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The power of referrals - word of mouth marketing goes viral

Read a special issue of the European Journal of Marketing for free until the 22 August 2013

United Kingdom, 22 July 2013 – What sways you to buy or use a product or service?  Do you go online to browse the comments section, consider the ratings or check out your social network?  With word of mouth marketing becoming increasingly more influential than either advertising or promotion, what impact will this have for marketers in the modern marketplace?

In a special issue of European Journal of Marketing (Vol. 47 Issue 7) -  which can be read freely until the 22 August 2013 by visiting, username: WOM2013, password: emerald -  word of mouth marketing (WOM) and how it is fundamentally changing the way  consumers engage, interact and consume media, comes under scrutiny. 

With its one-to-many potential and vast availability, WOM and viral marketing present many challenges – least not of which is that it is never under the control of the firm, but relies solely, and powerfully, on the whims of customers.  This special issue offers five insightful studies, including:

•    Comparing incentive strategies  that encourage existing customers to refer new prospects;
•    Using pricing schemes to influence referral behaviour
•    Discovering what drives individuals to engage in different types of eWOM
•    An exploration of online reviewers’ behaviours’ compiled from Amazon’s book section
•    One of the first attempts to investigate the impact of online user reviews on sales of search goods.

Guest editor Professor Adam Lindgreen of the Cardiff Business School, UK, comments, “Is the future of marketing inevitably digital (or mobile, tablet, social networking or cloud)? As the articles in this issue reveal, we may not know the exact form it will take, but we can predict some notable challenges and exciting promise for WOM marketing”.

Published by Emerald Group Publishing, the European Journal of Marketing is an international journal, actively encouraging global contributions from scholars across the broad domain of marketing. The journal enjoys a long-standing reputation as a catalyst for solving marketing problems and dilemmas, and as such is already regarded as an essential resource by many leading industry figures.  For more information, visit

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Nicole Mountain
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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