THEORETICAL BACKGROUND OF BLOGING
Customers are armed with iPods, TiVo machines, Blackberries, search engines, broadband connections, spam filters and variety of digital technologies, they have gained unprecedented control over the media and content to which they are exposed. (Singh et al, 2009)
According to Kotler et al (2009:510), modern marketing calls for more than developing a good product, pricing it attractively, and making it accessible. Companies must also communicate with present and potential stakeholders and the general public (ibid.)
Today, marketing communications increasingly occur as a personal dialogue between the company and its customers. Companies must ask not only "How should we reach our customers?" but also "How should our customers reach us?" and even "How can our customers reach each other?" (Kotler et al, 2009:571).
Singh et al (2008) suggest that recent advances in technology have moved the relationship between the businesses and the customer to an interactive level were technology contributes to brand building by creating and sustaining a long-term relationship with the customer. Nevertheless, communication is becoming more and more difficult, and more companies fail to grab an increasingly empowered consumer's divided attention.
Consumers themselves are taking a more active role in the communication process and deciding what communications they want to receive and how they want to communicate to others about the products and services they use (Kotler, 2009:510). Winer (2009) points out that the increase in the number of "alternative" media has shifted power in the transaction to buyers.
According to Kotler et al (2009:510) technology have profoundly changed the way consumers process communications, and whether they choose to process them at all.
In a study of Yankelovich Partners in 2005 it was discovered that customers respond more favorably to marketing when they have control over what they see, when they see it, whether it can be personalized to fit their needs, and when they can be active participants in the marketing process (Singh et al, 2008).
An essential ingredient to this changing andscape has been that communications in the past have been perceived as fixed and definable, whereas the post-modern marketplace emphasizes the need to consider communications as dynamic, fragmented and constructed within a social context (Dahlen, 2010:444).
Moreover, Dahlen (2010:444) suggests that consumers have a declining relationship with the “interruption" advertising and interactive, user-generated social media is on the rise. Dahlen (2010) states that we are now witnessing a third incarnation for marketing: social web.
In addition, Singh et al (2008) argues that the continuing fragmentation of media and information overload has led customers to become less and less interested in companies' brand messages, delivered through traditional media.
The main challenges marketers are facing now are media fragmentation, excessive commercial clutter and a growing resistance among customers towards marketing messages (Ramsey, 2006)