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Journal Selections from MSI

The Sales Impact of Online Word of Mouth

Quality and relevance of message is more important than the number of times it is shown.

Not all online word of mouth (WOM) is the same: In a study of five leading cellular phone brands in the U.S., “what people say” is more important for sales than “how much people say.” Shyam Gopinath, Jacquelyn Thomas, and Lakshman Krishnamurthi separated the volume of consumer-generated online word of mouth (OWOM) from its valence (attribute, emotion, and recommendation oriented) and found that the valence of recommendation has a direct impact on sales, and this impact increases over time.

These online WOM findings are consistent with what has been found in prior research with advertising and other forms of marketing communication – the quality and relevance of the message tends to be more important than quantity or number of times it is shown. 

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Investigating the Relationship Between the Content of Online Word of Mouth, Advertising, and Brand Performance by Shyam Gopinath, Jacquelyn S. Thomas, and Lakshman Krishnamurthi, Marketing Science (March-April 2014)

Journal Selections from MSI (September 2014)

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