How is eWOM becoming a part of marketing strategies? And what are the consequences? Part 1

Customer advocacy is defined by marketers’ attempt on building mutual “transparency, dialogue and partnership” (p. 5) and is becoming an essential part of a marketing strategy (Lawer and Knox, 2006). However, the marketers’ presence in the user’s activities online can been seen as avoided or causing irritation (Cho and Cheon, 2004). Therefore, the following paper sets the question of how can marketers influence customer advocacy and word-of-mouth (WOM), without causing irritation or avoidance. As a result, the paper will begin by identifying the problem of advertising avoidance on the internet and the three main reasons for it (Cho and Cheon, 2004), followed by e-word-of-mouth marketing (eWOMM) as a phenomenon and eWOM types. The aim of the paper is to give the ground understanding of who talks online – the marketers, the influencers or the end users. Part II would provide a follow up on the topic, which will explore the notion of avoidance in eWOMM and the theory in practice, meanwhile providing implications for building customer advocacy while minimising the threat negative response.

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