Formulate a research problem, determining the research methodology to be used, collecting the data, performing the data analysis, determining the findings of the research, and writing and presenting the research report. A BUYER BEHAVIOR FOCUS The vast majority of marketing research dollars are spent in an effort to describe, explain, and/or predict buyer behavior. The reason is simple – consumers are a complex phenomenon – far more complex than any business model, financial market, tax code, supply chain, or organizational chart. The truth is that most companies and organizations are terrified that they don’t really know who their customers or potential customers are or what these customers “really” want. There is an underlying fear that competitors understand the customer better and, in doing so, will serve them better. Keeping up with consumers is hard. Their perceptions, emotions, beliefs, and preferences are constantly evolving as they navigate myriad cultural, social, spiritual, physical, and cognitive environments. No degree of logic, expertise, or experience can provide a magical portal into their hearts and minds. If we hope to create and nurture relationships with consumers, we must stay close to them, interact with them, listen to them, and learn how to respond to their needs appropriately. Only research can provide organizations with the requisite information. Accordingly, we shall focus our projects on elucidating aspects of digital engagement, defined as “repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand” (Chaffey, 2007) and its effect on buyer behavior. Potential Topics • Digital engagement with: User-generated advertising Consumer-manipulated brand messages Behaviorally targeted messages Consumer-shared brand messages Native advertising Advertising located in social media • Digital engagement and advertising effectiveness • Digital engagement in relationship to clutter/ad blocking/ad avoidance • Customer co-creation perspectives on digital engagement and ads • Context determinants of digital customer engagement • Visual engagement and online advertising execution • Digital engagement and the Internet of Things (smart signs, beacons, wearables, IoT data and personalization, proximity marketing, etc.) • Measurements of digital engagement related to advertising • Online advertising experience as it relates to digital engagement • Impact of consumer motivations on digital engagement with advertising • Antecedents and consequences of digital engagement with advertising • Explorations of ethical norms
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