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The Effects of Traditional and Social Earned Media on Sales: A Study of a Microlending Marketplace

Andrew T. Stephen

University of Pittsburgh

Jeff Galak

Carnegie Mellon University

April 4, 2012

Journal of Marketing Research, 49 (October).

Marketers distinguish between three types of media: paid (e.g., advertising), owned (e.g., company website), and earned (e.g., publicity). The effects of paid media on sales have been extensively covered in the marketing literature. The effects of earned media, however, have received limited attention. This paper examines how two types of earned media, traditional (e.g., publicity and press mentions) and social (e.g., blog and online community posts), affect sales and activity in each other. Fourteen months of daily sales and media activity data from a microlending marketplace website are analyzed using a multivariate autoregressive time series model. The authors find that (i) both traditional and social earned media affect sales, (ii) the per-event sales impact of traditional earned media activity is larger than for social earned media, (iii) however, because of the greater frequency of social earned media activity, after adjusting for event frequency social earned media’s sales elasticity is significantly greater than traditional earned media’s, and (iv) social earned media appears to play an important role in driving traditional earned media activity.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 68

Keywords: earned media, traditional media, social media, sales, publicity, media, multivariate time series, count data, copula, microlending, microfinance

JEL Classification: M30, M31, M37, L82, C10, C32

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Date posted: September 29, 2009 ; Last revised: August 5, 2014

Suggested Citation

Stephen, Andrew T. and Galak, Jeff, The Effects of Traditional and Social Earned Media on Sales: A Study of a Microlending Marketplace (April 4, 2012). Journal of Marketing Research, 49 (October).. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1480088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1480088

Contact Information

Andrew T. Stephen (Contact Author)
University of Pittsburgh ( email )
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.andrewstephen.net
Jeff Galak
Carnegie Mellon University ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-5810 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jeffgalak.com
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