Aproximación cuantitativa y cualitativa al marketing con causa viral en redes sociales: un estudio cross-cultural

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The intensification of brand competition and the increasing difficulty of corporate messages reaching customers are two of the great challenges that companies face today by using different marketing strategies. Cause-related marketing and viral marketing are two strategies gaining prominence in both marketing plans and academic research. This Doctoral Thesis makes an up to date contribution to these two traditional research areas by studying the phenomenon of viralised cause-related marketing communications through social networks. To do this, Internet users' emotional, attitudinal and viralising behaviour responses were analysed. A dual quantitative and qualitative approach is replicated in two contexts: (I) a global international context integrated by several cultures and (II) a comparative cross-cultural context of different cultures. The quantitative study has been carried out using a hypothesis testing approach, which follows two main objectives: (I) to quantify the degree of influence of the emotions generated by a cause-related ad on the attitudes and viral behaviours of an audience and (II) to verify the moderating role of culture in this type of responses. For this, information was collected from a 1,232 Internet users sample through an online survey (465 Spanish, 195 British and 572 Ecuadorian). A structural equation modelling analysis and a cross-cultural multisample analysis have been applied to the data collected. The qualitative study has been proposed with an exploratory approach based on research questions that follows two main objectives: (I) to determine the sign of the prevailing sentiment (positive or negative) emitted by the audience and to analyse the content of both positive and negative arguments, in both cases towards (a) the advert, (b) the cause and (c) the brand; (II) broken-down by cultures (Spanish, British and Ecuadorian), on the one hand, the prevailing positive/negative sentiment and, on the other hand, the content of both positive and negative arguments, in both cases towards (a) the advert, (b) the cause and (c) the brand. To achieve this, 395 comments from Spanish, Ecuadorian and British respondents have been analysed. This information has been processed by using sentiment analysis and content analysis techniques. The main contributions of this Doctoral Thesis can be summarised in five aspects: (I) it contributes to decoding the complex processing mechanism of online cause-related marketing claims by consumers; (II) it sheds light on the positive impact emotional and creative resources have on viralisation of marketing messages; (III) it helps to clarify the relationship between affective and cognitive blocks of latent variables by contrasting the sequential multivariable process "emotions─attitudes─behaviour"; (IV) this Thesis achieves international validation of its conclusions when applied in Spain, United Kingdom and Ecuador; and (V) a dual quantitative and qualitative knowledge is obtained.
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