relationship with the marketer. Along these lines the substance of messages is
significant to customers and they are probably going to perceive extra a value from brand communication.
Furthermore, personalization the substance and timing of messages, channels of brand communication are
likewise imperative. Customers' channel preferences and perceived channel benefits fluctuate exclusively,
and change as indicated by information search and buying stages (Louvieri, 2017). For instance, customer
in the bank may ask a personal service favor at the counter whereas self-service technologies in the likes of
teller machines, interactive voice response or e-banking facilities are quite cost-efficient for the bank.

Interactivity:
The digital environment offers practical and convenient chances to transform communication from one-
way into interactive and give customers access to information and communication. At the point when
customers can without much of a stretch pursuit and find desired services or support and filter through the
data they require, they consider this to be an accommodation and as better service. As a result, organizations
progressively offer customers interactive tools to settle on better choices about financial issues, buys, health
care services, and other complex issues. The same is valid in the b2b area, for instance, eRoom gives joint
effort devices as an advanced digital workplace to enable organizations to unite cross-functional, cross-
venture groups to create and oversee relationships with customers, partners and providers, and to improve
in the outline, improvement and delivery of products and services. Interactive functions empower a search
process that can rapidly find a coveted products or service, subsequently replacing dependency on detailed
customer memory (Jedidi, 2010). Interactivity also increases the amount of information that can be
presented to a customer (John, 2015). This will lead to brand knowledge and customer loyalty. (Srinivasan,
2017) demonstrate how that interactivity positively affects relationship toward an e-retailer in a study
conducted among 1211 online customers, where the accessibility and viability of customer support tools
(information, search processes, and so forth.) and how much two-way communication (contact forms, chat,
and so forth.) was encouraged were independent variables. Interactive functions also offer users on digital
platforms new ways to spend time with a brand. They no longer required to go to stores to experience the
products and to correspond with the sales personnel. Over the digital platforms, customers can access a
massive amount of product information, view 3D-images and test different product variations, as well as
play games and interact with other brand users. To conclude, interactivity is probably going to emphatically
direct the impacts of brand communication on customer loyalty by expanding the quantity of brand contacts
and time went through with the brand. Additionally, interactivity can improve customers' service
perceptions and bring more value since customers have better tools and optio to control service
circumstances, get help in unlikely circumstances, and to change their service profiles.
World has seen enormous growth in digital marketing, but there are companies or marketing practitioners
who were reluctant to use the advance ways to move forward. The gap between digital marketing and
conventional\traditional marketing widening day by day, indeed the future of marketing is digital since
above literature shows the importance and its productivity of managing the customer relationship and how
digital marketing practitioners use various ways to capture market. The Internet is the most powerful tool
for businesses (Yannopoulos, 2011). Marketing practitioners who neglect to use the significance of the
digital platform in their business advertising system will be at impediment since the its changing the brand,
pricing, distribution and promotion strategy.

TRADITIONAL\C ONVENTIONAL VS DIGITAL MARKETING :


Traditional marketing is the most recognizable form of marketing. Traditional marketing is non-digital
way used to promote the product or services of business entity. On the other hand, digital marketing is the
marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. Comparison is given table 1
below:
Traditional Marketing Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing involves print, broadcast, Digital marketing involves online advertising,
direct mail, and telephone. email marketing, social media, text messaging,
affiliate marketing, search engine optimization,
pay per click, Conversion rate optimization
One way communication Two Way communication
No interaction with the audience Results are to a great extent easy to measure
Advertising campaigns are planned over a long Advertising campaigns are planned both short
period of time or long period of time.
Expensive and time-consuming process Reasonably cheap and rapid way to promote the
products and services.
One campaign prevails for a long time Campaigns can be easily changed with ease and
innovations can be introduced within any
campaign
Limited reach to the customer due to limited Wider reach to the customer because of the use
number of customer technology of various customer’s technology
24/7 year-round exposure is not possible 24/7 year-round exposure is possible
No ability to go viral Ability to go viral
Responses can only occur during work hours Response or feedback can occur anytime
From International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, Volume 1, Issue 5,
April 2015, Pages 69-80

Theoretical Framework:
Interactive marketing, one-to-one marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), along with
brand and service management underline the significance of building and overseeing client connections,
and offer each valuable model to see how customer relationships create. The literature uncovers certain
ideas and patterns that could be focal components in boosting client associations with digital marketing.
First, brand communication is distinguished as a significant approach to create customer loyalty. Second,
the Internet is viewed as a decent tool for customer service. Third, personalization is relied upon to create
a value for clients. Fourth, interactivity is displayed as one of the significant preferences of the Internet and
other new marketing mediums. We believe that brand communication and service are the key components
while boosting customer relationships by means of digital marketing, and components of personalization
and interactivity can be blended into them to strengthen the effects. (see Figure 3). We propose that digital
marketing can influence decidedly on customers ‘knowledge about products and services, involvement,
buying behavior, activity, attitudes and loyalty.

Central elements in boosting customer relationships with digital marketing


Three primary components in brand communication are anticipated to influence customer relationships:
frequency (e.g. what number of brand messages every week), content (e.g. promotional offers or
information), and functionality (e.g. how effectively clients discover information on a site). Brand
communication can likewise be personalized. For instance, segmenting or client profiles can be utilized to
make distinctive messages for various clients, sent by means of their favored channels. Furthermore, brand
contacts can be interactive, which implies that clients can scan for data, make request, give input and take
part in different exercises with marketers or each other, by playing games on brand's site, talking with other
brand clients, and so on. Digital service transpires perceived valuable by customers, is anticipated to
influence customer relationships positively. This value can be money, information, time pleasure,
convenience, entertainment, convenience, assistance and so on. Efficiency and accessibility of the service
are significant as well, which could help easy access to a site, capacity to discover desired service options
and information is connected with them with little effort. Reliability of service is also significant, for
instance; online banking technical functions and its safety. Personalization is also a key in digital service,
as in; by offering diverse service alternatives for various clients, and recalling their individual inclinations
of service circumstances. Different components of interactivity, as online chat with service faculty, can be
joined to digital service. In the model, brand communication and service are dealt with as partitioned
components, recognizing that a few circumstances digital communication can be deemed as service, (as
Brondmo 2000 suggests for permission-based email), while in some cases viewed as promotion. Brand
communication and service don't generally need to be personalized or interactive with a specific end goal
to have impacts on customer relationships. Including personalization and interactivity can, increment the
constructive outcomes of digital brand communication and service on customer relationships.
Personalization and interactivity must be associated with either brand communication or service to have
impacts on customer relationship. For instance, online service regularly incorporates brand communication
(newsletter, offers, and so forth.), and personalization may require interactivity tools for gathering data on
customer preferences. Digital environment offers great tools like interactivity for community building. Its
indeed very easy to create interactive brand community pages where a customer can share their brand
knowledge, experiences and feelings with each other. This info can easily be collected by marketers and
can give them the complete insight about the customer preferences and buying behaviors which later
transpires to make relationship with them. Virtual brand community is a very important aspect for customer
relationship learned in literature since virtual brand communities make customers spend more time with the
brand and actively seek and spread information about it. CRM literature comparatively proposes that
marketers advantage from being in standard and dynamic contacts with their customers to create and
maintain loyalty Barnes (2001). The advancement of customer-brand relationships can be depicted as a
procedure of communication. Barnes (2001, 259-261) recommends that a brand can be conceptualized as
traveling through four phases on its voyage from being just a name to being a honest to goodness
relationship accomplice: brand awareness (using advertising to make customers in the target segment aware
of the brand) brand characteristics (associating the brand with certain characteristics and positioning
it against competitors) brand personality (attaching personality traits to the brand that are appreciated
by the consumer) brand relationships (the brand becomes important in the life of the consumer).
Companies must find the right combination of frequency, channels, content, and personalization for
different customers and brands.
In summary, we propose the following hypotheses:
Hypotheses 1. Increased frequency of brand communication enhances brand loyalty.
Hypotheses 2. Brand communication that is expected, and is received or accessed when desired by
customers has a positive effect on brand loyalty
Hypotheses 3. Activity in virtual brand communities increase customer’s brand knowledge and loyalty.
Hypotheses 4. The more relevant and interesting customers perceive brand’s messages, the more brand
loyal they become.
Hypotheses 5. Increased time spent with the brand (online) by a customer increases brand loyalty.
Hypotheses 6. Brand loyalty of customers who are active, and who initiate communication (i.e. who make
product inquiries, give feedback, update service profiles, etc.) is increased.
Digital channels offer cost efficient opportunities for marketers to keep frequently in touch with customers
and improve customer loyalty. Our applied model coordinates ideas and findings recommended in
numerous zones of marketing literature manifests how regular brand communication, personalization, and
interactivity influence client relationship. We display research propositions for testing in future research.
We propose that brand communication creates customer loyalty for the most part through frequency and
social content. Information processing activated by customary brand communication creates customer value
and commitment. Increments in these refine customer relationship, both attitudinal and behavioral.
Personalization and interactivity moderate the impacts of brand communication on customer relationship.
Qualitative research will be fruitful for defining certain concepts and results of digital marketing
communication, in the likes of; information processing, perceived value, commitment, and their connection
to customer relationship. Besides, as our model proposes how to strengthen the relationship of existing
clients, it could likewise be connected to new customer acquisition. For instance, if a potential client has
gone by the marketer’s site and asked something or communicated interest for obtaining information
regarding products or services, we expect it would provide the clear picture for the marketer to remain in
contact with these prospects with promotional or selling activities as well as with informative and brand-
related digital communication to keep the brand in the thought set. It is intriguing to additionally analyze
the impacts of this sort of interactivity and improvement of acquisition and retention endeavors (see
Reinartz et al. 2005).

Research Methodology:
The first step is to formulate a research design. This means planning a strategy of conducting research. It is
a detailed plan of how the goals of research will be achieved. Research design is exploratory, descriptive
and/or experimental in nature. It is helping the investigator in providing answers to various kinds of
social/economic questions. After collecting and analysis of the data, the researcher has to accomplish the
task of drawing inferences. Just through understanding I can uncover relations and procedures that underlie
this discoveries and eventually conclusions. Interpretation refers to the errand of drawing inferences from
the collected facts after an analytical study. It is a search for more extensive importance and research
findings. It is the tool through which factors that appear to clarify what has been observed by analyst in the
course can be better comprehended and gives hypothetical conception which serve as a guide for further
researches. It is significant since it will lead towards findings of the study and appropriate effective
conclusions of the study.

In this study, descriptive research has followed since it’s more often done for a fact finding
approach generalizing a cross - sectional study of contemporary situation.
The main purpose of descriptive research is to illustrate events, phenomenon and circumstances on the
basis of observation and other sources.

Survey method:
The survey method is the technique of gathering data by making inquiries from individuals who are thought
to have the desired information. Each effort ought to be made to express the goals in particular terms. The
survey design defines as: “gathering of information from large number of people by interviewing
few of them” (Simonson, 2016). The definition can be changed by expressing that gathering data
with other information accumulation alternatives accessible to survey research in addition to
interviewing i.e. questionnaire, personal observation and so forth. Surveys are conducted in the
realm of descriptive research studies with the base of questionnaire techniques in most adequate
manner. Survey type of research studies usually have larger sample. It is concerned with conditions
or relationships that exists, opinion or supposition that are held, processes that are going on effects
that are evident, apparent or trends that are developing. Consequently, in surveys variables that
exist or have already occurred are chosen and observed. It is in the case of field research.
Data collection:
Data collection means to a purposive gathering of information relevant to the subject matter of the study
from the units under research. Primary data are empirical observations gathered by the researcher or
his associates for the first time for any research and used by them in statistical analysis. There are
numerous methods to collect the primary data in the realm of descriptive research in the likes of:
 Telephone enquiries
 Postal/mail questionnaire
 Personal interviewing
 Panel research
 Special survey techniques.
Questionnaires and Telephone enquiries are considered the cheapest and quickest way to gather
information.
 Questionnaires:
In this contemporary study, the data was collected through Sample survey using structured questionnaire.
Since ‘the effects of digital marketing on customer relationship’ is the core focus of the study, a structured
& closed ended questionnaire was prepared for customers only. (Covering various demographic
parameters). The questionnaire incorporated with the effects of digital marketing through brand-
communication and customer service on customer relationship while having personalization and
interactivity has a moderating effect. Brand communication constitutes of frequency, content and
functionalities while having customer services constitutes of perceived value, accessibility, efficiency and
reliability influencing customer relationship characterized into loyalty, retention, activity, sales, attitude
and involvement. In spite of the fact that questionnaire is an economic tool for information gathering, non-
response or incomplete response is high for this situation. However, appropriate follow up was taken to
overcome this boundary by ensuring that every questionnaire is totally filled.
Secondary data refers to data that was collected by someone other than the user or data gathered by others
in the past and used by others. It may be either being published or unpublished data. It incorporates the
following:
1) Various publications of central, state and local governments.
2) Various publications of overseas governments or international bodies.
3) Technical and trade journals
4) Books, magazines, and new paper.
5) Reports prepared by research scholars, university economists etc.
6) Reports publications of different associations connected with business and industry, bank,
university, economists and so on.
Sources of unpublished data are mainly journals, letters, unpublished biographies; autobiographies etc.
before using secondary sources the researcher must ensure reliability sustainability and sufficiency of data.
This contemporary study has utilized published and unpublished sources of secondary data. Secondary
data was gathered to provide the dissertation with fundamental hypothetical back up. Information identified
with IMC, digital marketing, SNS, and its suggestion and so on was gathered through different secondary
sources in the likes of, research journals, reference books, business magazines and content sharing sites.

Sampling method:
Sample selection is embraced for practical impossibility to survey whole population by applying rationality
in choice of samples, summing up the generalize findings of research. An entire identification of all things
of the population is known as census enquiry. Yet, practically considerations of time and cost constantly
prompt a selection of respondents called sampling techniques. A sample design is a definite plan for
obtaining a sample from a given population. Descriptive type of study generally used probability
sampling design (random sampling) and requires structured or well, thought out instruments for
collection of data like questionnaire.
In this contemporary study:
Sample size: 200 (Sample size is selected on the basis of discussion with the research expert)
Area covered – Lahore suburb
Sample frame – Educational institutions & corporate offices.
Data analysis tools for research:
To analyze data collected through structured questionnaire I used statistical software SPSS and Ms-Excel
Add-In Data Analysis. Statistical tools used for the analysis are Mean, Median & mode, Standard deviation
and Skewness.

Reliability and Validity of the data:


The approach of content validity was utilized as a part to verify whether the setting of measure
covers the full space of the content. It evaluated how things utilized as a part of the study speak to
their setting area and how clear they are. Verification made to assess whether questions asked to
the respondents covers all the essential points of interest identified with dissertation topic.
In this way, the contemporary study embraces descriptive research design and attempts the survey
technique with questionnaire as a research instrument keeping in mind the end goal to gather
primary data required in the research. Also, content validity is utilized for the verification of data.
Furthermore, providing the questionnaire with a brief guide about how digital marketing changing
the landscape of marketing realm and how its effecting the relationship with the users; a transcript
of the responses afterwards insures a high level of equivalence and increases the reliability of the
research. Due to the flexible nature of descriptive data; the respondents’ responses to the structured
questionnaire will vary since it is subject to their preferences and perceptions. Consistency and a
certain degree of comparability is therefore addressed by providing the same guide to each
respondents. Regarding the reliability of the quantitative research the Cronbach’s Alpha statistic
was utilized to determine the internal consistency of the Likert scales. Each test resulted in a high
level of reliability: Brand communication α= 0.807, Customer service α= 0.892, and Customer
relationship α= 0.811. The Cronbach’s Alpha values are above 0.8 indicating a high level of
reliability.

Data analysis and interpretation

The term analysis refers to the computation of certain measures along with searching for patterns of
relationship that exist among data group. The data after collection has to be processed and analyzed in
accordance with the outline laid down in research plan or research design. This is essential for a scientific
study and for ensuring that we have all relevant data for making comparisons and analysis. Technically
processing of data implies editing, coding, classification and tabulation of collected data so that they are
available for analysis. Analysis particularly in case of surveys involves estimating the values of unknown
parameters of the population and testing of hypothesis for drawing inferences.

“Thus in the process of analysis, relationships or differences supporting or conflicting with original or
new hypothesis should subject to statistical tests of significance in order to determine with what validity
data can be said to indicate any conclusions.”

Analysis therefore may be categories as descriptive analysis and inferential analysis which is often known
as statistical analysis.

Profile of Respondents
Survey for research work was conducted in the city of Lahore keeping in mind that online marketing is
still a metropolitan phenomenon in the developing country like Pakistan. Sample of 200 respondents was
selected for survey. The questionnaire included a segment on customers profile as a classification of their
demographic factors such as gender, age & occupation. During data collection phase, due care was taken
in order to make sure that the given questionnaire is completely filled by the respondents. The detailed
respondent profile is as follows:

Respondent’s profile
Occupation Gender

Age Self
Student Service Total Male Female Total
employed

18 to 25
81 0 0 81 38 43 81
years

25 to 35
19 41 3 63 31 32 63
years

35 to 45
0 47 9 56 29 27 56
years

Total 100 88 12 200 98 102 200

Interpretation

As seen in table, Out of 200 respondents - 100 are students out of which 81 are between the age 18 to 25
years & 19 are between the age 25 to 35 years. There are 88 respondents who are jobber out of which 41
are between the age 25 to 35 years & 47 are between the age 35 to 45 years. Also there are total 12
respondents who are self-employed out of which 3 are between the 25 to 35 years & 9 are between the
age 35 to 45 years. As far as gender wise segmentation is concerned, there are total 98 males out of which
38 are between the age 18 to 25 years, 31 are between the age 25 to 35 years& 29 are between the age 35
to 45 years. And there are total 102 males out of which 43 are between the age 18 to 25 years, 32 are
between the age 25 to 35 years & 27 are between the age 35 to 45 years.

Importance of Brand Communication:

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is one of the approach used by organizations to create brand
awareness and coordinate their communication efforts. Digital marketing is a part of IMC and it is indeed
one of the frequently used technique since its less expensive and more productive than other techniques,
many companies are using such technique to reach out at their customers and target them with their
offerings. The American Association of Advertising Agencies defines IMC as "a concept that recognizes
the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication
disciplines, and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication
impact." The primary idea behind an IMC strategy is to create a seamless experience for consumers across
different aspects of the marketing mix. Marketing mix in the context of digital marketing include the
combination of various promotion tools such as digital media, social media, blogs, click ads, affiliation ads,
emails, 24\7 customer services center on web, public relations, personal selling through online channels
sales promotion through pop up ads etc. It is the guiding principle that organizations follow to communicate
with their target markets. It is the most innovative function of marketing endorsed by advertising and
marketing practitioners. To understand the importance of brand communication researcher asked
respondents about number of medium to get knowledge about any brand, sources of awareness of various
brands, amount of information required to take purchase decision and time spent in purchase of any
commodity through online channels.
Do consumers\users rely on just one medium to get knowledge about any brand?

Frequency Percentage
NO 82 41
Somewhat 47 23.5
Yes 71 35.5
Total 200 100
Interpretation:

This table manifests that when respondents were asked that they just rely on one medium to get
knowledge about any brand; 41% have the negative response on such question while almost 24%
responded they partially rely on one source while 36% have given the positive response that they just rely
only on one source. It shows that major ratio is negative- transpires that consumers\users rely more than
one medium to get knowledge about any brand. While it depends upon various factors in the likes of the
content is been uploaded on the web and keeping in view that is frequently updating in terms of pricing,
subject matter in terms of product since it should provide the complete insight about it. The functions of
the organization’s digital platform accessed by the user is effective and easily discovered by them.

Sources of awareness of various brands

Excessive competition, globalization, fluctuating wants of consumers and advent of technology are the
major factors that encourage advertisers to make use of various sources available to reach their targeted
audience. These sources can be print media (through newspapers & magazines), electronic medium (like
Television commercials, radio spots, Mobile marketing and online advertising), Outdoor media (like
hoardings, banners, neon signs) and Point of Purchase (like in-store promotion, standees, merchandising
racks & cases etc.) Many a times consumers may also rely on various sources to get product related
information. Subsequently, which of these techniques are more productive to enhance brand awareness and
transpire formidable customer relationship for long time. The details of responses given regarding different
sources of awareness of various brands are given below:

Sources of awareness for various brands

Sources of awareness Frequency Percentage %


Print ads 22 11.0
Television commercials 53 26.5
In store promotions 37 18.5
Outdoor media 18 9.0
Digital\online media 70 35.0
Total 200 100
Interpretation:

Above table suggests that digital media is indeed one of the main source of brand awareness, about 35% of
the respondents reckon that! Ultimately it’s effecting customer relationship since more users are inclined
to know the brand through online channel. Since the digital channels have empowered the users to access
the knowledge and information about the brand like never before and it has indeed created a great feasibility
for the users.

Graphical representation of Sources of awareness of various brands

Reliability of information about the products and services is required to make


purchasing decision;

Consumers may often get confused in making choice about which brand to purchase since most of the
companies sort of fabricate their information about the products and services especially in Pakistan there
is quite often user don’t get what they ordered through online channels. So, the reliability and the
perceived value of the products and services can indeed transpires substantial customer relationship. It’s
not just how reliable the information is; but its accessibility and how efficiently the information is
discovered and explored by the users. Companies are inclined to make customer relationship by providing
customer services through digital channels. Consequently, users require detailed information to evaluate
and differentiate among various brands available. This information can be in the form of brand’s
attributes, its features, functional benefits etc. To analyze in detailed respondents were asked to give their
view on agreement scale considering two different attributes. The responses were coded as below:

5. Strongly agree 4.Agree 3. No opinion 2. Disagree 1. Strongly disagree


Details for information and time spend to take purchase of any commodity
Do not require much Do not prefer to spend much
information to take of my time in purchase of any
purchase decision commodity

Frequency Percent Frequency Percent

Strongly 33 16.5 27 13.5


disagree

Disagree 80 40.0 38 19.0

No opinion 36 18.0 34 17.0

Agree 28 14.0 68 34.0

Strongly agree 23 11.5 33 16.5

Total 200 100.0 200 100.0

Interpretation:
Time spent by the users on digital channels in search of reliable information to purchase commodity or
services and such information gives value to the users. 16.5% respondents shown strong disagreement to
the first question and 13.5% to second question, 40% respondents were disagree to the first question and
19% to second question, 18% were neutral for first question and 17% to second question, 14% respondents
were agreed to first question and 34% were to second question, whereas, 11.5% respondents have shown
strong agreement to first question and 16.5% to second question.

Thus majority of users require more information to take purchase decision but they do not like to spend
much of their time for purchasing any commodity. It reveals that consumers do require plenty of
information to take purchase decision. This information may increase their knowledge and assurance on
brands’ attributes & benefits that provides value to consumers which are likely to gain that will eliminate
their confusion in choosing any particular brand. Once they obtain the required information on various
brands, they take less time in the purchase of any commodity. Such results manifests that companies should
focus on their customer services in view of building formidable customer relationship with their respective
digital platform users. To analyze further we represent above data graphically. This is as follows.
Reliability of information about the products and services is required to make purchasing
decision

Considering data of complete sample of all respondents descriptive statistics parameter


scores are calculated and tabulated below.
Parameter Do not require much Do not prefer to spend much
information to take of my time in purchase of any
purchasing decision Commodity
Mean 2.64000 3.2100
Median 2.0000 4.0000
Mode 2.00 4.00
Std. deviation 1.24020 1.30168
Skewness 0.553 -0.314

Mean value scores for parameter much information to take purchase decision is not required is 2.64 with
positive skewness 0.553 indicates respondent disagreement. It means they really required much information
to take purchase decision. Median and mode values are equal to 2 also support this result. Mean value scores
for parameter much time is required to spend to take purchase of any commodity is 3.21 with negative
skewness -0.314 indicates respondent agreement. It means they do not prefer to spend much of their time
in purchase of any commodity. This shows that consumers try to gain more information before they make
purchase. So, companies should focus to enhance their services to the users and update the reliable
information about products and services, in that way users can effectively access all the information that
not just help to save their time on purchasing decision but also provides the perceived value to the
consumers.
Frequency of being online:
As the technology advances, the number of people using internet has really gone up. There are numerous
reasons people are more inclined towards internet, however, major reasons why they use internet is to get
access to information, social networking, communication, transferring files, entertainment, internet
transactions, marketing, online education as well as to make money. This digital era allows greater
flexibility in working hours and location, especially with the spread of high-speed connections. The internet
can be accessed almost anywhere by variety of means, including through mobile internet devices. Even a
country like Pakistan, the smart phones have empowered most of the natives to use digital media, social
platforms in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc have drastically changed the landscape
for the marketing experts, they now have to come up with relatively new strategies to cater their targeted
audience. The frequency of being online is given below:

Frequency of being online

Code Response Frequency Percent %


1 Very low 16 8
2 Low 25 12.5
3 Moderate 44 22
4 Very High 60 30
5 High 55 27.5
200 100
Interpretation:
It means majority of respondents i.e. 30% use internet with high frequency by having 27.5 % respondents
with very high frequency of using internet. So, due to its attribute of making life easier by allowing the
users to have instant access of the products and services information and offerings by the company. Since,
it also becomes a very productive platform for the companies to build a strong customer relationships with
customers. As most of the respondents have high frequency of being online, so companies can use
techniques in the likes of SEO, CRO and big data to get insight about the user behavior in such aspect and
can cater them accordingly. Providing them great interactive digital platforms by having personalized
services, there is indeed a substantial prospect for the companies to transpire customer loyalty. Interactivity
plays a significant role to hook the customers, while having personalization services alongside. For instance,
Nike have an interactive web platform that enhances and satisfies the user experience alongside providing
personalized services; as user can design their own shoes according to their preferences and likeness. This
had indeed played a massive role in transpiring customer loyalty.
Graphical representation of responses related to Frequency of being online

Descriptive statistic scores

Are you convergent Frequency of being


with the use of online
Internet?
Mean 3.1750 3.5650
Median 3.0000 4.0000
Mode 4 4
Std Deviation 0.92120 1.23832
Skewness -0.901 -0.551

Mean value scores for parameter their convergence with internet is 3.17 with negative skewness -0.901
indicates respondent agreement of being convergent with internet. It means they are well versed with the
use of internet. Median and mode values are 3 & 4 respectively, close to each other, support this result.
Mean value scores for parameter frequency of being online is 3.56 with negative skewness -0.551 indicates
respondent agreement of being online. It means they use internet heavily for one or the other purpose. This
data will prove very beneficial for marketers as they can transpire formidable customer relationship with
effective brand communication, good customer services having an interactive and personalized digital
platform, since most of the people in Pakistan have the high frequency of being online.

Purpose of using digital media:


Digital media can be used for various purposes out of which the major purposes are social networking –
Facebook, Twitter, linkedin are few examples of social networking sites which help the users to enjoy
their social life by allowing the scope to find new & old friends and share views with them; media sharing
sites helps users to download the enticing material such as songs, photos, video clips etc.; blogs have
introduced a new system of interaction. Blogs - It is a discussion informational site published on the World
Wide Web. PDF files downloaded through web syndication to computer or mobile device, collaborative
website can be developed by small or big businesses through web developers keeping in view of such
phenomena; marketing practitioners are now more inclined towards digital marketing, since a country like
Pakistan it’s indeed a quite productive strategy to adapt. It’s less expensive and it enables the marketers to
target the huge amount of audiences. Now, SNS in the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have the
filters embedded in that makes it very feasible to cater the targeted audiences based on the demographics,
location etc. To understand the real purpose for using digital media respondents were asked to ranking each
purpose between the scales of 1 to 5, where 1 is the most important and 5 is least important.

Purpose for using internet


Other
Media Collaborative
Social content Online
Sharing Blogs
networks sharing shopping
sites websites
websites

F % F % F % F % F % F %

Most 73 36.5 50 25 26 13 32 16.0 43 21.5 60 30.0


important

2 65 32.5 48 24 42 21 43 21.5 43 21.5 42 21.0

3 20 10 22 11 45 22.5 25 12.5 29 14.5 21 10.5

4 20 10 34 17 40 20 38 19.0 37 18.5 40 20.0

Least 22 11 46 23 47 23.5 62 31.0 48 24.0 37 18.5


important

Total 200 100 200 100 200 100 200 100 200 100 200 100
Interpretation:
Social networks are considered most important 36.5% respondents and least important by 11% respondents.
Media sharing sites are considered most important 25% respondents and least important by 23%
respondents. Blogs are considered most important 13% respondents and least important by 23.5%
respondents. Collaborative websites are considered most important 16% respondents and least important
by 31% respondents. Content sharing sites are considered most important 21.5% respondents and least
important by 24% respondents. Online shopping is considered most important 30% respondents and least
important by 18.5% respondents. It shows that SNS sites are the foremost purpose of the respondents of
using digital media.

Use of online activities by companies in their marketing efforts:

Lately, customers are depend more on the information shared by the digital platforms, they utilize this data
for brand evaluation and for purchasing decision process. This opportunity must be availed by both small
and large scale organizations by having their presence digitally. Digital based promoting is equipped
towards defining markets through distinct and useful applications. Having a digital platform will initially
convey their business to the prospects attention. If digital presence manifests the positive reviews and
interactively developed website; consumers will see the brand value and will probably pick those brands.
To analyze in detailed respondents were asked to give their view on agreement scale considering two
different attributes. The responses were coded as below: 5. Strongly agree 4.Agree 3. No
opinion 2. Disagree 1. Strongly disagree

Do companies include online activities in their marketing strategy?

Code Response Frequency Percent %


1 Strongly disagree 32 16
2 Disagree 41 20.5
3 No opinion 22 11
4 Agree 43 21.5
5 Strongly agree 60 31
Total 200 100

Interpretation:
Above table manifests that companies should use digital online marketing activities to promote
their, since it enhance their offerings pitch to the large number of audiences- so companies must
avail such advantage to increase their growth and profitability. Ultimately, since digital is a great
tool for the companies to get engaged with their customers more often than not. Digital channels
tend to solve the customers problem in more prompt manner as compared to digital approach;
which ultimately helps companies to develop customer relationship.
Graphical representation of responses related to Use of online activities by companies in their
marketing efforts

To analyze in detailed, some important statistic (parameters) were calculated and the results of
analysis are tabulated below.
Descriptive statistic scores for Use of online activities in their marketing
strategy
Parameter Value
N 200
Mean 3.3100
Median 4.0000
Mode 5.00
Std. deviation 1.488
Skewness -0.268

Interpretation:
Mean value gives insight that companies should use online activities in marketing efforts is 3.31
with negative skewness -0.268 shows respondent’s agreement. It indicates they strongly feel that
companies should embed online activities in their marketing efforts. Median and mode values are
quite close to each other, they also supporting this result. So, consumers sharing their strong
opinions that companies should use online marketing techniques in order to spread awareness
about the brand and sell their products.
Important factors motivating respondents to like the brand digitally:

There are different components which persuade consumers to get inclined towards digital
marketing to like the brand. Out of which couple of relevant features are - 1) discount- marketers
can offer products at discounted rates as they don't have to put resources into costs for lease, power
and channel mediums when they are marketing their offerings through digital channel. 2) Through
digital presence, consumers stay updated about different exercises of organizations. Organizations
build up their own websites and social presence wherein information identified with their image,
its highlights and corporate character promptly accessible for customers. 3) Through certain
business sites like daraz.pk, yayvo.pk, homeshoppoing.pk and so on shoppers get information
about scope of brands accessible in the market in given products category. 4) Good image and
innovative information sources make the brand more appealing, engaging and intriguing for
consumers, 5) Internet permits accessing the selective substance which individuals don't get frame
some other medium. They can access different plans identified with the brand, depiction of
particular advantages, they are probably going to appreciate through brand 6) Digital media is
genuinely an interactive medium with regards to buy the brand, they can arrange online likewise
they can share their input rationally with the organization on the qualities and shortcomings of a
specific brand.
Important factors motivating respondents to like the brand digitally

Discount Stay Get updates on For fun, Get access to Interaction


informed brands and its entertainment exclusive
about the future extension content
activities of
company

F % F % F % F % F % F %
Most 49 24.5 52 26 36 18 33 16.5 53 26.5 48 24
important
Important 66 33 52 26 49 24.5 56 28 59 29.5 61 30.5
Least 44 22 42 21 61 30.5 45 22.5 42 21 36 18
important
Not 41 20.5 54 27 54 27 66 33 46 23 55 27.5
important
Total 200 100 200 100 200 100 200 100 200 100 200 100

Interpretation:

From table; it is observed that 24.5% respondents consider discount factor as most important and
20.5% respondents do not consider it as important. However, 26% respondents consider other
factor ‘to stay informed about company’s activities’ as most important and 27% respondents do
not consider it as important. 18% respondents consider other factor ‘to get updates on brands and
its future extension’ and 27% respondents do not consider it as important. 16.5% respondents
consider other factor ‘Fun & entertainment’ and 33% respondents do not consider it as important.
While, 26.5% respondents consider other factor ‘to get access to exclusive content’ as most
important and 23% respondents do not consider it as important. Subsequently, 24% respondents
consider interaction factor as most important and 27.5% respondents do not consider it as
important. It manifests that majority of respondents are motivated to use digital channels as it
offers them products at discounted rates, gives access to exclusive content such as specific
functional & emotional benefits of the brand and facilitates interaction about the brand directly
with the company.
Descriptive statistic scores

Discount Stay Get updates For fun, Get access to Interaction


informed on brands entertainment exclusive
about the and its content
activities of future
company extension
N 200 200 200 200 200 200
Median 2 2 3 3 2 2
Mode 2 4 3 4 2 2

Interpretation:

Modal value for discounts, get access to exclusive content and interaction is 2 indicates that
majority of respondents feels that these three are the most important factors. Modal value for Stay
informed about the activities of company, for fun & entertainment is 4 indicates that majority of
respondents feels that these two are the least important factors. Median values and percentile
values also support above interpretations. Hence, consumers use online marketing extensively as
it offers discounts and access to exclusive content, and it facilitates interaction with the advertisers.

Benefits of digital marketing offer over the traditional\conventional marketing:


As discussed in a literature, digital marketing has indeed made a massive impact on the landscape
of marketing. Complete contrasts have been made in this paper about the conventional marketing
and digital marketing. Eventually; digital marketing provides great flexibility to select wide range
of brands demonstrated online without investing their efforts & time. When respondents were
asked about the benefits of digital marketing offers over the conventional; they gave given the
following responses:

Frequency Percentage %
Wide range of information 48 24
Ease of shopping 46 23
Time saving 31 15.5
Low cost 24 12
Personalized and interactive medium 51 25.5
Total 200 100
Interpretation:
The above table suggests that respondents consider the digital marketing personalization and its
interactivity is the most significant feature in the contrast of conventional marketing. Following
that the range of information a user is getting when pitched through digital platforms; as consumers
like to exchange their views and share their feedback when it comes to evaluating the brand or for
taking purchase decision.

Graphical representation

Conclusion:
This study concludes that digital marketing communication in the model constitutes of perceived value,
commitment, and customer loyalty. In earlier sections perceived value and commitment were discussed.
The term “customer relationship” as the ultimate dependent variable, a term close to brand loyalty. The
arguments of how to define and measure both customer relationship and brand loyalty has a long history
(Bansu, 2009). The most frequently used definition of customer relationship is that it is a form of repeat
purchasing behavior reflecting a conscious decision to continue buying the same brand (Chestnut, 2005).
Accordingly, (Olivier, 2015) has defined customer relationship as “a deeply held commitment to rebuy or
repatronize a preferred product/service consistently in the future ahead, thus causing repetitive same-brand
or same brand-set purchasing, in spite of situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential
to cause switching behavior.” Most researchers believe that the best way to operationalize loyalty is to
measure both attitudes and behavior (Rundle-Thiele and Bennett 2001). If only behavior were measured, it
could be only spurious relationship, a low relative attitude accompanied by high repeat patronage due to
situational effects (Bansu, 2009). Therefore, the metrics that were suggest for measuring the effects of
digital marketing communication on customer relationship are both behavioral and attitudinal. More
specific division of relationship to separate phases - described by (Olivier, 2015) as cognitive, affective,
conative, and action loyalty – was not seen necessary in this paper. These loyalty phases are included in the
main categories of behavioral and attitudinal. Along with the traditional sources, they heavily rely on
modern marketing tool (digital marketing) i.e. online advertising. Consumers do require detailed
information about the brand so as to evaluate its strengths & weaknesses; this ample amount of information
then saves their time by allowing them to make the purchase decision quickly. With the advent of internet
technology, consumers’ preference towards traditional marketing tools has decreased. Most popular
traditional marketing tools are television & print media. The major benefits of online marketing are its
capability of interaction between consumers and advertisers followed by availability of wide range of
information & ease of shopping. These benefits make digital marketing superior than traditional marketing.

Managerial Implications:
Digital channel in marketing has turned out to be a crucial component of strategy of many organizations.
These days, notwithstanding for entrepreneur there is an exceptionally modest and effective approach to
market his/her products or services. Digital marketing has no limits. Organization can utilize any gadgets,
in the likes of; smartphones, smart TVs’, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, digital billboards and media,
for instance, CRO (Conversion rate optimization), SEO (search engine optimization), pop-ups on site,
videos, content, email and more to advance organization itself and its products and services. Digital
marketing may succeed progressively in the event that it considers client needs as a top need. Much the
same as "Rome was not built in a day," in this way, digital marketing comes about won't likewise come
without endeavor, without trial (and error). The watchwords "test, learn and advance" ought to be at the
heart of all digital marketing activities. Organizations ought to improvise client experiences and particular
strategies for media to recognize the best way to drive up digital marketing execution. Online services give
clients better choices, accessibility, control, and comfort over conventional service channels. Time and
place independency with the capacity of clients to effectively make or shape (i.e. personalize) the type of
their services develops satisfaction, relationship and loyalty. Likewise, marketers can make more
personalized service, in light of clients' behavior and interests, which makes more positive service
encounters. The interactive components of digital media can be utilized for better communication in service
experiences, or clients can be provided with extra service when purchasing products (e.g. having the
capacity to track their orders online), which makes more fulfilled and loyal clients. All indicators are
indicating toward digital marketing turning out to be ever more significant in the years to come. The up and
coming era of management leaders will probably favor communication via web-based networking\digital
media; it is the thing that this era grew up with. Interestingly, the exhibit work drive ranges from individuals
who grew up with Internet and later via social media, individuals who have spent a large portion of their
working life communicating over printed version letters. Tending to this diverse gathering of potential and
current clients requires a careful segmentation of the client group with a specific end goal to discover the
communication channels most fitting for every single customer. What gets to be distinctly clear of the firms
today are relied upon and required to be as acquainted with online\digital networking as with other more
conventional types of communication; communication must be on the premises of the client. Consequently,
the whole organization must be aboard the change towards digital networking\communication. Since the
phenomena of digital marketing is generally new, particularly in B2B marketing, there are numerous
viewpoints that could have been intriguing to explore, i.e. the financial point of view of executing online
networking in CRM, and the chances of utilizing web-based social networking for the reasons for branding.
To wrap things up, this theory has indicated a requirement for a communication model that appropriately
addresses corporate communication on the Internet, thinking about both the aspects of many-to- many
communication, and also joining the sender to some degree. It will stay intriguing to perceive how the world
of digital networking creates in the coming years, and what sort of research will be directed on the realm
of digital marketing. Companies are devised to establish presence on digital media platforms today, to learn
the rules of the playground that digital media constitute, in order to be ready for the application of digital
media in CRM and other parts of operations when the time is right.

Limitations of the study:


Since the scope of the study is limited to the Lahore. Additionally, many natives in Pakistan is not aware
of the online brand communication or digital marketing since most of the personnel don’t have the access
of the internet. But at the same time customers or users are susceptible about the user-safety side of internet.
They feel that online marketing is unsafe as it may lead to increase in frauds & privacy issue; it was the
highlighted concerns for the natives as they see that there is a less credibility at such platform.

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