Social Media: The New Frontier of Event Marketing and Consumer Profiling
(2015) Social Media: The New Frontier of Event Marketing and Consumer Profiling, no. 77.
Social media has been growing in importance and public consciousness over the years. The title of this research is 'Social Media: The New Frontier of Event Marketing and Consumer Profiling'. This research aims to prove how important social media has become to the events industry and how universal its use actually is. The aim central to this dissertation was to discover what extent social media has affected the event marketing process through enabling direct personalised communication with the consumer. As such the objectives have been designed to fully investigate all aspects of this aim and the objectives are as follows... 1. Show how social media is not just for the young anymore- it has become a phenomenon spanning the generations 2. Link social media to the evolution in consumer behaviour with how important it is in affecting consumers buying habits. 3. Discover how social media can be the driving force behind an event brand- by giving the 'event' a voice and a personality 4. Link social media marketing to consumer behaviour to profile attendees and their motivations more effectively First, a literature review was undertaken, investigating the current state of research of the key areas of this study; mainly social media, consumer behaviour and finally attendance motivations. During this literature review, the researcher also tried to uncover any research that had already attempted to link these areas together, however, this was found to be lacking, and the only example found was between social media and festivals. Next, the decision was made to undertake qualitative research this topic because it is an area that the research really needs to mirror the experience and opinions of the event managers working within the industry. The researcher undertook six semi-structured interviews, with event managers working in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The researcher, then carried out data analysis and identified key themes from the interviews, some surprising and some predictable. The dominate theme was the growth and the universality of social media and the fall in readership of newspapers in the UK. The next theme that was discovered was that social media can develop brand awareness and a personality through fun interaction with followers. Another theme born out of this one is that is social media could be directly linked to being a catalyst in consumer behaviour theory. Furthermore, another finding of the research is that social media can affect consumer buying habits. The only objective that this study does not fully answer is if social media can be used to gather information to help profile attendees on attendance motivations. A surprising conclusion that was found was that the business events sector respondent almost always answers differently to all the other respondents. The main recommendation of this study is to repeat it with a larger sample size to increase the rigor, reliability and generalisability of results.