Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Managing Social Media and Consumerism: The Grapevine Effect in Competitive Markets

Another new book by Dr. Rajagopal, Professor and National Researcher at EGADE Business School, Mexico City. This book has been published on September 20, 2013 by Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, UK. Grapevine is an emerging informal channel of business communication and a critical element in building the posture of a firm in a competitive marketplace.  The grapevine effect is contributed by the social media through word-of-mouth that stretches throughout the market irrespective of the various measures taken by the firms to build their brand and competitive posture.  Grapevine generally develops under various consumer experiences on the firms, products, or services. The consumer perceptions lead to positive or negative effects of the grapevine in reference to the extent of satisfaction or dissatisfaction accrued on any incidence of business negotiation or product experience. The discussion in this book is divided into eleven chapters across three sections comprising evolution of social media, analysis of social media effects, and the synthesis.  

The discussions in this book harness the power of grapevines in reference to the social media appraisal on responsiveness and trust (SMART) that determine the value of firms in a competitive marketplace. This book reviews categorically the theories of informal communications, previous researches and analyzes the opinion sharing practices of consumers that provide strategic and tactical stewardship in business for competing firms. The book discusses new concepts related to efficiency and effectiveness of information sharing approaches and discusses multiple perspectives on effects of grapevine communication on firms in a competitive marketplace. This book significantly contributes to the existing literature and serves as a learning post and a think tank for students, researchers and business managers.

Reviewing the book Jane Fae Ozemik, a leading academic in UK and Founding Editor of Palgrave Macmillan journals says that Social media has only truly begun to have an impact in the last few years but already the potential impact is clear for all to see. Kudos to Rajagopal for portraying social media in his book as a growing psycho-dynamics and arguing the grapevine effect as an integrated constituent of modern marketing-mix.  Well on its way is a future in which conversation matters and in which conversations about a company’s products and brand are no longer under the control, in any sense, of the marketing departments historically responsible for information flow.

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