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First place for Master’s thesis on digital storytelling

April 25, 2023

With her Master’s thesis in Marketing & Sales Management on digital storytelling in vacation travel, Rebecca Daul took first place in this year’s edcom Graduation Competition.

Rebecca Daul completed her Master’s degree in Marketing- & Salesmanagement with us. In her Master’s thesis, she dealt with the influence of digital storytelling on the customer journey for vacation trips of the Austrian Generation Y. Motivated by the teaching team, she submitted her thesis to this year’s edcom Graduation Competition (2022-2023) and won first place with her excellent study.

Using digital storytelling to make the customer journey more effective

Through social networks, vacation seekers are confronted with an information overload. Digital storytelling can serve as an effective communication tool for tourism companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. In doing so, the users themselves must also be involved, as they shape the brand’s message through user-generated content (UGC) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM).

The results of the master’s thesis show that it is crucial to take a holistic view of the customer journey in order to be able to profitably shape the quality of the customer experience as a company. Especially in the “pre-trip” phase, travel providers can influence their customers through digital storytelling. This then has a positive effect on the other phases, increasing engagement in the search for information and creating more touchpoints along the customer journey.

Less skepticism and more positive associations with digital storytelling

According to Rebecca Daul’s study, digital storytelling on social networks also has the effect that information is perceived with less skepticism, positive associations are triggered for the product or brand presented, and this in turn increases purchase/booking intentions. The consumption of eWOM on vacation trips before the trip additionally shapes the expectations of one’s own vacation trip and has the effect that eWOM is more likely to be generated on social networks both during and after the trip.

Generation Y in focus

According to Rebecca Daul, Generation Y is a large user group of social networks that is particularly eager to travel and must therefore be addressed. Marketing by means of digital storytelling is most promising with this target group. The results of the Master’s thesis also pave the way for further research on how the influence of digital storytelling on the customer journey differs for different generations or countries of origin of tourists.

Head of Department of Communication and edcom jury member Sieglinde Martin and Head of Study Program Gerald Janous congratulate on behalf of FHWien der WKW on this success:

“It is a special honor for us as lecturers too that one of our student takes first place in this Europe-wide competition. Rebecca Daul’s research demonstrated a high academic level that has proven itself in an international environment. Her study deals with current challenges in digital communication practice, thus striking the perfect link between theory and application-oriented research. In terms of content, the results show how important storytelling as a communication tool is, namely telling your target group an outstanding story and thus emotionally picking them up. Especially, a young target group wants to build relationships with companies or brands and get emotionally bound. This is a prerequisite for recommendation and positive word-of-mouth. In a world full of digital information overload, a company can effectively differentiate itself by this measure, namely communication stories that touch someone’s heart. Congratulations to Rebecca for this great success!”