Comparing Word-of-Mouth (WOM) and Viral Marketing: Behavior Analysis of Consumer Consumption, Information Traits, and Credibility
The way consumers collect information before making a purchase has a significant effect on their decision. Today, the widespread use of the Internet and smartphones has enabled consumers to collect extensive information via viral marketing. This study aimed to compare word-of-mouth (WOM) and viral marketing strategies on consumption patterns, information traits, and credibility. On/offline surveys were distributed to adults over 20 in Republic of Korea. The final analysis was conducted on data from 269 consumers who had purchased sporting goods based on information in the form of WOM or viral marketing. SPSS 23.0 was used to conduct a statistical analysis (scale validity, reliability, and Multivariate analysis of variance) of the data collected. As a result, in consumption patterns, the viral marketing group showed conspicuous, conformity, and impulsive consumption patterns, while the WOM marketing group showed economical consumption patterns. In terms of purchase information traits, while viral marketing information showed relatively high equivalence and timeliness, WOM marketing information showed high neutrality. Finally, consumers perceived WOM marketing as more credible. This study provides objective data to enable practitioners to better understand which approach will be a suitable strategy based on their product and target market. It can serve as a reference, as it specifically analyzes each marketing strategy against the backdrop of today's unlimited information.
Keywords: viral marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, consumption patterns, information traits, credibility.
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