Business – Content marketing
EFFECTIVENESS OF IN-HOUSE PUBLICATION
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Effectiveness of In-House Publication 2
This chapter discusses the findings from different authors, opinions, publications,
websites magazines, and all possible sources for this research study and as a basis of foundation.
It is separated into different parts including definition of the key variables and questions of the
According to Reichel and Ramey, a conceptual framework is a set of principles and
comprehensive ideas obtained from relevant areas of inquiry and structured to a subsequent
presentation. It is an instrument of study that is intended to aid a researcher develop
understanding and awareness on how to communicate the situation under scrutiny (Reichel and
Ramey 1987, p.76).
(Independent Variable) (Dependent variables)
Altitude toward brand
Figure 1: conceptual framework
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 3
In-house publication refers to magazines and newsletters that are developed internally
and published to communicate the activities and news of the company to its stakeholders. It is
operated by the marketing and customer services departments with the aim to promote the
business image. Business comes up with branded magazines that communicate what the
company is offering and what it intends to provide to its customers. In today’s market, marketing
plays a significant role in every business, and it needs to be taken to a higher level to gain a
competitive advantage over its competitors. In- house publication is a part of marketing and
through the effectiveness of this section, the business will acquire the following: improved
customers’ attitude to the brand, customer loyalty and increased customer knowledge to the
company and the product among others.
Attitude toward the brand.
A brand is a symbol, unique design, sign or the combination of these in the creation of an
image that identifies a product and differentiates it from the competitors. The brand is significant
as it represents the business to the customers and the outsiders (Quelch, Taylor, & Insight Media
1987, p.96). The image over the time has been associated with credibility, satisfaction, and
quality in the mind of clients. Many businesses today use branded magazines which are a unique
way to attract customer’s interest. The trade mark for the brand is the legal brand name which
acts as the representative of the firm and is known as brand name.
Brand awareness has a great impact to a company as it provides a competitive edge. In-
house publication has been playing a paramount role in promoting brand awareness hence
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 4
increasing the market share of the business. It aims at three primary objectives: to add value to
the firm, increase customer awareness and promote the business connection with the customers.
In-house publication has been promoting consumer knowledge to a great level as it keeps the
customer intact with the business information.
Continues communication to customer improves the attitude of customers to the firm. It
enhances the image of the business to the outsiders and also building interest which in turn
increases the market share of the firm. To maintain the brand name in the minds of customers,
continuous in-house publication is necessary. Publishing magazines have been promoting the
good relationship and also increases the brand loyalty. Customer spends more time on published
materials as compared to television advertisement or internet.
This refers to the customer understanding of a service or good that may include having
information about its function, features, and application, use and support requirements (Belyaev
2005, p.54). Through in-house publication, a business can improve the customer knowledge on
its products. Magazines and newsletter alert the customers on any changes on the firms’ products
and innovations thereby promoting the customers’ product knowledge to a great level.
Product knowledge is one of the basic roles of the customer service team. Employees
should also have enough knowledge about the product or service, but the team in the customer
service should have a thorough product information (Alessandra 2007, p.89). Customers usually
rely on the customer service team to provide them with the relevant information on the products.
It also requires the marketing department to be timely when delivering the information to
customers. They should get the right information at the right time. Product knowledge promotes
informed feedback from buyers, and this helps the business to improve its products. It also builds
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 5
customer confidence in the company’s goods and services. Moreover, this services enhances
business reputation, reduce complaints, increase sales and provide stability to the enterprise. In-
house publication plays a very prominent role in providing product knowledge to the customers.
Loyalty of Customer.
Loyalty of Customer refers to both attitudinal tendency and behavioral of the buyer to
favor one brand over all other in a particular market either due to the fulfilment of the
expectation of the service or product, familiarity, comfort or ease in performance with the brand
(Alessandra 2007, p.185). Customers spend more of their wallet on a brand by shopping
regularly and have a positive feeling toward it hence giving the business a competitive edge.
They are four types of customer loyalty:
a) Monogamous vs. Polygamous loyalty.
In the real world, monogamous loyalty cannot exist since no customer can make to buy
one brand throughout. Many customers tend to be loyal to different brands in varying proportion.
According to Keiningham et al. (2005, p.78) in the book- Loyalty Myths, “loyalty can be the
probability that a customer will purchase a brand on any given purchase occasion. For example,
a customer tends to buy brand Q 70percent of the time, R 25 percent of the time and S 5 percent
of the time”. In the real market, to get a 100% loyalty from the customers is very rare and the
main aim of the business is to make sure that the client spends the highest amount of his money
on the brand. Polygamous loyalty represents the most realistic type of loyalty as it describes the
actual behavior of the consumer on brands.
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 6
a) Behavioral and Attitudinal loyalty
In the past, people used to describe consumer loyalty on how much the customer has
spent on the brand regardless of the reasons. “Most existing programs of loyalty rewards
behavioral loyalty using these measures (Ammi, 2007, p.53). The more a buyer pays to the
company, the more rewards you earn” According to Shah and Kumar from the Connecticut’s
University, School of Business (2004). The main idea was that the more an individual spends on
the brand, the more rewards. Another element of loyalty is the Attitudinal Loyalty which focuses
on how high the customer is committed to the brand. However, this type of commitment has a
limitation since a buyer may recommend a product to a friend and for whatever reasons fail to
purchase it regularly.
In house publication, plays a significant role in enhancing customer loyalty to a product
by ensuring there is continuous sharing of information to the customers about the product (In
Parumasur & In Roberts-Lombard 2015, p.46). Every business should use the house organ to
make sure that the customer spends the largest amount of their budget on their product since
100% loyal customer is rare to get.
1. Customer decision making process and in-house publication.
This process explains the route which customers follow when coming up with a buying
decision. Consumers are the king to any business, and it should direct its efforts toward
satisfying the customers precisely (Paul, 2014, p.234). However, this process is not fixed route,
but it depends on the product, financial position and the buying stage of the customer.
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 7
Search process (consumer gathers the
available information about the product)
Problem recognition (consumer identify
Selection stage (buyer uses the available
information to make purchasing decision)
Evaluating Alternatives (customer
analyze the potential sellers)
Post Purchase (customer evaluates whether
the product met the expected level of
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 8
Figure 2: Consumer Decision Making Process
Source: Researcher data
Understanding the consumer behavior and how they make purchasing decision is
paramount to in-house publication. Also when setting up the marketing strategies like magazine
publication, knowledge on this process is a useful aid in coming up with a more interesting
magazine. The steps of consumer decision-making process include:
a) Need recognition
It is also known as stage of problem recognition. Need is a gap or a requirement that a
customer wants to be fulfilled. It occurs when a client experiences indifference between the
desired and the actual state. The needs can be necessary want which must be met for example
food, water or secondary want which is not a must it may be fulfilled at that moment of
occupancy. The needs that occur immediately and are very basic impulse are called internal
stimulus. On the other hand, an External stimulus is when external environment like friends or
Advertisement influences you to buy the product. It is the most important step as it triggers the
There are three ways through which a customer can identify a need: the first way is when
the consumer product fails to meet the expected satisfaction, or it has not performed correctly.
The marketers can take this advantage and act fast through using adverts and sale promotion to
influence the potential buyers to purchase. The second way to identify the need is when the
consumer runs out of commodity, for example, the juice bottle is empty. The customer service
department can influence the consumer to buy their goods through the contest, magazines, and
other advertisements. Lastly, the consumer can identify a need by identifying another product
that is better than their current products. The marketers tempt the consumers by creating new and
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 9
more advanced products. As an external stimulus, in-house publication has an impact on this
stage of decision making. In-house publication that is attractive can influence the consumer’s
b) Search process
After the customers identify the need, they start to look for information about their
potential products that can fulfill their want satisfactory and in an affordable way. The client will
look factors like quality, quantity, price, and availability. To find information, the customer will
use both internal and external information search. Internal data search involves using past
experiences of the product information from memory. External information search involves
using information from outside environment. The customer will look for information from
family members, friends or colleagues about their experience and opinion on the product. They
can also go a step further by searching information from public sources such as consumer reports
for ninja hideouts or media controlled sources such as magazines. In-house publication can come
in and influence the potential buyers to purchase their products.
c) Evaluating Alternatives
In this stage, the customer identifies the best options or deals from the available list of
potential products. The buy evaluates the different options based on some factors such as
product price, quantity, quality and the features that add value to product example packaging or
any other factors that the consumer think they are significant. The consumer will screen and
compare the substitute in term of prices before selecting the product that seems to satisfy the
want in the most precise manner. After the potential buyer identify the need and gathers enough
information, he then goes for the best product that fits the need. In this phase, the marketing
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 10
department can come in and speak the interest and the needs of the product that the customer are
searching. According to Tahir, marketing section can use many ways including creating buyer
persona to familiarize with the common objections, criteria and challenges then segment the
customers and send nature emails or design different magazines according to the composition of
the segment. Then the customer service team can personalize the website in response to the
attributes of the customers.
d) Selection stage
In this stage, the consumer now has all that it takes to make the purchase. The customer
decides what to buy, where to get it from after analyzing the available sources. After a
comprehensives assessment of all information and facts, the buyer makes an informed decision
to purchase the product to fulfill their wants and needs. Marketing and advertising campaigns
highly triggered Wants, and needs
e) Post Purchase (Evaluation of Decision)
It is the final step of buyer decision-making process. The user has already solved the
problem, need or want, and the consumer evaluates the purchased product, satisfaction level of
the commodity, usefulness and the value of the product concerning customer’s expectation.
After the analysis, if the consumer feels that the product has met the expectation and delivered
the value then they become loyal to the product.
Customer’s decision-making process is significant to the organization to market their
business and products successfully. Having a vast knowledge of it and understanding the market
enhances the efficiency of marketing strategies and earn a competitive advantage to the firm’s
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 11
2. Segmenting consumer market and in-house publication
According to this theory, the market can be huge, and it may call for the marketing
department to analyze the market. The market can be segmented into four segments under
a) Demographic segmentation
According to Muthukrishnan, 2015, p.175, Demographic segmentation divides the
consumer market into different groups based on different variables such as family size, gender,
income, race, religion nationality, and age. This factors of demographic are the most common
basis of segmenting the customer groups. Consumer want, need, and usage rate varies according
to this factor, and also demographic factors are easy to measure compared to the other variables.
Age is one of the demographic factors that determine consumer behaviors. The need,
want, and usage rate varies from, one age level to another and this calls for different styles of in-
house publication. The type of magazine that can be used to market the company product to the
youth is different to that one which can be used to the seniors. For instances: McDonald’s used
different approaches to market their products. He targeted seniors, teens, adult and children using
different in-house publication and promotions. Markets which are easily segmented by this
demographic factor include music, automobiles, soaps, music, foods, shampoos and toys.
This type of demographic factor segments customers according to their gender either
male or female. Gender has a great determinant on the need, want and usage rate of the product.
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 12
Females have been found to have a higher usage rate of certain products than males for example
clothing, cleanings, and cosmetics. Males have a higher consumption rate of commodities like
alcoholic drinks, electronics, among others. In house publics that are intended to target different
genders should be modified to attract their attentions. Using striking colors, designs and
interesting stories will attract females easily.
The earning of the consumer has a significant determinant in the usage rate and the type
of the product used by customers. The less earning customers usually have a lower utilization
rate as compared to the high earning consumers. The consumer income includes automobile,
alcoholic, foods, beverages, furniture, housing, luxury goods, travel, sports, and finance. The
customer service sector segments the market according to the levels of buyers’ income. Earning
affects the purchasing power of buyers and their lifestyle.
• Family cycle
Products need in the family varies according to the number of persons in the household,
number of children and the age. All the variables can be brought together into a single variable
known as a family life cycle. Some of the products that can be segmented according to the family
life cycle include food, furniture, automobile, housing and home appliances. Companies that deal
with home furniture, leisure activities, design products clothing and services target different
social classes using different styles.
b) Geographical Segmentation
It refers to dividing the market into different geographic units such as neighborhoods,
cities, states regions and nations. Some products like the newspaper need to segment the market
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 13
into regions or states depending on their preferred language. Some geographic variable affects
the customer product need, want and usage rate. These variables include population density,
terrain, climate, natural resources and climate. The needs and want of buyers differ from one
region into another.
c) Psychological Segmentation
This segmentation pertains to personality traits and lifestyle. Some products are highly
affected by the lifestyle of the consumers’ example clothing.
• Personality characteristic
It refers to individual habits, attitudes, and personal traits. This type of segmentation is
more appropriate when the consumer's needs for the commodities are independent to the other
segmentations. The marketers segment the market according to variables such as
competitiveness, introvert and extrovert.
• Life style
This refers to people’s living habits. Marketers segment the customers into groups
according to their living habits, beliefs, interests and opinion.
d) Behavioral segmentation
It segments the customers by their attitude toward the product, response, use and
knowledge on the product. It segments the market using the variables like attitude, occasions,
user status, loyalty status, usage and the stage of buyer readiness. The segments are important to
customer service team as it helps them to get the tactics of how to target the segmented market.
While there have been developments in the regulatory framework, there is still challenges
to be addressed to realize full benefits of In-house publication. Some of the noticeable challenges
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 14
include Regulatory gaps in marketing, institutional and professional capacity problems, political
influence in the implementation of marketing rules, and poor reading habits of the consumer.
Most of the literature shows there is an abuse of marketing rules and regulations (Michman &
Mazze, 2006, p.284). The marketing department has been ignoring the marketing rules relating
to the advertisement. However, the literature has indicated that In-house publication has a
significant impact on the customer behavior toward the company’s product. Magazines increase
business and brand loyalty to customers at a high impact. The customer service department
should maintain a good and close relationship with the client. For effective marketing, there
should be a two-way communication.
Native Advertising and In-house publication
It is a form of product promotion that aligns the form and function of the platform upon
which it is being conveyed. The word native means rationality of the content with other media
that appears on the platform. In most cases, native marketing occurs as either video or an article
that is produced by the marketing department with an aim to increase sales of a product while
aligning the style and the form of the customers. In native advertising, the product and the
content are combined. When employing native advertising, a clear disclosure is essential to
protect the customers from being cheated and to help the audience in differentiating contents
which are regular or sponsored (Einstein 2016, p.154). According to the governing body of
marketing known as Federal trade commission, full disclosure means including labels, visual
clues, and other techniques. There are three platforms in native advertising, Closed platforms,
Hybrid platforms and open platforms.
Open platforms refer to promotions of similar branded contents across many platforms
universally but using some different native advert formats. In this platform, the content of the
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 15
advert usually lives outside any website conveying the advert, and it is distributed across some
sites by a third party (Wang & Huang, 2017, p. 98). Closed platforms are setups fashioned by the
brands with the main role of enhancing their content intrinsically through their website. In this
platform, the advert only appears on one platform. In-house publication can apply this strategy to
target a particular group of people. Factors like age, gender, profession among others determine
the sites that individuals’ browns. Many youths are interested in entertainment sites such as
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter among others and a company that intends to target the youths
should use these sites. Hybrid platform it allows Real-Time Bidding (RTB). The platform allows
the content published to be installed in an isolated market where the customer service department
has bidding authority on the catalogue of the ad space either by programmatic auction or direct
Marketing department should apply the knowledge of native marketing in the In-house
publication to enhance the effectiveness of advertising strategies. A well planned In-house
publication will enhance successful Native advertising.
The idea of in-house publication suggests that magazines advertisement is more
convenience as compared to other modes of consumer information, however the strategy is
contradicting since the social media is now controlling adverts. According to research conducted
by Google team, it indicated that over the recent two years, there was a 21% increase in LinkedIn
users, 25% increase on twitter users and 57% increase in Facebook users. It calls for the
marketing department to put the social media as their top marketing field.
Furthermore, the findings from previous research concerning the relationship between in-
house publication (marketing) and consumer behavior on the firm performance are not consistent
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 16
(In Wymer, 2015, p.342). In-house publication has no greater impact than the other marketing
strategy such as media advertisement. Although it has an impact, the company should combine
all the advertisement strategies when appropriate.
Also, in today’s generation, people have shifted their habit of reading to new
technologies. Customers are now more interested in video adverts than reading and this conflict
with this research that customers will spend more time on magazines than other marketing
strategies. The advancement of technology has led to a rapid increase in the use of the internet
while reading habits reduces. The company should carry out a comprehensive research while
choosing the best marketing strategy.
Effectiveness of In-House Publication 17
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