PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of marketing practices toward the online context in professional service firms (PSFs). PSFs’ new marketing practices are not well understood, despite their increasing importance to economies worldwide and recognition of their unique characteristics and the marketing challenges they face, particularly related to internet-based tools, such as social media. The aims of this article are: a) Do professional service firms adopt e-marketing practices, particularly innovative tools (e.g. social media)? b) If yes, how these tools can create value for these firms (e.g. helping firm to attract new customers, improving internal/external communication, etc.)? c) Are there any relationships between the intention to adopt or to better develop e-marketing tools and the potential increase of value perceived by firms? METHOD: Empirical data were collected from 1406 professional service providers through a nationwide survey particularly related to the accounting consultancy industry. Data analysis was conducted through descriptive statistics and a regression model. FINDINGS: Results showed traditional marketing tools were still the most common professional service providers’ marketing practices. Relating to e-marketing practices, most of the firms declared to have a website while very few of them used at least a social network for professional purposes. Not only actual but also the future intention to adopt or to improve innovative e-marketing tools have been investigated. Results highlighted a positive relationship between the likelihood to adopt/improve the adoption of social media and the related increase of value perceived by firms. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: This study focuses on a specific industry in only one country. There is the need to replicate the study in other countries or professional services, for instance banking, financial services, etc. ORIGINALITY: The results presented in the paper have important implications for researchers when modelling marketing practices and for professional service managers when undertaking marketing activities. Innovative e-marketing practices literature was investigated and enriched, exploring the impact of e-marketing tools on firm’s value perception.

IT Based Communication in Professional Service Firms: the Long and Winding Road.

CONFENTE, Ilenia;ZARDINI, Alessandro;MOLA, Lapo
2014-01-01

Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of marketing practices toward the online context in professional service firms (PSFs). PSFs’ new marketing practices are not well understood, despite their increasing importance to economies worldwide and recognition of their unique characteristics and the marketing challenges they face, particularly related to internet-based tools, such as social media. The aims of this article are: a) Do professional service firms adopt e-marketing practices, particularly innovative tools (e.g. social media)? b) If yes, how these tools can create value for these firms (e.g. helping firm to attract new customers, improving internal/external communication, etc.)? c) Are there any relationships between the intention to adopt or to better develop e-marketing tools and the potential increase of value perceived by firms? METHOD: Empirical data were collected from 1406 professional service providers through a nationwide survey particularly related to the accounting consultancy industry. Data analysis was conducted through descriptive statistics and a regression model. FINDINGS: Results showed traditional marketing tools were still the most common professional service providers’ marketing practices. Relating to e-marketing practices, most of the firms declared to have a website while very few of them used at least a social network for professional purposes. Not only actual but also the future intention to adopt or to improve innovative e-marketing tools have been investigated. Results highlighted a positive relationship between the likelihood to adopt/improve the adoption of social media and the related increase of value perceived by firms. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: This study focuses on a specific industry in only one country. There is the need to replicate the study in other countries or professional services, for instance banking, financial services, etc. ORIGINALITY: The results presented in the paper have important implications for researchers when modelling marketing practices and for professional service managers when undertaking marketing activities. Innovative e-marketing practices literature was investigated and enriched, exploring the impact of e-marketing tools on firm’s value perception.
9781910309308
Professional services; Marketing practices; E-marketing; online marketing; social media; service marketing; accounting firms
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/758761
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