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Seeding strategies for viral marketing: an empirical comparison

Hinz, Oliver, Skiera, Bernd, Barrot, Christian and Becker, Jan U. 2011, Seeding strategies for viral marketing: an empirical comparison, Journal of marketing, vol. 75, no. 6, pp. 55-71, doi: 10.1509/jm.10.0088.

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Title Seeding strategies for viral marketing: an empirical comparison
Author(s) Hinz, Oliver
Skiera, BerndORCID iD for Skiera, Bernd
Barrot, Christian
Becker, Jan U.
Journal name Journal of marketing
Volume number 75
Issue number 6
Start page 55
End page 71
Total pages 17
Publisher American Marketing Association
Place of publication Chicago, Ill.
Publication date 2011-11
ISSN 0022-2429
Keyword(s) viral marketing
seeding strategy
word of mouth
social contagion
Summary Seeding strategies have strong influences on the success of viral marketing campaigns, but previous studies using computer simulations and analytical models have produced conflicting recommendations about the optimal seeding strategy. This study compares four seeding strategies in two complementary small-scale field experiments, as well as in one real-life viral marketing campaign involving more than 200,000 customers of a mobile phone service provider. The empirical results show that the best seeding strategies can be up to eight times more successful than other seeding strategies. Seeding to well-connected people is the most successful approach because these attractive seeding points are more likely to participate in viral marketing campaigns. This finding contradicts a common assumption in other studies. Well-connected people also actively use their greater reach but do not have more influence on their peers than do less well-connected people.
Language eng
DOI 10.1509/jm.10.0088
Field of Research 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified
1505 Marketing
1506 Tourism
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, American Marketing Association
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Department of Marketing
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