Research Area Update #1

The topic I have decided to focus on is Customer Relations Management. This is a broad topic. If we were to narrow down this topic even feather, one might ask the question how do companies engage their customer? Is it though online communities? If so what type of messages are they sending to their customers every day? Are they using web 2.0 platforms as if they were one way communication platforms? Or are they listening to their customers and individualizing each message they send?

The company that has won the most awards for the CRM program is Dell. I will be looking more indepth at their practices and asking the question what truly makes them successful? I will be using Radian6 to measure conversations that are currently going on around their topic.

Over the break I did more research on CRM and there were a couple of key words that continually came up in the articles. They key words were e-loyalty, e-satisfaction, and security. I looked more into e-loyalty and there seems to be a direct correlation in several articles I’ve read between e-loyalty, satisfaction, design and security. The user must feel both secure and comfortable with the design in order to be satisfied. If they are satisfied the premise is that the customers will return and remain loyal to the brand, service, or product thus establishing e-loyalty.

I have read several studies but they compare different countries. Some articles look at individualist verses collective societies. Other articles look at consumers in Asia, US, and Europe.

Research Area

Althought I have not completely narrowed down my research topic there are 3 things I am interested in. I have not listed them in the order of interest but rather in the order in which I have the most knowledge of.

1. Consumer empowerment – When companies create a space where consumers can congrigate and share ideas, the owernship truely becomes theirs. If you look at, there is a section called Curl Talk. Although the site has professional bloggers, users can also engage in online forums and ask questions, swap products, share their stories. They can do this by blogging, engaging in online forums or vlogging. I believe at the heart of the matter, we want to feel important and we want others to listen to us. We look for people that care about the same things that we do and will listen to us. We want others to know our frustrations and trumps because maybe we don’t have a friend in real life that will listen to our stories about specific things like finding the perfect products for our hair. It takes a lot of money, time, advice and experimentation. The beauty industry is about making you feel good and building up your self esteem. Companies can take advantage of this and offer advice to indvidual consumers because the right products are not going to work for everyone. Or at least companies want to provide that space so they can see the conversation first hand. Consumers are going to talk about your brand. Do you know what they are saying?

2. Customer Relations Management – How are companies engaging their online customers? Do they have a Facebook page or Twitter account? How often are they posting new content. Do they continually broadcoast advertisments or do they engage in meaningful conversations with their dedicated followers? How do companies encourage consumers to want to share their brand/lifestyle with their friends? Are people able to connect with each other through these mediums? I am more so interested in this topic from a marketing stand point. If companies are trying to constantly use social media platforms like one way communication then their fans will become deaf just like they have to television, print ads, and

3. Viral Marketing – Where does the campaign start? Is it the conversation around the campign that pushes the idea? When are companies imposing too much and making a message more annoying than exciting? What motivates users to want to spread the message? Should certain parts of the product be kept secret in order to build up the hype? I saw that a lot with the Verizon Wireless Droid campaign on television. One of the best commercials that went viral was the Old Spice commercials. What makes them so interesting? Is it the fact that they are random or funny? Or the fact that views don’t know what to expect?

Everything is Miscellaneous Prologue – My Thoughts

After reading the prologue from the book “Everything is Miscellaneous“, it is interesting to see how over the years retailers have invested billions of dollars into researching customer behavior. They study the customer’s eye movements and body language to understand how customers go through the process of selecting their products. They know how to set up their store to take advantage of the physical space so customers will have to walk past several items before they reach the product they are looking for. In doing so customers will end up spending more money than they originally planned.

Most customers usually don’t like to ask for help when it comes to shopping; they would rather browse freely. This is the reasons why retailers have so many signs set up all through out their stores. However they usually can’t fit any more than 3 bullet points on a sign before it become overwhelming. They also group related items together like the printers, printing paper, link, and cables. Setting up shelve heights according to eye level will also help a store sell more products. So many retails fight and bid for the precious space at the eye level of their demographic whether it’s men, women, or children.

After the revolution of the internet and online shopping, customers no longer have to look at everything else they are not interested in. They can by pass all the annoying sales people and go directly to the product they are interested in. This means that there is a much suppler opportunity for customers to engage in inplus buys. iTunes also understood this model and offer consumers the chance to buy the individual songs rather than forcing them to buy the whole album. Customers can browse for products in the way they want to. They don’t have to be restricted by the categories on the signs around the store.  The last sentence the author writes is “…information doesn’t just want to be free. It wants to be miscellaneous”.

Online Curly Hair Communities

Lately I have been obsessed with finding the right products for my curly hair so I’ve started following a variety of online curly hair communities. These range from websites, online forums, twitter accounts, and Facebook pages. I have since “liked” several Facebook groups including Naturally Curly, DevaCurl, Curly Hair Solutions, and AG Hair products.

DevaCurl is doing a great job with their online presence. On their Facebook community they post a variety of content and engage their followers. Posts can include: questions, contests, curly haired poems, advice, tours, book releases, and online videos. Many of their followers use this site to endalge their obsession for curly hair by sharing their stories, asking questions, and posting pictures. Anytime someone gets a DivaCut, specialized curly hair cut, they post a picture online. Until recently I was under the impression that Facebook helped you only to maintain your current connections, but now I realize that it can help you tap into a new newtork of people that share similar interests. A lot of times when I compliment curly haired pictures the person will respond back to me. Recently I made a new friend through the DevaCurl’s Facebook page and we have been sending long messages back and forth talking about the different products we’ve tried out. is by far the most extensive curly hair community. They have a presence on both Facebook and their own website. has their own classifications for different curly hair types. This is something that has been replicated through multiple brands such as DevaCurl and Curl Hair Solutions. They can individualize their customer service by recognizing that there are multiple curly hair types and needs. By doing this users can read other hair reviews, ask questions, read blogs with tips and advice, and enter to win contests. from people with similar hair types. It is connected to the online store

AG Hair Products is still needs to work on their Facebook page. They tend to post the same question or comment multiple times. I’m not sure if they feel the need to post the same thing at the top of their page every time or if they are not sure what else to post. DevaCurl tends to keep a constant dialog with the customers that does not stop on the weekends. Curly Hair Solutions tends to remain inactive on their Facebook Page over the weekend and they do not answer all of their users questions or not very quickly at least.

The most important thing that I have discovered is that there are users out there that are obsessed with finding the right products and they want to talk about their experiences.



October 2016
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