HomeDissertation:Rethinking BtoB Communications from the Perspective of Involvement

Rethinking BtoB Communications from the Perspective of Involvement

5.Different Communication Spheres of AI and SAS

Now, 10 years after AISAS was announced, the effects of the net have come more clearly into focus, and it is evident that looking at AISAS as a unified process is not very realistic. More appropriately, it could be said that the communication spheres of the “AI” and “SAS” in AISAS are basically quite different and are linked only sometimes. This is because recipient response in the low-involvement state and in the high-involvement state cannot be thought of as being consistently linked.

As mentioned above, consumers and customers will perform information-related actions as it suits them, depending on their degree of involvement. For example, few people will regularly check information on the net and post frequent reviews about an alcoholic beverage or soft drink that they consume habitually. On the other hand, the SAS process, involving searching, purchase action, and sharing, will often be performed voluntarily in an area of high involvement, even without being prompted by advertisements intended to create interest. A clear example of this is the area of hobby activities. The net has made it very easy for people to actively look for information, take action, and also produce content in their areas of high involvement. This applies to a temporary high involvement in durable consumer goods as well, such as when intending to buy a car. Information is collected, an action is taken, and the results are publicized. Many women with interest in cosmetics and similar items will pursue the SAS cycle process on their own volition.

One thing to consider here is the fact that the SAS process, which has been regarded as a bidirectional, dialog-type process happening on the net between enterprises and consumers/customers, is in actual fact quite an uncontrollable area. It has been assumed that businesses always will properly disseminate information via their websites, social network services, and so on (which is indeed absolutely necessary), and measures such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) aimed at improving search engine response are in high demand. But even when these requirements are met, consumers and customers with a high degree of involvement will not always behave in the intended manner precisely because of their high-involvement status.

Ultimately, the communication spheres of the AI and SAS processes are fundamentally distinct. With regard to low-involvement consumers, it could be said that their behavior rather fits the older AIDA process model.

Of course, there are cases where AISAS as a fully linked model applies. While not a commodity, a typical example is excitement on the net related to popular television programs and other mass media content. And in what could be termed “reverse AISAS,” we also quite often see cases where topics and themes from the realm of SAS are being taken up in the domain of AI. However, these apply to a particular kind of content (which is quite frequently negative) and cannot be said to be the norm. Ultimately, the AISAS model has contributed to emphasizing the effect of net-based communication, but the model itself is hampered by an inherent problem in so far as it links two communication spheres applying to a different degree of involvement.

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