Research Insights 12.1 A Thematic Exploration of Digital, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing

Digital and Social Media Marketing

Source: Lamberton, C., and Stephen, A.T. (2016). A thematic exploration of digital, social media, and mobile marketing: research evolution from 2000 to 2015 and an agenda for future inquiry. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 146–72.

Abstract: Over the past 15 years, digital media platforms have revolutionized marketing, offering new ways to reach, inform, engage, sell to, learn about, and provide service to customers. As a means of taking stock of academic work's ability to contribute to this revolution, this article tracks the changes in scholarly researchers' perspectives on three major digital, social media, and mobile (DSMM) marketing themes from 2000 to 2015. The authors first use keyword counts from the premier general marketing journals to gain a macro-level view of the shifting importance of various DSMM topics since 2000. They then identify key themes emerging in dive-year time frames during this period: (1) DSMM as a facilitator of individual expression, (2) DSMM as decision support tool, and (3) DSMM as a market intelligence source. In both academic research to date and corresponding practitioner discussion, there is much to appreciate. However, there are also several shortcomings of extant research that have limited its relevance and created points of disconnect between academia and practice. Finally, in light of this, an agenda for future research based on emerging research topics is advanced.


This article provides an overview of the evolution of academic research on digital, social, and mobile marketing. More specifically, it tracks the changes in academic research perspectives over time and provides future research directions for the field.