Marketing communication has inevitably become an integral part of any brand promotion strategy that is deemed to succeed amidst other competing products. The micro-movie is a new marketing communication channel that is being embraced by many organisations worldwide, especially in China. This proposal is based on the exploration effects of the micro-movie as a new marketing communication channel to brand marketing in China. Marketing communication is paramount to the improvement of sales, productivity, brand promotion, and awareness creation among others. Various marketing communication techniques that are primarily embraced by businesses include billboard advertisements, sale promotions, and live broadcasting on television channels among others. The introduction of modern-day advanced technology in the current global markets has led to the implementation of marketing communication channels that align with changing product demand, competition trends, and consumer behaviour among others. The application of videos and films to the micro-levels is one of the techniques that have recently emerged in the marketing industry.
China is one of the fast-developing markets in using micro-movie communication channels for brand marketing. Most companies produce short video coverage on brand marketing of products and air online. Consumers gain easier access to such videos with others downloading them to grasp more information about the products in their free time. The techniques are currently advancing due to the revolutionising digital technology platform in the business. Although the micro-movie communication strategy is becoming powerful in brand marketing, researchers have continued to explore its impacts during its infancy stages. This proposal seeks to explore the effects of micro-movie as a new marketing communication channel to brand marketing in China.
Model Foundation of the Micro-Movie Technique
The proposed study will focus on the AIDA model that elaborates the behaviour of consumers towards the purchase of a particular product due to the influence of the implementation of marketing communication strategy (Houman Andersen 2001).
The AIDA Model
The AIDA model is a behavioural approach that was developed by Strong in 1925 to ensure that marketing communication techniques were used effectively to create the awareness of products amongst consumers by stimulating their interests. This strategy led to consumer satisfaction by guiding their actions (Lin & Huang 2006). The model is widely viewed as a method for persuasion since it affects the consumer’s thinking when an advert concerning a product is developed (Hackley 2010; Gurau 2008). In addition, the approach holds that the effectiveness of marketing communication depends on particular conditions such as commanding attention, leading the interests of consumers towards a given product, and developing the buyers’ desires to use or own the product. Lastly, the model ensures that the consumer is convinced to the point of purchasing the product (Aryal 2005; Hu 2014).
Various stages that a consumer must pass include the creation of awareness, interest, desire, and action. Market communication techniques are successful when they are designed in a way that the consumer undergoes the four stages without ignoring any of them. The model stresses that any marketing communication strategy must inject memorable information about a product to enable a consumer to act in a given way (Sanayei, Shahin, & Amirosadt 2013). Although the model is deemed effective, especially when used in advertisements, some researchers affirm that there is no tangible evidence of either linear or rational consumer behaviour (Baumgartner & Pieters 2003). The use of mass media in advertising fails to properly stimulate the actions of consumers in many instances. For instance, it does not include the environment, context, and mediation in its framework for ensuring marketing effectiveness (Sanayei, Shahin, & Amirosadt 2013). According to Hongtao et al. (2013), the model can successfully be used in other techniques of marketing communication rather than the micro-movie approaches to brand marketing.
Marketing communication is a combination of all types of messages or techniques that are used for advertising selected brands, public relations, sales promotion, direct or personal selling, customer service, product placement, and packaging among others (Park 2014; Thackeray et al. 2008). Park (2014) posits that marketing communication is an effective way through which brand building can be achieved successfully. Digital platform technology has significantly revolutionised the usage of the internet in the last decade. This state of play has led to the emergence of a plethora of marketing opportunities that have been great for businesses worldwide. The technology transformation has also brought about an interactive two-way communication marketing technique that has promoted consumer-vendor relations (Krishnamurthy 2006; Stewart & Pavlou 2002).
The usage of the internet has broken boundaries that initially existed between consumers and retailers. Currently, many businesses use the Internet in the distribution of products on a global scale; hence, consumers are reached easily (Stewart & Pavlou 2002). Adegoke (2004) attested that online marketing communication emerged as an important aspect of enterprise promotion. The highlighted literary works have explained marketing communication with regards to advertisement and product replacement. However, none of them explicates the micro-movie system as one of the aspects of market communication in contemporary organisations.
Richards and Curran (2002) posit that advertising is a communication process that emanates from a well-known source that is paid to persuade the consumers to purchase goods or services that are produced by the organisation. Most companies view advertisement as one of the best approaches to market communication when there is a need to reach potential customers or build brand image (Koh, Hu, & Clemons 2010). The primary advantage of using advertisement is its effectiveness in reaching many people at lower costs. It is also effective when a company needs to differentiate its products from those of the competitors in the same market niche (Fang & Feng 2012; Yang 2006).
Zhao (2013) notes online advertisement is becoming common amongst diverse businesses. The information can be easily delivered to the targeted markets through video clips and interactive sports among others (Jeng et al. 2010). The literature concerning advertisement as a marketing technique by Yang (2006) among other researchers mentions the use of video clips and online advertising but none of them reviews micro-movie as a communication technique for marketing company brands (Jensen 2008; Chen & Xie 2008).
Another aspect of marketing communication is product placement. It entails entertainment during the marketing of a product. The technique is a form of paid marketing communication that is aimed at influencing the audience towards a given product. The consumers or the audience are entertained through a programme where the product is introduced deliberately in the entertainment (Lehu 2007; Balasubramanian, Karrh, & Patwadhan 2006). According to Cowley and Barron (2008), product placement is a combination of publicity and advertising that is used to influence the audience who are unaware of the intention of the commercial affair to air the product. The aim is to generate an association towards the product placed; hence it ensures that the consumer perceptions are diverted towards the placed brand (Cowley & Barron 2008).
The current advancement in technology has enabled many consumers to shift from watching television programs. Many companies are currently using product placement in movies and online programmes to ensure that consumers are aware of various brands (Mackay et al. 2009). There is a decreased popularity in television advertising due to increased competition and costs. Other issues that have raised a significant concern include ignoring formal advertisements. As a result, there is a need to embrace the micro-movie communication technique to ensure effective brand marketing (Lee & Faber 2007).
Micro-Movie Marketing Communication Technique
Micro-movie usage in China arose since more stringent measures on copyright were put in place by the government to control the online video service providers (Weber & Jia 2007). This set of circumstances led to an increase in the costs of copyright; hence, adapting to such conditions was only through the development of micro-movies (Mercurio 2012). The intense competition in the video market in China was also a reason that made most businesses ensure that their products were highly differentiated from those of the competitors (Westland 2012). Advancement in technology has led to an increased number of people viewing videos online. As a result, most organisations have shifted their focus to online-based advertisements. The creation of short online videos is now frequently used by audio-visual providers and marketers (Lim 2006).
According to Phillips and McQuarrie (2010), micro-movie communication is used to market brands due to its effectiveness in persuasion. The marketing approach motivates consumers by ensuring that they process messages easier to grasp more information about a given product. In their research, Phillips and McQuarrie (2010) used consumers who were being persuaded to products using micro-movies during transportation. They further stated that such consumers were cognitively and effectively absorbed in the story. This situation made them treat fiction as real; hence, they grasped the information about the products. Due to the effectiveness in the persuasion of consumers using the micro-movie communication, Phillips and McQuarrie (2010) recommend that the use of the technique is far more advantageous as compared to the print advertisements that lack drama aspects and quality required to lure more consumers. Escalas and Stern (2003) further attested that even a 60-second drama on television has no magnitude as compared to micro-movies in communicating a product to consumers.
A problem that concerns narration in transportation as mentioned by Phillips and McQuarrie (2010) is that the adverts always trigger the scepticism of consumers. In this manner, they lead to the inability of their mental immersions into the stories. Green and Brock (2000) proposed that the technique was suitable for solving such problems. Micro-movie usage in advertisement attracts voluntary viewing, especially when used online for entertainment (Slater & Rouner 2002). However, the researchers have not explicitly mentioned the various effects of micro-movie communication techniques on their effectiveness in ensuring the alertness of consumers during the short entertainment period when promoting the brand among others. The proposed study seeks to provide more elaboration on both the positive and negative effects of micro-movie communication techniques in brand marketing.
Research Aim and Objectives
The proposed study will aim at exploring the effects of micro-movie as a new marketing communication channel to brand marketing in China. To effectively meet the aim of the study, the following objectives will be achieved.
- To identify various marketing communication channels used for brand marketing in China.
- To identify various effects of micro-movie application as a new communication channel for brand marketing in China.
The purpose of the study is to explore the effects of micro-movie as a new marketing communication channel to brand marketing in China.
The study will address the following hypotheses.
- H0: Micro-movie marketing communication channel does not have an impact on brand marketing in China.
- H1: Micro-movie marketing communication channel has an impact on brand marketing in China.
Primary Research Questions
- What various marketing communication channels are used for brand marketing in China?
- What are the effects of micro-movie communication channels on brand marketing in China?
Limitations of the Study
The study will only focus on exploring the effects of the micro-movie system as a new marketing communication approach to brand marketing in China. The proposed research will also be limited to a qualitative research design and analysis.
The research will major on a qualitative research design that suits the topic of study (Tracy 2010). The research will be conducted in organisations within China that embrace the micro-movie communication channel for brand marketing. Data will be obtained from self-completion questionnaires that will be administered and filled online by the respondents on the websites of the selected companies. The respondents will comprise both the management and employees of the chosen organisations (Turner III 2010).
Instrument to be used
Online self-completion questionnaires will be used to collect data. The questionnaire will entail the personal information of the employees and companies where they belong. It will cover closed, open-ended, and multiple-choice questions. The instrument will be developed in simple English language to ensure easy understanding of the study questions (Van Selm & Jankowski 2006).
The chosen sample will comprise 800 respondents from five companies. 160 respondents will be selected from each company. Only 5 per cent of the respondents from each organisation will constitute the management. The participants will be selected using both random and quasi-sampling strategies. The questionnaires will then be submitted online as agreed with the respondents (Hirzel & Guisan 2002).
The rationale of the Selection
China was selected for the study as the country has many organisations that are currently using micro-movies as a marketing communication channel for brand marketing. The chosen sampling design is appropriate for the study since it will focus on the qualitative study design.
Data Analysis for Demographic Variables
The demographic variables that will be considered in the study include age, education, and experience on the usage of micro-movies for brand marketing (Enders 2010).
Validity and Reliability of the Instrument
Concerning the validity and reliability of the instrument, a Pearson Moment Correlation and Cronbach’s Alpha will be set at a 0.5 value to ensure the elimination of errors (Gugiu, Coryn, & Applegate 2010). To avoid biases, a random sampling technique will be selected to ensure that all the respondents have equal chances of participation.
Ethics for the Research
The research will be conducted after seeking permission from the departmental heads of various organisations that will be selected. Authorisation of the relevant authorities of the institution will also guarantee the execution of the study. The respondents will be issued online consent forms to participate in the study willingly. Upon their acceptance, they will be counted for the research (Fox et al. 2012).
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