Purpose – Information has created a new segment of knowledgeable customers. Marketers should pay attention to the reversed information sharing by this active group of customers. The major aims of this article are to provide the results of an in‐depth investigation of the relationship between antecedents of information diffusion and perceived cyber segments in the financial services industry and to discuss the importance of the perceived positioning of different segments. This study investigates how information diffusion antecedents and consequences affect the interconnectedness between customers and financial services providers. Design/methodology/approach – This study analyzes corporate attitudes towards using the internet to share information and identifies the major factors behind the information diffusion process. An investigation into information competence and information sharing was undertaken to examine how information was related to six factors, i.e. relevancy, readiness, response, recklessness, reliance and reciprocity. The research tool for this study is a questionnaire‐based survey carried out in Chinese financial services. The questionnaire is designed to investigate how Chinese practitioners perceive the benefits of using the internet to share information with their customers. Findings – A theoretical framework abstracts three major elements of cyber marketing development, i.e. antecedents, information diffusion and consequences. The positioning of different cyber segmentation is reported. The adoption of any mass customization will require an important commitment of corporate resources in two critical disciplines. First, database marketing requires mass marketers to become direct marketers to constantly retarget and tailor their relevant messages. Second, creating the middleware necessary to tailor personalized messages to customers' ever‐changing needs and situations will be the key for building new databases and upgrading legacy systems at the right time. Orginality/value – This study will be most valuable in assisting corporations to understand what specific elements are required to implement effective customer targeting programs and what substantial advantages a long‐term CRM program can bring to them, because attracting new customers and turning them into loyal customers are critical to increasing profits and market share.
European Journal of Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2005
Keywords: Internet marketing; Information; Target markets; Database marketing; Customer relations; China