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Networked Narratives: Understanding Word-of-Mouth Marketing in Online Communities

Author

Listed:
  • Kristine de Valck

    () (GREGH - Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC - HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Roberts Kozinets
  • Andrea Wojnicki
  • Sarah Wilner

Abstract

Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing--firms' intentional influencing of consumer-to-consumer communications--is an increasingly important technique. Reviewing and synthesizing extant WOM theory, this article shows how marketers employing social media marketing methods face a situation of networked coproduction of narratives. It then presents a study of a marketing campaign in which mobile phones were seeded with prominent bloggers. Eighty-three blogs were followed for six months. The findings indicate that this network of communications offers four social media communication strategies--evaluation, embracing, endorsement, and explanation. Each is influenced by character narrative, communications forum, communal norms, and the nature of the marketing promotion. This new narrative model shows that communal WOM does not simply increase or amplify marketing messages; rather, marketing messages and meanings are systematically altered in the process of embedding them. The theory has definite, pragmatic implications for how marketers should plan, target, and leverage WOM and how scholars should understand WOM in a networked world.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristine de Valck & Roberts Kozinets & Andrea Wojnicki & Sarah Wilner, 2010. "Networked Narratives: Understanding Word-of-Mouth Marketing in Online Communities," Post-Print hal-00458424, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00458424
    DOI: 10.1509/jmkg.74.2.71
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-hec.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00458424
    as

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