HomeDissertation:Rethinking BtoB Communications from the Perspective of Involvement

Rethinking BtoB Communications from the Perspective of Involvement

7.“Back to Basics” Communication

Net communication blossomed in the latter half of the 2000s, which was also a time in which some rather extreme claims were made, such as that the net would solve all marketing problems. However, the market for books and music, where net-based distribution has grown significantly, is shrinking. On the one hand, there are people who are so dependent on the net that they are called social media addicts, but on the other hand, TV programs with audience ratings of more than 40% have also appeared. The net certainly has brought about a variety of changes, but now is the time to evaluate these changes with a cool head in order to judge their usefulness as marketing tools and to establish suitable usage patterns.

In fundamental terms, the modern world has almost reached the stage where something might as well not exist unless it is in a database. Like it or not, businesses must actively push out information that they want to convey. With regard to how this is done, unless a recipient-oriented distinction is made, at least between high-involvement and low-involvement persons, the communication will not be effective.

New methods and techniques for utilizing the net and digital data will doubtless continue to emerge, but no matter how sophisticated these methods become, the actual driving force and motivation that will cause information to spread is still found in the value of the product itself and the originality of the content. The tendency toward exaggerated expectations from the net-based approach, as reflected in expressions such as “bestseller on the net” or “got great reviews online,” will also settle down. The concept of “harvesting” customers for achieving increased sales over the net is often mentioned, but where no seeds have been sown, harvesting is not possible.

It goes without saying that consumers and customers are under no obligation whatsoever to accept communications from businesses. People interested in a certain field, that is, high-involvement persons, will obtain information on their own accord, while low-involvement persons will want to save time and effort. “Hot topics” on social media sites have little value for high-involvement persons and little interest for low-involvement persons. It is important to view things from the standpoint of recipients with different levels of involvement and to pursue anew the appropriate use of different modes of communication.

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