Finding critical success factors for virtual community marketing
Previous studies have identified critical success factors related to using virtual communities as a marketing channel. These studies have followed two research trends that connect the virtual community to actual purchasing. One is finding relationships between the operational elements of a virtual community and members’ intent to purchase and the other is finding relationships between characteristics of virtual community members and their intent to purchase. The model for this study reflects both trends. In addition, the model reflects research related to factors of customer satisfaction and the measurement of marketing success in terms of sense of community and loyalty. Conclusions from this research have been verified empirically with survey data collected from 292 virtual community members representing nine profit-oriented virtual communities. This study confirms that operational elements of a virtual community and characteristics of virtual community members affect the success of virtual community marketing. It is also confirmed that perceptions of usefulness, trust, and commitment toward the virtual community are important intervening effects. However, not all factors studied in the model were found to be significant in relationship to successful virtual community marketing. The analysis of the results from this study should be helpful to practitioners who use virtual communities as a marketing channel. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2009
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Volume (Year): 3 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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