Marketing has become so dynamic and out of the norm, institutions now depend largely on word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) to survive. This brand of marketing usually ends up with the specific marketed brand or topic discussed “going viral“.
Going viral, has now become the measure of a successful marketing campaign–but how is this working for Hollywood? WOM is recognized as a powerful route from long-tail sales to blockbuster, whether one is talking about the latest fishy ice cream flavour or a Hollywood romantic comedy.
In the age of social media and online networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, the potential for spreading the word could mean the difference between consumers seeing a product as the best thing since sliced bread or the most rotten of tomatoes.
Scholars have established mixed results concerning the relationships between word-of-mouth (WOM) and movie box office performance. Additionally, the effect of customer engagement in relation to box office performance is rarely examined.
Using social media measures from Twitter and movie box office data from box office mojo dotcom, researchers found not only that WOM volume does have a direct positive effect on box office outcomes but also that customer engagement or marketer-generated content (MGC) from movie studios plays a role indirectly relating to box office outcomes.
The more a movie studio is willing to engage with its followers via social media the more likely it is to have a higher WOM volume. This subsequently increases the likelihood of having a higher opening-weekend box office performance.