Vigilante marketing, blogs, and counter-blog marketing are new marketing tools to attract large audiences of consumers. Modern consumers do not necessarily desire governmental regulation of business and marketing activity; however, the increased intervention will result from the unresponsive business policy. The following articles present corporate responses to consumer problems and the possible implications of a lack of response by the business community. Leighton describes the possibility of increased governmental involvement in the market system as a result of businesses’ delayed response to consumerism. Unfortunately, the time came but business was slow to respond. Consumer needs and wants have been evolving toward safety, health, and self-actualization concerns without many businessmen noticing this. More and more people are concerned with the nutritiousness of their foods, the flammability of their fabrics, the safety of their automobiles, and the pollution quality of their detergents.
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In the article “The News Media’s Influence on Criminal Justice Policy” S.S. Beale (2006) underlines that new media demands new techniques and methods to persuade and attract consumers. Thus, new marketing tools have a negative impact on consumers and increase violence in society. “If the media does not change, are there any countervailing forces, or any mechanisms that might counter this one-way ratchet? The most significant force is already operating” (Beale 2006, p. 65)? Many manufacturers have missed this changing psychological orientation of consumers. The market system, according to the theory, is one in which the free interplay of consumer choices will result, over time, in the best product or service winning out in the competitive struggle for the consumer’s favor. In this battle, the producer who best meets the needs of the consumer will be rewarded with success, and the producer of inferior goods will lose out. The consumer casts his ballot in the form of his purchases, and the seller woos his vote by improving his products or services by attractive packaging, by offering more value for money.
Hartley (2005) underlines that blogs and counter-blog marketing are a new approach to traditional marketing mechanisms. The logical approach to establishing blogs and counter-blog marketing appropriations is to determine the marketing tasks required of advertising and estimate the resources needed to fulfill them. This task-objective method suggests that businesses start with an attempt to develop an ideal model, recognizing that the ideal cannot be achieved, that relevant factors must be assessed against imperfect information, and that adequate resources may not be available. In conceptualizing advertising-sales-profit relationships, management may use a general model such as the following, which relates responses over time. This model focuses attention on the maximum profit level on straight-line increases in advertising outlays, on the decline in profits as advertising expenditures continue beyond a certain level, on the saturation limit of the market, on the sales level without any advertising, and on the level of sales and advertising at which profits occur. Blogs and counter-blog marketing results must be measured in communication terms, not just in sales terms. Determining the effectiveness of advertising requires the measurement of overall advertising impact-the matching of inputs with outputs, which conceptually is very simple. Practically, however, this is quite difficult, since advertising is only one element of the marketing mix in affecting demand. Yet some success has been achieved in measuring the responsiveness of sales and profits to advertising.
McDaniel and Gates (2005) explain that vigilante marketing results must be measured in communication terms, not just in sales terms. Determining the effectiveness of Vigilante marketing requires the measurement of overall advertising impact-the matching of inputs with outputs, which conceptually is very simple. Practically, however, this is quite difficult, since advertising is only one element of the marketing mix in affecting demand. Yet some success has been achieved in measuring the responsiveness of sales and profits to advertising. Advertising effectiveness itself is a multidimensional concept. It includes the effectiveness of advertising as contrasted with that of other factors in the marketing mix, with the effectiveness of different campaigns, with the effectiveness of various media, and with the effectiveness of different messages, which in turn is based on an assessment of appeals, themes, copy, layout, headlines, size, frequency, and timing.
All researchers agree that effective market communication (including vigilante marketing, blogs and counter-blog marketing) requires an integrated promotional system that reaches from primary producer to ultimate consumer. Formal channels, however, do not account for all marketing communications. Publicity, which is an integral part of many promotional campaigns and sometimes precedes the advertising and sales effort, lies outside them. Although it can be important in gaining market acceptance for products and companies, publicity, like word of mouth, is often a relatively low-grade communications channel with a high degree of interference, distortion, and noise. Marketing communications serve four basic management purposes. First, the bridge information gaps existing among manufacturers, middlemen, and customers. Second, they help coordinate the promotional activities of the total marketing system to achieve a coordinated thrust. Third, they help adjust the system to customer and consumer requirements. Fourth, they adjust and help in adjusting the product to customer needs.
Kotler and Armstrong (2005) explain that the task of blog and counter blog marketing is to get people or markets to progress from a state of unawareness, or even negative reaction, to one of positive action. The stages in this progression are unawareness, awareness, comprehension, conviction, and action. Opposing the marketing communications in this endeavor are such countervailing forces as competitors’ communications, predispositions, noise, brand loyalty, and habit. Blog and counter blog messages are meeting increasing competition from a plethora of other ads, from other media, from competitors, and from all the activities that vie for a person’s attention. As output swells and communications facilities increase, more claims will be made on consumer time and the cost of marketing communications will skyrocket. Moreover, a saturation plateau may be reached where larger expenditures yield proportionately smaller returns. Another logical approach is to determine the communications functions that must be performed, such as making contact, creating interest, and closing the sale. Then either a predetermined total promotional budget can be allocated among each of these phases, based on executive judgment, or the expenditures on advertising and personal selling necessary to perform them may be estimated. Buyers and consumers need not be the same people. In transactions involving industrial goods, they usually are not. However, by studying consumers as buyers (as individuals and members of groups) and by investigating the forces influencing their purchasing and consumption actions, we can achieve a good base for comprehending both. Actual and potential consumers are the basic component of markets and the hub of marketing action. That the consumer is king or that the consumer guides businesses are a tenet of a market system.
Kumar and Reinartz (2005) and Muniz and Jensen (2007) explain that vigilante marketing, blogs and counter-blog marketing endeavors to fuse consumer wants and needs with the operations of a business organization, which to survive and grow in a keenly competitive, everchanging environment, concerns itself with the mechanisms of corporate adjustment. Such adjustments were discussed in Chapters 10 through 15, focusing on the marketing mix. Assuming that the consumer, in essence, is the reason for corporate existence, marketing indicates a corporation’s other-directedness rather than inner-directedness. In a free-enterprise economy, consumers are relatively free to purchase what they please, limited, of course, by income, socio-economic status, legal business forces, and geographic setting. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers thus find that ultimately they are governed by consumer reactions in the marketplace. In a sense, consumers “dictate” to the marketing system the goods and services they want, the prices they are willing to pay and how, where, and when they desire to purchase. Over time, profits are tied inextricably to the satisfaction of consumer wants.
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Vigilante marketing, blogs, and counter-blog marketing have become a part of traditional marketing and part of everyday life. Consumers provide the economic rationale for business and marketing activity. The products and services offered for sale, how they are offered, the distribution channels employed, the methods of advertising and personal selling, and every other factor of marketing are all molded by consumer preferences, opinions, habits, beliefs, wants, needs, and desires. In this way, the total business system attempts to meet the desires of consumers. It is essential, therefore, that we analyze the antecedents of consumer behavior, the behavior itself, and the consequences of consumer reactions. From the corporate point of view, however, the total purpose of a marketing program is to capitalize on existing and potential resources and translate them into profitable marketing ventures. To do so, the business attempts to shape, change, and modify consumer behavior in order to bring it into line with corporate objectives and thereby gain competitiveness. Changes in lifestyles and market environment have had a direct impact on goods and services produced, expenditures, and the consumption process. For example, the effect of increased leisure time, suburban living, shopping centers, automatic vending machines, automobiles, television, and widespread geographic shifts on consumer wants and needs is pronounced.
Beale, S.S. 2006, The News Media’s Influence on Criminal Justice Policy: How Market-Driven News Promotes Punitiveness. William and Mary Law Review, 48 (1), 65.
Hartley, R.F. 2005, Marketing Mistakes and Successes (Marketing Mistakes). Wiley; 10 edition.
McDaniel, C., Gates, R. 2005, Marketing Research. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Wiley; 5 edition.
Kotler, Ph., Armstrong, G. 2005, Principles of Marketing. Prentice-Hall; 11th edition.
Kumar, Y., Reinartz, W. 2005, Customer Relationship Management: A Databased Approach. Wiley.
Muniz, Albert M., Jr. ; Jensen, H. 2007, Vigilante marketing and consumer-created communications.(Report). Publication: Journal of Advertising. Web.