Sales and Sincerity: The Role of Relational Framing in Word-of-Mouth Marketing

42 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2008

See all articles by Mirjam A. Tuk

Mirjam A. Tuk

Imperial College Business School

Peeter W.J. Verlegh

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

A. Smidts

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Daniel H.J. Wigboldus

Radboud University Nijmegen

Date Written: August 2008 9,

Abstract

In the current research, we study relationship norms in a word-of-mouth marketing context. The presence of a financial incentive for a recommendation implies that the word-of-mouth behavior may be driven by ulterior motives. This setting triggers both friendship (Equality Matching; EM) and sales (Market Pricing; MP) relationship norms. However, the evaluation of the recommendation depends crucially on the relationship norm activated during the interaction. We show that, compared to MP relationship norms, activating EM norms leads to less sincere agent evaluations, but at the same time to higher intentions to comply with the target offer. We show that these norms can be activated outside awareness and influence our evaluations of interaction partners in a cognitively efficient manner. A second study shows that disclosing the financial motive has a positive effect on agent evaluations, but only when the recommendation target can devote full attention to the interaction.

Keywords: word-of-mouth, rewarded recommendations, relationship norms, disclosure of ulterior motive

JEL Classification: C44, M31, M

Suggested Citation

Tuk, Mirjam A. and Verlegh, Peeter W.J. and Smidts, Ale and Wigboldus, Daniel H.J., Sales and Sincerity: The Role of Relational Framing in Word-of-Mouth Marketing (August 2008 9,). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2008-056-MKT, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1287910

Mirjam A. Tuk (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

Tanaka Building
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, DC SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Peeter W.J. Verlegh

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Ale Smidts

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Daniel H.J. Wigboldus

Radboud University Nijmegen

Postbus 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

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