Using the Power of Word-Of-Mouth to Leverage the Effect of Marketing Activities on Consumer Responses

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Research has studied Word-Of-Mouth (WOM) and the 4P marketing activities separately with no attention to how these two processes simultaneously influence consumer responses. This is unfortunate as a firm’s marketing activities may also mobilise WOM, which then can leverage the activities’ effect on consumer responses. The present study fills this research gap and investigates how WOM mediates the relationship between the 4Ps and consumer responses using the Partial Least Squares method on survey data with 400 broadband customers. Findings show that the 4Ps influence consumer responses directly and that this effect is leveraged when WOM mediates the relationship. The 4Ps primarily mobilise positive WOM (PWOM), making PWOM the strongest mediator. This has implications for marketing and communication strategies, as the 4Ps have to mobilise WOM and influence consumer responses directly. This challenges the composition of the 4Ps and how to design the marketing message so it is appealing for consumers to bring into their social milieu so WOM can take place. It also underlines the necessity to add PWOM as a fifth P, so the different marketing activities’ effect can be amplified by the power of WOM and brands can be created as much out of PWOM as out of marketing activities.
Original languageEnglish
Journal Total Quality Management & Business Excellence
Issue number7-8
Pages (from-to)927-943
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Word of mouth
  • Marketing activities
  • Brand attitude
  • Purchase intention
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Mediation
  • Survey

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