Product Seeding: Word-of-Mouth Effects For and Beyond the Focal Product

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In a classic seeded WOM marketing campaign, a company sends product samples to a selected group of influencers, and encourages them share the product information and their own opinions with other consumers. Positive effects include more WOM for the focal product in the target segment, but also in additional segments. But there are additional spillover effects on the brand and the product category level and they are negative. More conversations about the focal product reduced the “off-topic” conversations about other brands in the same category as well as other products of the same brand. These negative brand and category spillover effects are stronger when the focal product is of a more functional nature. Marketers tend to consider only positive spillovers to be beneficial for a company, but negative spillovers should not be immediately classified as “bad news.” There are upsides to this effect that managers can use in their favor.

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  • Chae Inyoung; Stephen Andrew T.; BartYakov and Yao Dai (2017): “Spillover effects in seeded word-of-mouth marketing campaigns” Marketing Science Vol. 36 No. 1 pp. 89 - 104.

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