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Taking control of word of mouth marketing: the case of an entrepreneurial hotelier

David Stokes (David Stokes is Assistant Director, SBRC at Kingston Business School, Kingston‐upon‐Thames, UK.)
Wendy Lomax (Wendy Lomax is Head of the School of Marketing, at Kingston Business School, Kingston‐upon‐Thames, UK.)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 1 December 2002

Abstract

Marketing in entrepreneurial contexts, such as small business, relies heavily on word of mouth (WOM) recommendations for customer acquisition. However, we know little about how WOM processes work for small firms, or how owner‐managers can influence them. This case study of an entrepreneurial owner of an independent hotel is used to illustrate the problems associated with WOM, and potential strategies to overcome them. The owner‐manager researched existing hotel customers through face‐to‐face interviews and a questionnaire. The results confirmed the importance of WOM, but found two sets of dissonance. One was between input WOM types and sources, the other between output WOM content and targets. The owner‐manager improved the effectiveness of WOM communications through a variety of interventions, thus demonstrating that WOM can be an effective part of a marketing strategy for a small firm.

Keywords

Citation

Stokes, D. and Lomax, W. (2002), "Taking control of word of mouth marketing: the case of an entrepreneurial hotelier", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 349-357. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000210450531

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited