1. bookVolume 3 (2011): Issue 1 (May 2011)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 May 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

How Social Network and Opinion Leaders Affect the Adoption of New Products

Published Online: 19 Jul 2014
Page range: 16 - 25
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 May 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Do word-of-mouth and other peer influence processes really affect how quickly people adopt a new product? Can one identify the most influential customers and hence those who are good seeding points for a word-of-mouth marketing campaign? Can one also identify those customers most likely to be influenced by their peers? A pharmaceutical company seeking to improve its marketing effectiveness by leveraging social dynamics among physicians set out to answer these questions. There is indeed evidence of social influence, even after controlling for sales calls and individual characteristics. Also, people who are central in the network and those who use the product intensively are more influential. Finally, people who view themselves as opinion leaders are less affected by peer influence, whereas people who others really turn to for information or advice are not differentially affected. This last finding suggests that self-reported opinion leadership captures self-confidence, whereas a central position in the social network captures true leadership. Since sociometric techniques identify true opinion leaders more effectively than self-reports do, word-of-mouth programs targeting sociometric leaders are expected to be more effective than programs targeting self-reported leaders

Keywords

Godes, David and Dina Mayzlin (2009), “Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test”, Marketing Science, 28, pp. 721 - 739. Search in Google Scholar

Van den Bulte, Christophe and Gary L. Lilien (2001), “Medical Innovation Revisited: Social Contagion Versus Marketing Effort”, American Journal of Sociology, 106, pp. 1409 - 1435. Search in Google Scholar

Van den Bulte, Christophe and Stefan Wuyts (2007), Social Networks and Marketing. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute. Search in Google Scholar

Watts, Duncan J. and Peter Sheridan Dodds (2007), “Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation”, Journal of Consumer Research, 34, pp. 441 - 458. Search in Google Scholar

Weimann, Gabriel (1994), The Influentials: People who Influence People, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Search in Google Scholar

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