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The Influence of Electronic Word of Mouth on the Buying Behaviour in B2C-Markets Using the Example of YouTube – Marketing Opportunities and Limitations

  • The aim of this thesis is to gain an understanding of why and how electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is influencing consumers buying decisions, and to furthermore describe the opportunities and limitations, which using electronic word of mouth on YouTube as marketing tool represent. This thesis is a compilation of the most important studies and finding conducted in this field. It discusses the concept of word of mouth and some dimensions in which eWOM differs from its traditional counterpart and describes the most important criteria related to the influence of eWOM on consumers buying behaviours. It provides an overview of relevant studies regarding the impact of eWOM on the buying behaviour and discusses YouTube as a marketing platform. Finally, it identifies opportunities and limitations based on the previous findings related to using eWOM on YouTube as part of the marketing mix. The findings suggest that eWOM differs from its traditional counterpart mainly due to its wide and fast spread and is therefore perceived as more influential. Its influence was furthermore found to depend on factors related to the eWOM valence, the product or service addressed, the eWOM source and sender, as well as the platform used. Further, using eWOM shared on YouTube as marketing tool was identified to offer companies the opportunity to reach a wide and also usually hard-to-reach audience, increase awareness, interest and influence on consumers buying behaviour. Limitations were identified to be the uncontrollable spread, the target audience, the constant availability and uncertain credibility, risking authenticity as well as the interdependent influence.

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Author:Lara Schöllhorn
Advisor:Paul Taylor
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2016
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2016/04/15
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt