Special Issue: The Future of Technology in Marketing: Utopia or Dystopia?
Journal of Marketing Management, Volume 36, 2020 – Issues 3-4 and 5-6

Issue 3-4

Paul Harrigan, Kristof Coussement, Caroline Lancelot Miltgen & Chatura Ranaweera


Black, white or grey magic? Our future with artificial intelligence
Kate Letheren, Rebekah Russell-Bennett & Lucas Whittaker
“Are new technologies driving us towards dystopia or utopia – or something in between? Marketers not only have a stake in finding out the answer to this question but also a direct (and indirect) influence on determining the answer. This commentary discusses recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, and how these are influencing marketers, consumers and society by either leading to a dystopian (black magic), utopian (white magic) or ‘dualopian’ future (grey magic). We argue that the net effect is squarely in the grey and that marketers have a unique power to leverage AI and robotics developments for good. The commentary concludes with 24 research questions forming an agenda for future research under three streams: marketing power, understanding the bias and ethics revisited …” Read more>

On realising the utopian potential of big data analytics for maximising return on marketing investments
D. F. Benoit, S. Lessmann & W. Verbeke
“This commentary explores the Big Data transition of the field of Marketing. The potential value of Big Data Analytics for both firms and customers is investigated and impediments for Marketing are identified. It is concluded that despite the threats and obstacles, exciting challenges and opportunities for creating value are to be explored and exploited by marketing scholars and practitioners …” Read more>


When less is more: the impact of macro and micro social media influencers’ disclosure
Samantha Kay, Rory Mulcahy & Joy Parkinson
“There are growing discussions of social media influencers and their effectiveness in endorsing products. Further, recent policy regulations are requiring social media influencers to disclose sponsored content when using a form of native advertising. This research examined the effect of macro-influencers (high likes) and micro-influencers (low likes) and their disclosure of native advertising sponsorship on consumer evaluations of products. Results from a 2 × 2 experiment first show that consumers exposed to the micro-influencer condition report higher levels of product knowledge, and consumers exposed to the disclosure condition reported the products endorsed by social media influencers to be more attractive. The results also show that when exposed to micro-influencers who disclose, consumers have higher levels of purchase intentions than when exposed to macro-influencers who do not disclose, as well as higher purchase intentions than for posts where sponsorship is not disclosed by influencers. The important findings of this research for theory, practice and policy are discussed …” Read more>

‘You really are a great big sister’ – parasocial relationships, credibility, and the moderating role of audience comments in influencer marketing
Hanna Reinikainen, Juha Munnukka, Devdeep Maity & Vilma Luoma-aho
“This study examines the moderating role of audience comments in influencer marketing. A YouTube vlog entry by a social media influencer featuring the endorsement of a brand was studied, and an experimental design featuring two conditions related to audience comments was created. The results indicate that a parasocial relationship with the influencer builds the perceived credibility of the influencer, while comments by other audience members moderate the effect. Influencer credibility positively affects brand trust and purchase intention. The findings enhance the understanding of the role of an active audience in influencer marketing …” Read more>

Consumer-computer interaction and in-store smart technology (IST) in the retail industry: the role of motivation, opportunity, and ability
Sanjit K. Roy, M. S. Balaji & Bang Nguyen
“Recent advances in technology have led to the emergence of smart technology systems in brick-and-mortar stores. This study aims to explore the factors that influence customer adoption of in-store smart technology in a retail setting. By adopting the motivation, opportunity, and ability framework, the present study examines the role of relative advantage, perceived complexity, flow experience, enjoyment, retailer support, perceived attractiveness, technology readiness, and self-efficacy in customer perception of shopping effectiveness, which in turn, impacts their adoption intentions. By adopting a quantitative approach, a survey questionnaire was used to collect 747 responses from Australia and Indian retail shoppers. The results show that the motivation, opportunity, and ability framework provided a very insightful way for understanding customer adoption of IST. Specifically, we find significant differences in the role of flow, retailer support, and perceived attractiveness in determining customer evaluation of in-store smart technology for Australia and India. Findings have important managerial implications …” Read more>

Engaged, but with what? Objects of engagement in technology-aided B2B customer interactions
Essi Pöyry, Petri Parvinen, Osmo Mattila & Jani Holopainen
“Using new technologies in customer interactions is a popular way of trying to increase customer engagement. It is, however, unknown how such efforts by marketers’ affect engagement, and particularly to what that engagement relates to. By analysing interview and observation data, the engagement manifestations of customers of a B2B company using virtual-reality technology were studied. The results show that customer engagement can be targeted at not only brands or firms but also the service the firm offers or the technology that enables the service. It is argued that the different objects of engagement can coexist and support each other but engagement with the firm is less susceptible to fluctuations. Marketers should be aware of what triggers customer engagement and what it is targeted at …” Read more>

Negative customer engagement behaviour: the interplay of intensity and valence in online networks
Jaylan Azer & Matthew Alexander
“Recent marketing and service research highlights the detrimental impact of negative customer engagement behaviour (CEB) in online social networks. Nevertheless, the extant literature captures the impact of what customers say about service providers in their negative reviews and fails to provide any understanding of different intensity levels of negative engagement. This article marks the first attempt to provide a more nuanced view of negative CEB by investigating the impact of six forms of negatively valenced influencing behaviour (NVIB) using two online experiments. Our results provide new insights into intensity levels of NVIB and how they are moderated by positive reviews. Practically, this paper addresses one of the challenges for service providers in managing NVIBs, centred on understanding the heterogeneity of its forms. The results suggest that managers use semantic tools to detect the intensity levels of NVIB and to prioritise handling and/or mitigating the more intense NVIBs when they occur …” Read more> Read the Blog>

The impact of university brand identification and eWOM behaviour on students’ psychological well-being: a multi-group analysis among active and passive social media users
Daisy Lee, Peggy M. L. Ng & Svetlana Bogomolova
“Encouraging students to share positive online reviews should not be regarded only as a marketing tool. This study aims to examine (i) the relationship between positive online reviews behaviour for university and students’ well-being; and (ii) the impact of eWOM behaviour on students’ psychological well-being among active (those who share and read information) and passive (those who only read information) social media users. An online survey was conducted to examine the interplay of university brand identification, positive eWOM behaviour, and university life satisfaction on students’ psychological well-being. Results found that students who share positive reviews about university on social media tend to have better psychological health. This study also revealed that active social media users benefit more in terms of well-being through sharing positive online reviews about their universities. Implications for theory and practice of social media marketing in the higher education context are discussed …” Read more>

Issue 5-6


Promote or Perish? A brief note on academic social networking sites and academic reputation
Steven D’Alessandro, Morgan Miles, Francisco J. Martínez-López, Rafael Anaya-Sánchez, Irene Esteban-Millat & Harold Torrez-Meruvia
“This commentary explores some of the reputational issues of using academic social networking sites (ASNS) such as ResearchGate, ResearcherID, ORCID, Academia.edu, Google Scholar, and Mendeley for academic self-promotion and considers whether the adage of ‘Publish or Perish’ has been recently overshadowed by the new imperative of ‘Promote or Perish’? …” Read more>

Dystopia and utopia in digital services
Charles F. Hofacker & Daniela Corsaro
“In this commentary we explore a set of paradoxes in digital services that we call Truth versus Lies, Long Term versus Short Term, Fair versus Unfair, Humans versus Machines, Return versus Risk, Coordination versus Competition, and Slow versus Fast. In each case the new digital tools at the disposal of marketers can lead towards marketing utopia or veer towards dystopia …” Read more>


Determining perceptions, attitudes and behaviour towards social network site advertising in a three-country context
Melanie Wiese & Husain Salilul Akareem
“Regardless of the growth in social media and social network advertising (SNA), little theoretical and empirical knowledge exists on the differences between countries, and the perceptions and attitudes towards social network advertising. The purpose of the study is to investigate the relationships between users’ perceptions (personal and societal), their attitudes and their behaviour towards Facebook advertising, across three countries, as well as the moderating role of privacy and general advertising attitudes. Online surveys were administered and a convenience sampling resulted in 1,166 respondents. Structural equation modelling was used to test the proposed model. The research indicates that the social support theory shows promise for examining the perceptions and attitudes towards SNA. Furthermore, the validity of the conceptual model is confirmed in all three countries; however, the strength of these relationships differs. Additionally, it is evident that consumers’ culture influences the role of privacy and trust in SNA perceptions …” Read more>

Critical determinants for mobile commerce adoption in Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises
Ngoc Tuan Chau, Hepu Deng & Richard Tay
“This paper investigates the critical determinants of mobile commerce (m-commerce) adoption in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam. A comprehensive review of the related literature leads to the development of a conceptual framework to better understand m-commerce adoption in organisations. This framework is then tested and validated using structural equation modelling on the data collected from 513 Vietnamese SMEs. The study shows that perceived benefits, perceived compatibility, perceived security, organisational readiness, organisational innovativeness, customer pressures, government support, and managers’ IT knowledge are the critical determinants of m-commerce adoption. This study contributes to a better understanding of m-commerce adoption in developing countries, particularly in Vietnam. It can facilitate the development of m-commerce in SMEs by providing evidence-based strategies and policies …” Read more>

Live streaming commerce from the sellers’ perspective: implications for online relationship marketing
Apiradee Wongkitrungrueng, Nassim Dehouche & Nuttapol Assarut
“Live streaming has recently become a popular direct selling channel which offers small, self-employed sellers unseen levels of consumer interaction and engagement. While the extant research focused on consumer motivation and intention to shop via live streaming, little is known from the seller’s perspective. Indeed, the potential advantages of live streaming commerce are accessible to everyone, but sellers experience different levels of success with this medium. Using a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach, this study analyses Facebook data of live streaming sellers to assess the nature and extent of engagement metrics, and delineate the dynamic, interactive live streaming sales process. We identify four sales approaches and twelve strategies adopted in acquiring and retaining customers. This typology of sales approach representing seller-focused antecedents is mapped against the relationship process and outcomes to provide a framework for understanding relationship mechanisms in live streaming commerce …” Read more>

Beyond concern: socio-demographic and attitudinal influences on privacy and disclosure choices
Liam Pomfret, Josephine Previte & Len Coote
“The co-option of consumers as unwilling agents in their own surveillance has enabled significant abuses of consumer privacy. Previous studies have largely used privacy concern as a proxy for overall privacy attitudes. In this study, we implement a choice experiment in combination with measures adapted from Communication Privacy Management theory to enable a broader exploration of the influences of privacy attitudes by contextualising privacy as a negotiation about accessibility over contextual boundaries. Key findings suggest individuals’ social media disclosure decisions are influenced at least in part by their privacy attitudes, particularly with respect to information categories which may cue other personal information. Findings are also presented on consumers’ willingness to pay for privacy, with implications for alternative revenue streams not built on consumer surveillance …” Read more>

When gamification backfires: the impact of perceived justice on online community contributions
Thomas Leclercq, Ingrid Poncin, Wafa Hammedi, Avreliane Kullak & Linda D. Hollebeek
“While online communities may enhance firm performance, they commonly fail to retain members. To address this challenge, scholars and managers call for the use of gamification. However, despite gamification’s growing use in online communities, insight into its effect on member experience and behaviours remain limited. We hypothesise that gamification affects member-perceived distributive and procedural justice. In experimental studies, we assess the impact of in-gamification perceived justice on member contributions. We find that while high in-gamification perceived procedural justice acts as a necessary prerequisite for member contributions, high distributive justice can reduce game-related uncertainty, thereby rendering gamified practices less fun, particularly for low-engaged community members that tend to value rewards. We add to the literature by (a) pinpointing the core role of perceived justice in the persistence of online communities, and (b) unveiling that high distributive justice can lead gamification to backfire in online communities by affecting member experience and contributions …” Read more>


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