Market amplification or transformation? The role of industry analysts in spreading WOM in B2B

Kirsten Cowan, Teea Palo, Duncan Chapple, Yiwei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The purpose of this study is to address these questions. Word-of-mouth (WOM) is increasingly important in business-to-business (B2B) decision-making. Yet, research on this topic is rather limited, and often borrows from business-to-consumer (B2C) WOM literature. The question remains as to whether these assumptions realistically occur in B2B WOM. Specifically, this study explores the following questions: What value does B2B WOM have? Why do social media influencers in B2B engage in WOM? What type(s) of social media influencers spread WOM in B2B?

To address these questions, this study adopts a qualitative research strategy. This study focuses on industry analysts in information technology markets who often influence the buying decisions of customers through their expertise and recommendations of technology solutions. Based on interviews with these influencers, this study explicates B2B WOM, an area the authors know much less of in comparison to B2C WOM.

This study reveals differences in who spreads WOM within B2B, their roles, key features of their content and how they spread WOM. Second, this study demonstrates the types of actors spreading WOM in B2B in relation to the type of WOM and how it actually influences B2B markets.

This study broadens the current definition of WOM and, specifically, showcases WOM not only as amplifying messages but as a means to co-create the market itself with vendors and clients. This research offers several contributions to the B2B WOM literature and influencer practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business & Industrial Marketing
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • business-to-business
  • influencer marketing
  • social media influencer
  • word-of-mouth
  • opinion leadership
  • thought leadership
  • market creation


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