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Title: Does digital marketing influence purchase intention? : an action researcher reflexive narrative
Author: Gopee, Preetee Shalinee
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 5819
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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Organisations are conscious that digital is altering the traditional way of doing business and in the process digital is shifting control from the seller-side to the buyer-side of the conventional transaction equation. Organisational leaders are taking an active position to ensure their organisations have what it takes to regain at least some of that control. In the process of doing so, organisations are rushing to become more digital and to rethink how they should apply digital capabilities in a manner that would enable them staying attuned to customers behavioural intentions. Digital is becoming instrumental to firms relying on data and metrics that deliver insights about customers that could in turn drive marketing and sales decisions. In fact, digital is becoming mainstream in organisations, making its way into every activity undertaken to influence purchase. Likewise, digital is taken over marketing activities, from the higher-level reshaping their fundamentals to influence purchase intentions, all the way to the microlevel of specific purchase intention-influencing activities. Throughout my time as a marketing practitioner at various financial services organisations (FSOs), I observed substantial differences between how sellers influence the buyers purchase intentions and how buyers shape their own intentions to purchase. I also noticed that marketers tend to take an inside-out approach when designing digital marketing activities. Therefore, when it was time to identify a research issue, I chose to explore the influence of digital activities on purchase intention. I opted for the description of purchase intention by Vernette (1998), cited in Bouhlel et al (2010), which is 'a predisposition to make a purchase'. Rehmani and Khan (2011) observe that purchase intentions are regarded as indications of actual purchasing choice and thus they should be closely monitored. My explorative expedition is guided by the question 'Does digital marketing influence purchase intention?' The research question is posed from a point of practical reflexivity. I engaged with the marketers in my practice to explore whether their digital marketing activities were influencing purchase intention. I encouraged my marketing colleagues to reflect in their action of designing digital marketing activities. I elected Action Research (AR) as my core research methodology because I believe AR offers an appropriate platform on which the marketers can engage in critical and self-critical reflection, to self-evaluate their digital marketing practice, and to improve their own work and organisational situations. I chose to investigate the significance financial advisors (FAs) are attributing to digital marketing as an influencer of their purchase intentions. I reckoned marketers at the firm were putting considerable efforts in understanding how the financial advisor frames her/his own purchase intention. Yet, I felt the marketers were falling short of placing the financial advisors at the core of their action for building digital activities to influence purchase intention. Before initiating the insider AR project with the practitioners, a quantitative online survey was administered to the FAs that amongst others asked them how likely is it that digital marketing would influence their purchase intention. The FAs response which was 'it is unlikely or even very unlikely' has motivated me to inspire marketers to adopt reflexivity and reflect in their actions of creating digital marketing activities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral