Engaging Customers in an Evolving Technological Environment


Special issue call for papers from European Journal of Marketing

Guest Editors:

Linda D. Hollebeek, University of Auckland/NHH Norwegian School of Economics
David E. Sprott, Washington State University
Tor W. Andreassen, NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Description of proposed Special Issue topic

Firms’ technological environments have been subject to significant development over the last decade or so. Key change agents have included the rise of e-commerce, etailing (e.g. Amazon) and social commerce (i.e. sales via social media, including Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.). In addition, emerging mobile trends include location-based marketing (e.g. location-aware music albums that change the music’s mood as app users walk by landmarks), mobile store locators (e.g. QR codes), mobile commerce (i.e. sales via mobile channels, including mobile apps), smart devices and mobile payments, which are reshaping the way contemporary firms do business.

Moreover, innovations in neuromarketing, virtual reality and big data are increasingly facilitating the development of advanced insight into the customer journey. Parallel trends include omnichannel marketing, mass customization, the rising adoption of robotics, artificial intelligence and intelligent assistants (e.g. IBM Watson), customer self-service techniques (e.g. at supermarket checkouts), and pop-up stores, as well as innovations in customer-to-customer interaction (e.g. AirBnB), which can be used to shorten traditional distribution channels and generate increased consumer empowerment, including via the sharing economy. These growing trends, in turn, generate a need to redefine firm-based value propositions and/or business models, and optimize personalized interactions, as well as the development and maintenance of value-laden customer/brand relationships.

In summary, marketers are faced with a number of important challenges in adopting, leveraging and optimizing the potential benefits of new technology, which can be used to engage customers, and better meet customer needs throughout the customer journey. However, given the relative newness of these technologies, little is known regarding how to optimally engage customers using specific new technologies, and optimize firm-based benefits accruing from the adoption of particular technologies.

In response to this identified research gap, this Special Issue addresses important ways for marketers to engage customers within an evolving technological environment. We welcome conceptual, methodological and empirical contributions in this area that may focus on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • What is the effect of specific new technologies on customer engagement?
  • How can technological innovations and trends (e.g. social commerce, personalization, mobile marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, artificial intelligence, intelligent assistants, etc.) be used to optimize and leverage customer engagement? How can these trends be used to engage local and global (prospective) customers, and drive customer purchase and loyalty?
  • How do marketers successfully leverage specific mobile apps, such as Red Laser (a mobile app for scanning product barcodes and comparing prices), Yowza!! (a mobile couponing app), or Meetup (an app offering service or brand-centric groups and events in specific areas)?
  • How do specific aspects of technological marketing cues (e.g. brand-related visual vs. verbal content), and their congruence, drive customer engagement and purchase?
  • How is customer engagement optimized across different devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, virtual reality devices, such as Samsung’s Oculus) throughout the customer journey?
  • How does customer engagement manifest with particular technological (e.g. neuromarketing-based) vs. more traditional (e.g. newspaper advertisements) marketing messages or cues, and how are these best integrated into a firm’s marketing program?
  • How can technology-based marketing tools help leverage customer engagement and optimize customer relationship management?
  • How does customer engagement instigated by specific technological tools evolve throughout the customer journey over time?
  • In what ways can marketers use big data to gain insight into customer engagement (e.g. by using big data to personalize the customer experience, measure those parts of an offering that customers rate highest vs. lowest)? How can this insight be used to optimize marketing performance?


All manuscripts must strictly follow the guidelines of the European Journal of Marketing, which are available at: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=EJM.

The closing date for submissions is 31 October, 2017 for expected publication at the end of the 2018 volume.  Manuscripts must be submitted through the European Journal of Marketing’s website: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ejm. When submitting your manuscript, please take care to select the correct Special Issue from the drop-down menu on the Manuscript Submission page.

Queries can be directed at the Special Issue Guest Editors:


Linda D. Hollebeek, PhD
Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland
Associate Professor, NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Email: deseo79@gmail.com

David E. Sprott, PhD
WSU Boeing/Scott Linda Carson Chaired Professor of Marketing
Carson College of Business Senior Associate Dean
Washington State University
Email: dsprott@wsu.edu

Tor W. Andreassen, PhD
Professor of Innovation and Director Center for Service Innovation
NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Email: tor.andreassen@nhh.no