Second funding period (2018-2021)
Visual brand presence in digital social media
Mark Heitmann, Christian Barrot, Henrik Sattler, Detlef Schoder
More than 3 billion images are shared every day on digital social media (DSM) such as Twitter, Snapchat or WhatsApp. These image data have not been investigated in scientific marketing research despite the growing number of brand logos in DSM. Applications include social media campaigns and tracking of visual brand presence relative to the competition. In the second funding period, the marketing relevance of visual brand presence shall be investigated. Stylized facts on campaign optimization and performance indicators shall be developed.
Project A2 is a natural extension of the previous research, which was limited to text communication with empirical applications in the music industry. According to the results, specific content categories of firm communication impact online demand, network structure, and network communication over and above communication volume. Considering the development in the meantime, this research now investigates brand-related visual communication across more industries.
Machine learning algorithms are available to accomplish this. These are capable of detecting 2 objects and faces with increasing precision and can be relatively easily trained to detect brand logos. Empirically, Twitter appears an appropriate medium of investigation, since it has reached a particular prominence with regard to publicly accessible image communication. 8.5 million Tweets
on more than 270 different brands of various industries have been collected so far. On a post level, these data allow studying which factors are conducive to the dissemination of brand logos in DSM (e.g., size/ position of the logo, surrounding objects, faces, sentiments, contrasts, associated texts). Google search queries, website traffic, and survey-based brand trackings are available at the brand level to investigate the relationship between visual brand presence and brand success across time. The results will provide a first scientific indication of the relevance of visual brand presence in DSM and point out key success factors in terms of DSM dissemination.
First funding period (2015-2018)
Building social networks of success by suppliers
Mark Heitmann, Sönke Albers, Detlef Schoder
The main purpose of this project is to empirically evaluate the short- and long-term economic value of existing customer networks. In doing so the dynamic evolution of firm networks are analyzed over time, focusing on network structure (i.e., network size, an extension of cross-links between members) and network communication (i.e., volume and content). Specifically, this project aims to reveal the relationships between corporate communication (i.e., volume and content, length of postings), corporate activities (i.e., updates of social network pages, friendship requests), network buzz (i.e., volume of consumer communication) as well as network structure (i.e., size, density, betweenness) and further analyzes the impact of this interplay on online success (i.e., consumer demand).
The empirical research model incorporates short- and long-term effects of corporate communication as well as activities and thus facilitates the quantification of the interplay between the dimensions described above. The results help to optimize network communication and activities in digital social media. Firms will be enabled to catalyze network growth, to strengthen network loyalty and to foster short- and medium-term hedonic media product demand.