New technologies strongly influence the way how companies interact with consumers through multiple distribution and communication channels. Cross-channel management refers to the coordination and alignment of those different channels in line with overall business strategies. Participants of this course will learn to know recent changes in consumer behavior and companies’ strategies and instruments to respond to these changes and create a higher customer value. Social media (i.e., technologies connecting consumers with each other) are among the most significant drivers of the changes in the marketplace. Students will better understand social mechanisms that influence consumer behavior on the Internet and evaluate the opportunities and threats that arise from computer-mediated communication and distribution activities. Specifically, participants will learn to assess the value of social media and explore new ways of enhancing the customer value through new media. First, social media enable not only direct interactions with customers, but also offer new opportunities to distribute information in social networks. This course will give an overview of the impact of information flows in social networks and discuss how companies can induce word-of-mouth mechanisms. Second, companies receive more information through the Internet than ever before, but often still struggle to use those information effectively. Participants will understand how targeting and personalization technologies can lead to competitive advantages. Third, cross-channel management integrates social media according to the value proposition and aligns them with distribution channels such as online-shops, physical stores, and mobile channels. To prepare the participants for future positions in management departments, they will learn methods to conduct field research and empirically evaluate potential strategies. The course will include interactive exercises and case studies to practice analytical thinking, creative development and team communication.
"The Fabrics of Dreams - Cultural Creation, Consumer Trends, and Social Media"
“Following one’s own dream” is a defining attribute of Western cultures that represents a highly individualistic orientation. “Dreams” exemplify very strong consumer aspirations that typically reach their peak moments during early adolescence, but are still influential for consumption in later life stages. Beyond the individual effects, these needs and aspirations can accumulate into whole waves of consumer demands (i.e., trends) and subsequently shape culture and consumption for decades. But to what extent do we self-determine our dreams and how strongly are dreams influenced by the societal trends seeded through media, and more recently, through social media?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the pioneers of Western cultures as well as the most successful artists of our time transferred projected self-concepts from “dreams” into trends such as “Sturm und Drang” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) or “Grunge” (Kurt Donald Cobain). Also many consumer industries center around the creation and communication of “dreams”, relating to products and services. Advertising commonly uses the significance of trends in popular cultures in the use of brand associations, the collaboration with popular actors, and the adoption of cultural aesthetics and meanings. Conversely, music from TV commercials reaches top positions in billboard charts (e.g., Coke), modern consumption becomes the subject of art (e.g., Andy Warhol), and sometimes even whole film plots happen to be centered around product placements (e.g., Cast Away). Brand advertising is therefore one prominent – but not the only – avenue in which consumer research meets trends in popular culture.
As these trends seem to be strongly linked with mechanisms in consumer behavior, the observed links may provide new perspectives and innovative insights into trend development as well as open up new possibilities for brand positioning. However, one of many questions both for artists and brands is for example to what extent they should rely on their unique resources (talent) and to what extent they should align themselves to current trends in the marketplace.
This course is designed to assess the “fabrics of dreams”, that is, the ideological material that creates needs and aspirations and accumulates into trends. Students will analyze conditions under which trends in popular cultures emerge and learn to know psychological mechanisms from consumer research. The course will feature discussions with artists and industry representatives to receive insights into the process of cultural material production and discuss these insights based on empirical findings from consumer research. The course will also provide an outlook on future uses of online social media for trend origination and spreading and its impact on individual consumers and cultural developments.
This course is relevant for students interested in arts, media, marketing, psychology, and sociology.
- Bachelorseminar Social Media and Cross Channel: Storytelling in Digital Marketing (Prof. Dr. Oliver Emrich)
- Digital Marketing (Prof. Dr. Oliver Emrich)
- Digital Marketing (Übung) (Prof. Dr. Oliver Emrich)
- Seminar Social Media Management: Kulturmanagement (Prof. Dr. Oliver Emrich; Jana-Verena Gerhart)
- Seminar Social Media Management: Netnographie (Prof. Dr. Oliver Emrich)
- The Fabrics of Dreams: Cultural Creation, Consumer Trends and Social Media (Prof. Dr. Oliver Emrich)