Stampoulidou, K. and PANTELIDIS, IOANNIS
Hospitality Word of Mouth 3.0 - the importance of Word of Video (WoV)
In: 2nd Advances in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing & Management Conference, 31 May - 03 June 2012, Corfu, Greece.
Word of mouth has been a key part of every effective marketing strategy for hospitality businesses. With its intangible nature, hospitality finds it difficult to market its services. Past customer experiences are one of the best strategies that allows some quantification of the quality of the product. Social media and the growth of web 2.0 have enabled word of mouth to be shared amongst million of potential customers, one therefore can argue that electronic word of mouth (e-wom) has been the successor of the traditional word of mouth. However recent increase of m-commerce and the development of cheap and easy Smartphone technology suggests that the next stage of e-Wom is the use of video blogging as a method of sharing hospitality related experiences. The paper explores the thesis that word of video will be the natural evolution of e-wom in hospitality. It attempts to explore this by comparing responses to a text review of a restaurant versus a video review of the same restaurant. Participants of the experiment are invited to either comment on the text review or the video review and the results from the two samples are compared. Early findings suggest that hospitality users find pictures more useful and trustworthy followed by text reviews. Video blogging comes only third in terms of trustworthiness and usefulness. The findings are also validated by qualitative comments left by LinkedIn users. Finally findings from this sample show a significance difference when it comes to hotel purchase intentions versus restaurant visit intentions, this finding may suggest that online reviews are less important for habitual purchases. The paper findings suggest implications for management who may chose to invest in platforms that facilitate the use of both ewom and wov as an integrated effort to the organisations marketing strategy. The research is limited by the small sample size and future research could consider a more in depth qualitative approach that allows for better understanding of the consumer perceptions of both ewom and wov. Having said that this paper delivers an original approach to word of mouth in hospitality. The authors suggest that although word of video appears to be at its infancy in hospitality, the potential implications for consumer behaviour research, (both for analysing the creation of WoV content by hospitality consumers and the consumption of such content) are great.
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