The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of electronic referral (eReferral) marketing and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on brand image and purchase intention, coupled with the moderating effect of gender in the relationship.
Structural equation modeling was applied to examine the interplay between the proposed variables, using a random sample of 308 respondents in Cyprus.
The empirical results suggest the following: eReferral does influence brand image, and the impact is significant with women only; eWOM influences brand image, and the impact is more significant with women than men; eWOM influences purchase intention, and the impact is the same for both genders; brand image influences purchase intention, and the impact is more significant with women than men.
Marketing 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.
While there is a substantial research stream on eWOM, to the best of the authors’ knowledge no research has differentiated eReferral from eWOM. This paper provides useful insights regarding the two concepts.
The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments at various stages of the research. Appreciation is extended to Ali Murat and friends for their support in the translation process.
Abubakar, A.M., Ilkan, M. and Sahin, P. (2016), "eWOM, eReferral and gender in the virtual community", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 692-710. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-05-2015-0090Download as .RIS
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