Promotional Marketing or Word-Of-Mouth? Evidence from Online Restaurant Reviews

Xianghua Lu, Sulin Ba, Lihua Huang, Yue Feng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

193 Citations (Scopus)


The value of promotional marketing and word-of-mouth (WOM) is well recognized, but few studies have compared the effects of these two types of information in online settings. This research examines the effect of marketing efforts and online WOM on product sales by measuring the effects of online coupons, sponsored keyword search, and online reviews. It aims to understand the relationship between firms' promotional marketing and WOM in the context of a third party review platform. Using a three-year panel data set from one of the biggest restaurant review websites in China, the study finds that both online promotional marketing and reviews have a significant impact on product sales, which suggests promotional marketing on third party review platforms is still an effective marketing tool. This research further explores the interaction effects between WOM and promotional marketing when these two types of information coexist. The results demonstrate a substitute relationship between the WOM volume and coupon offerings, but a complementary relationship between WOM volume and keyword advertising.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-612
JournalInformation Systems Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Keyword sponsored search
  • Online coupon
  • Online review
  • Product price
  • Product sales
  • Promotional marketing
  • Word of mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Promotional Marketing or Word-Of-Mouth? Evidence from Online Restaurant Reviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this