eWOM, eReferral and gender in the virtual community

eWOM, eReferral and gender in the virtual community PurposeThis article examines the influence of electronic referral marketing (eReferral) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on brand image and purchase intention, coupled with the moderating effect of gender in the relationship.Design/methodology/approachStructural equation modeling was applied to examine the interplay between the proposed variables, using a random sample of 308 respondents in Cyprus.FindingsThe empirical results suggest the following: 1) eReferral does influence brand image, and the impact is significant with women only; 2) eWOM influences brand image, and the impact is more significant with women than men; 3) eWOM influences purchase intention, and the impact is the same for both genders; 4) Brand image influences purchase intention, and the impact is more significant with women than men.Research limitations/implicationsMarketing managers can benefit from these competitive advantage tools. Brand image, awareness, and sales volume can be increased by utilizing eWOM or eReferral, depending on the product and/or service functionality as well as gender.Originality/valueWhile there is a substantial research stream on eWOM, to the best of our knowledge no research has differentiated eReferral from eWOM. This paper provides useful insights regarding the two concepts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marketing Intelligence & Planning Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0263-4503
DOI
10.1108/MIP-05-2015-0090
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThis article examines the influence of electronic referral marketing (eReferral) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on brand image and purchase intention, coupled with the moderating effect of gender in the relationship.Design/methodology/approachStructural equation modeling was applied to examine the interplay between the proposed variables, using a random sample of 308 respondents in Cyprus.FindingsThe empirical results suggest the following: 1) eReferral does influence brand image, and the impact is significant with women only; 2) eWOM influences brand image, and the impact is more significant with women than men; 3) eWOM influences purchase intention, and the impact is the same for both genders; 4) Brand image influences purchase intention, and the impact is more significant with women than men.Research limitations/implicationsMarketing managers can benefit from these competitive advantage tools. Brand image, awareness, and sales volume can be increased by utilizing eWOM or eReferral, depending on the product and/or service functionality as well as gender.Originality/valueWhile there is a substantial research stream on eWOM, to the best of our knowledge no research has differentiated eReferral from eWOM. This paper provides useful insights regarding the two concepts.

Journal

Marketing Intelligence & PlanningEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 2016

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