DIGITAL MARKETING FOR FOREIGN MARKETS. CASE: LOST IN KAJAANI
Akhmetyanova, Yulia (2016)
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Different marketing researches report that participation in adventure races had grown over the last 2-3 years. However, adventure races have received relatively little attention in academic literature. The focus of existing studies in this field tends to be on accidents or medical issues. At the same time social media networks have become popular. The purpose of this thesis was to describe how increased social media activity would affect awareness of the Lost in Kajaani (LiK) adventure race. For the author the objective of this thesis was to gain knowledge about social media marketing (SMM) and its features. From the commissioning party’s point of view, the objective was to attract foreign participants. From the working life point of view, the objective was to provide evidence about the effectiveness of SMM. From the society point of view, the objective of the topic implementation was to increase awareness of the LiK adventure race in other countries. Interest to the topic area was demonstrated by Kainuun Liikunta (Finland) who acted as the commissioning party in this thesis. The theoretical part of this thesis introduces theory about adventure tourism and marketing with focus on social media marketing. The thesis also presents existing views about the measurement of social media marketing effectiveness. The theoretical frameworks and concepts are based on a review of existing literature and previous researches. The empirical part introduces answers for the research questions. For this purpose a survey was conducted in form of an online questionnaire. 174 respondents answered the survey which aimed at determining popular channels for finding information about adventure races; 161 of the answers received were fit for analysis. Friends, Search in the internet and specialized web portals were named as the most popular channels. Facebook was the most popular social network channel. Based on the results of the survey races with international participants were selected for comparison. Comparison analysis of current social media indicators of the Lost in Kajaani and other races was performed using open sources. The Lost in Kajaani race was promoted in Instagram. For the period of increased activity in this social network the number of followers increased by 96 (reaching 291 followers) and engagement rate was 345% (which is 5 times higher compared to the same period of the previous year). Recommendations about possible researches and further promotional possibilities are presented in the last chapter.