Fitgirls, they are everywhere!

Probably everyone has at least one friend in their social network who keeps posting pictures of healthy food, work-out videos or even bikini pictures on social media websites to update all their how healthy they are being. The pictures or videos are probably also accompanied by inspiring quotes, recipes with superfoods or their opinion on how easy and fun it is to get in shape! Yes, I am talking about self-proclaimed ‘fitgirls’ and how they are starting to take over our social media homepages.

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Shipping made easy with Shyp

The e-commerce industry is growing faster and faster. Last decade we saw a huge shift from shopping offline to shopping online, which will has serious implications for physical stores. For example V&D, after a long time of struggling, the company finally went bankrupt. Following by Perry Sport and Aktiesport, which also went bankrupt last week. However, the shift to online shopping results in a logistical challenge because of all the packages need to be send. The delivery services from these e-commerce companies are becoming more efficient and customer friendly. However, if a customer wants to resend a product or want to ship a product to another place around the world,  this will lead to time-consuming and complicated actions for the customer. Shyp provides a solution for these shipping struggles.

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Trust As a Currency in Social Commerce

Not too long ago e-commerce transformed the way we evaluate and buy products. The ability to search for products from a vast selection, evaluate them based on their ratings and reviews left by other users, mostly strangers, of the products on the online e-commerce platform revolutionized the shopping and browsing habits. The advent of social media has brought about another big upheaval into this trend. Now, we take into account what our online “friends” or acquaintances are saying about those products. The power of our relationships and the higher trust we put on our online friends’ opinions has much bigger influence on our own view to the products we consume.

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Wakie, Wakie-Meet the social alarm clock

More than half of us hit the snooze button daily (Greatist, 2014), after all, who wouldn’t like to sleep just for 10 more minutes. However, it turns out that snoozing can actually make the situation worse and we can end up feeling groggier and less energized. Therefore, more and more new products are being produced for us to effectively deal with the trouble of waking up in the morning, from running alarm clocks, to carpets that force you to actually stand up for a minute and listen to motivational quotes.

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Snapchat’s ingenious moves towards monetizing its user base

With certainty I can say that at least 99% of you are familiar with the app SnapChat, which allows you to capture your barefaced party selfies and videos and send them to your beloved friends without regretting it the day after. Since its inception in September 2011, the popularity of the app has been growing at rapid pace and this has resulted in a 100 million daily active user base worldwide. So far so good, all credits to the development team, right? However, as a similar story to most platforms, SnapChat did not even have a thought-through strategy on how to obtain revenues from their fast-growing user base (Morrison, 2015). Yet, quite recently, this has changed…

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Customers vs marketers: who has a bigger influence?

The rise in popularity of social networking sites has led to user generated content and word of mouth to become popular sources of information. Marketers have identified this trend as well and currently there is hardly any company that does not have their own Facebook page or Twitter account where marketers post content regularly and interact with the customers in name of the company. Both the user-generated content and marketer generated content are popular and everyday used tools, but what exactly is their impact on our purchasing behavior? In this research Goh et al. (2013) want to test this through the following research question:  how is consumer purchase behavior influenced by user-generated content and marketer generated content in social media brand communities and if and how do the communication modes matter?

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Brigade: Redefining Politics, Civic Engagement and Democracy?

In today’s democracy, politicians have a tough time reaching millennials. In the same way as religion, Western politics currently faces difficulties to create affiliation with the latest generations. Especially, the themes of politics and voting have lost interest of the younger generations over time:

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The perception of privacy

In 2010 Facebook was receiving a lot of criticism because it had changed their privacy policy to require users to opt-out if they wished to keep their personal information private as it made most of their information publicly available (Bilton, 2010). The privacy policy around that time counted an astonishing 5,830 words, whereby Bilton (2010) compares it to the United States Constitutions, which counts, without any of its amendments, 4,543 words. For users that wanted to opt-out and change their privacy settings to hide their information from the public, they needed to go over 50 privacy settings and choosing among over 170 options. On May 26 of 2010, Facebook unveiled a simplified method for controlling privacy on the social media network, and acknowledged that their privacy settings had become to complicated. This change did however not influence the way the algorithm worked to determine, which advertisements was displayed, targeted, because the advertisement platform used anonymous data. In this respect advertisers could still target ads to Justin Bieber fans and personalise the advertising message. 

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A Digital Personal Banker, for Everyone.

How brings personalized asset management to the masses.

As problems go, being tired from all these lunches with your private banker is one of the better ones to have. While private bankers offer high quality financial advice that enables their clients to successfully build wealth. They are only available to millionaires and even these privileged few pay high annual fees. The less fortunate are stuck with standardized financial services such as mutual funds or stock trackers. What if we could use software to make personalized investment decisions for us? Would it be a digital personal banker for the average Joe?

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Reducing Risks of New Product Development

In today’s market it is increasingly difficult to adjust your products to the quickly changing preferences of customers. One of the consequences is that forecasting the potential sales is getting more difficult. It is very bad for businesses to launch products which turn out to be a failure. Most of the time new products launches suffer from failure rates of 50% and higher. The reason for this is mostly due to the gap between customer needs and the actual product. It is not because the product is not working well or because of bad design. (Ogawa & Piller, 2006)

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Blogging: Influencing readers

Do online reviews matter? Yes they do. Word-of-Mouth is a concept most of you are familiar with. WOM occurs when an individual communicates his or her preferences on an item, product or service that they have previous experiences with (Abălăesei, 2014). The traditional definition states it is ‘oral, person-to person communication between receiver and a communicator whom the receiver perceives as non- commercial, regarding a brand, product or service’ (Kaijasilta 2013, p.7). However with the popularity of the internet increasing several studies introduced the concept of eWOM.

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You’re saying it wrong! It’s community relationship management, not social customer relationship management!

The use of social media has exploded over the last decade. As an example, Facebook has over 1 billion users worldwide, of which more than 800 million use the platform on a daily basis (Rademaker, 2014). According to the article from Ang (2010), as a reaction many organizations have dived into social media platforms hoping to enhance organizational performance. These organizational efforts to benefit from social media platforms (especially within the functional areas of sales, marketing and service) have been filed under the term social customer relationship management (social CRM). However, for many managers it is unclear how social media platforms can be leveraged to benefit their organization. The author of the article suggests this is partly due to the fact that customers are confused with online community members. The popularized tem social CRM is there for incorrect. He suggests the term community relationship management (CoRM), as it better reflects the characteristics of what people do on social media platforms.

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Neural correlates of susceptibility to group opinions in online word-of-mouth recommendations


This study examines the relationship between social influence and recommendation decisions among adolescents in the new media environment. Participants were asked to complete the ´App Recommendation Task´, a task that captures neural processes associated with making recommendations to others, with and without information about peer recommendations of the type commonly available online.

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Online C2C communication VS purchase behavior

Have you ever discussed products online with other customers? Nowadays, a lot of platforms and forums provide the opportunity to share your opinion and experiences with others. According to the article ‘The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behavior’, several aspects of this C2C communication influence our buyer behavior.

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Are we making money of online advertising?


Advertising as we know these days have changed so much from what it used to be a decode ago. First thing any marketing manager thinks of when it comes to devising a marketing strategy is to figure out the online advertising channels. But is it really bring in money? How much of the money invested in online advertising is actually getting converted to sales revenue? Paul R. Hoban and Randolph E. Bucklin, analyzed this same concept in a paper that we are going to dig deeper in this blog post.

Challenge with the study:

The main challenge in studying the effects of online ads on consumers is there is a widespread selection effect. Users browsing patterns and their preferences affect the impact of the advertising. To overcome these selection bias, the paper focuses on profitability or conversion during the purchase funnel. The life cycle of the user follows the four different stages: Non visitor, visitor, registered user and converted customer.


The method used here is to have two different groups: Control and Treatment group. Control group have similar ad displays as that of the treatment group, but their ads are of some charity firm whereas the treatment group had a focused firm for advertising. This is to help control the selection bias. During the experiment, for the first digital interaction the users were randomly selected into one of the two groups.

Findings from the experiment:

Based on the experiment, they have found the effectiveness for various stages of the users as follows:

Non Visitor: Helps in creating the brand image since the user has never visited the brand’s website. Here the ads
have a little effect in conversions.

Visitor: Users who have already visited the site before and had not created registered accounts, seeing the online ads will have little or no effect. If they hadn’t done that previously, there is a very little chance the ads will trigger them to do.

Registered Users: On the other hand, for registered users, the ads might trigger an emotion motivating them to make a purchase and in that case they have a good effect in conversion rates.

Converted Users: People who had already made a purchase with the brand, the ads might serve as a memory but might not have an effect in making them purchase again. There was no clear result obtained from the paper about the converted users.


The experiment showcased how the online advertising will impact different customer group segments. By leveraging this and varying the frequency and carryover effects we can increase the marginal effects of exposure. For example, this effect is more prominent for non visitors and less prominent for already converted users. The main limitation of this paper is that the experiment is carried out only for one particular firm. So the results can’t be generalized. There could be same users opening multiple browsers viewing similar ads. That might hinder the estimation. Thus this paper provides numerous opportunities for further research in this domain.


Paul R. Hoban Randolph E. Bucklin February 2015, “Effects of Internet Display Advertising in the Purchase Funnel: Model-Based Insights from a Randomized Field Experiment”

Manchanda, Puneet, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Khim Yong Goh, and Pradeep K. Chintagunta (2006), “The Effect of Banner Advertising on Internet Purchasing,” Journal of Marketing Research, 43 (1), 98-108.

How Brand Community Practices Create Value

We all know that the power of the brand. Also, we do know that part of power of the brand holds in the consumers themselves. They create, co-create value, actively collaborate in the firm’s innovation process and sometimes co-create the entire marketing program. But what happens inside of the companies themselves and in which ways they interact with consumers?

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Your Google results matter: BrandYourself

Let’s be honest. How many platforms and websites are we on? Is it feasible to keep up with all our online data on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Alumni Websites ect.? At the same time, whenever we have to meet someone new, we instantly Google that person to get our first impression. Companies invest heavily in their online presence and Google results, but nowadays all individuals should consider putting more effort in personal branding. 1 billion names are googled daily and 75% of hiring managers are required to google job applicants. It is well known that recruiters often Google candidates, so we shouldn’t risk a new position or a potential new date with poor Google presence.

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Staff Finder: The end of employment agencies

According to Marjolein ten Hoonte, permanent contracts and collective employee agreements do not exist in 2030. Ten Hoonte is the general manager Labor Market of Randstad employment agency. According to her, the only thing what matters in the future labor market are your skills and competences (, 2011). If this is true, then creating a platform between employees and employers would be a great opportunity.

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Get The People Talking

As the internet and rise of online communities has changed the role and possibilities of word-of-mouth (WOM) for both companies and consumers, companies are increasingly looking into techniques to influence WOM. The reason is simple, happy customers are the best advertisers that you can have (Sernovitz, 2006). Kozinets et al. (2010) studies the current situation that marketers are facing and how to employ social media marketing methods in order to leverage online WOM.

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“Better a good neighbor than a far friend”. Nextdoor, the social network for your neighborhood.

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, make it easier than ever to connect with your friends, relatives, and business relations. Although technology makes it easier to connect with everybody, we often forget what happens in our own neighborhood. In the United States for example, a third has never met their own neighbors (Dahl, 2015). The importance of a good relationship with your neighbors is translate into the Dutch expression:

“Better a good neighbor than a far friend”

Nextdoor is trying to solve this problem by making people aware of what happens in your neighborhood and connect the local community.

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