Based on theories related to coopetition, the purpose of this paper is to examine the patterns of business-to-business digital referrals inscribed in businesses’ digital content.
A complete industry-wise digital data set is formed by extracting digital referrals in all the content pages. The authors outline how digital referrals are strategically used among peer businesses in the peer-to-peer digital network and in the augmented digital network, taking into consideration geographical framing and physical distance.
The authors reveal how geographical framing and physical distance influence peer-to-peer referral patterns in the digital space. Quite counter-intuitively, businesses are more likely to give digital referrals for peers residing in the same region, as well as for peers located in closer proximity. Further, results from the augmented digital network show that peer businesses in closer proximity exhibit greater strategic similarity in their digital referring strategy.
The findings extend the understanding of business-to-business coopetition to the digital space and suggest that geographical framing and physical distance can induce reciprocated relationships between peers by offering each other digital referrals.
The findings shed light on the formation of a business-to-business digital coopetition strategy using digital referral marketing.
This study highlights the impact of digital referrals in business-to-business relationship management, especially in the digital coopetition context.
The authors thank Yaroslav Senyuta, a research assistant at UBC-Okanagan, for his assistance with computer programming and early data collection.
Zhu, Y., Lynette Wang, V., Wang, Y. and Nastos, J. (2020), "Business-to-business referral as digital coopetition strategy: Insights from an industry-wise digital business network", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-01-2019-0011Download as .RIS
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