User-Generated Content and Firm Generated Content: A Comparative Empirical Study of the Consumer Buying Process
This research determines the impact of content marketing (user-generated content (UGC) and firm-generated content (FGC)) on the consumer buying process for telecommunication products and services in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The study attempts to compare the impact of UGC and FGC on the consumer buying process. To achieve this aim, the study utilized a descriptive quantitative methodology. The population of interest for this research is all consumers of telecommunication products in the KRI. Primary data was collected from 402 online questionnaires from a convenience, snowball, sample from the main provinces of Kurdistan. The results indicate that all FGC marketing dimensions have a statistically significant positive direct effect on the consumer buying process, while only content valence and information richness of UGC dimensions have a statistically significant positive direct effect. FGC valence has the greatest impact on the consumer buying process, closely followed by FGC trustworthiness, and then FGC information richness. Between the two examined types of content, FGC has a greater impact than UGC on the consumer buying process for telecommunication products and services. Telecommunications marketers and management should thus prioritize the identified FGC dimensions in their marketing strategies for optimum resource allocation efficiency. Further discussion is provided.
Aboumoghli, A. and Al-Abdallah, G. (2018). “Evaluating the association between corporate entrepreneurship and firm performance,” International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22(4), 1 – 10.
Ahmed, K. (2021). “KRG Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications Statistics,” Interviewed by Sarhang Jumaa, 31 March.
Ahmed, S. (2018). “Success and failure of telecommunications business in Iraq: A case study of Korek Telecom vs. Mobitel,” PhD. Thesis, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, Iraq.
Al Qeisi, K. and Alabdallah, G. (2013). “Internet banking adoption in Jordan: A behavioral approach,” International Journal of Marketing Studies, 5(6), 84 – 108.
Al Qeisi, K. and Alabdallah, G. (2014). “Website design and usage behaviour: An application of the UTAUT model for internet banking in UK,” International Journal of Marketing Studies, 6(1), 75 – 89. DOI:10.5539/ijms.v6n1p75
Al-Abdallah, G., Khair, N. and Elmarakby, R (2021a). “The impact of social networking sites on luxury vehicles purchase decision process in Gulf Cooperation Council countries,” Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 33(4), 1 – 19. DOI: 10.1080/08961530.2020.1867023.
Al-Abdallah, G.M. (2021). “Can internal marketing activities save small and medium industrial enterprises in a tough economy? Back to the basics approach,” International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 38(4), 469 – 483. DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2020.10027354.
Al-Abdallah, G.M. Fraser, K.E. and Albarq, A.N. (2021b). “Internet-based entrepreneurial ventures: An empirical investigation of startup business strategies on firm performance from the MENA region,” Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, 22, 29 – 41. DOI: 10.1007/s40171–020–00256–4.
Alabdallah, G. (2013). “Customer relationship management and internet implementation: Empirical study on local Jordanian enterprises,” Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 5(4), 44 – 56.
Alabdallah, G. (2013). “The effect of customer-company relationship on internet adoption in Jordanian small and medium enterprises, Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 5(4), 192 – 199. https://doi.org/10.22610/jebs.v5i4.3
Alabdallah, G. (2015). “The impact of internet marketing research on achieving competitive advantage,” International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 8(1), 619 – 627.
Al-Abdallah, G. (2019). “Porter’s competitive strategies in internet-based entrepreneurial ventures,” in 2nd International Conference on Computers in Management and Business, St Antony’s College, Oxford, UK.
Al-Abdallah, G. and Bataineh, A. (2018). “Social networking sites and fashion e-purchasing process,” Journal of Business and Retail Management Research, 13(2), 36 – 49. DOI: https://doi.org/10.24052/JBRMR/V13IS02/ART-04
Al-Abdallah, G., Aboumoghli, A. and Al-Thani, A. (2018). “An examination of the e-commerce technology drivers in the real estate industry,” Problems and Perspectives in Management, 16(4), 1 – 27.
Alabdallah, G., Al-Khawaldeh, K. and Al-Hadid, A. (2014). “Internet usage and traditional distribution channels: The moderating effect of the firm’s size in Jordan,” International Business Research Journal, 7(3), 81 – 90.
Alabdallah, G. and Abou-Moghli, A. (2012). “The effect of promotional mix on internet adoption in Jordanian small and medium enterprises,” European Scientific Journal, 8(12), 96 – 112.
Al-Abdallah, G. and Ahmed, R. (2018). “The impact of corporate social responsibility on customer loyalty in the Qatari telecommunication sector,” Journal of Business and Retail Management Research, 13(1), 253 – 268. DOI: https://doi.org/10.24052/JBRMR/V13IS01/ART-25
Albuquerque, P., Pavlidis, P., Chatow, U., Chen, K.Y. and Jamal, Z. (2012). “Evaluating promotional activities in an online two-sided market of user-generated content,” Marketing Science, 31(3) 406 – 432.
Algesheime, R., Dholakia, U.M. and Herrmann, A. (2005). “The social influence of brand community: Evidence from European car clubs,” Journal of Marketing, 69(3) 19 – 34.
Al-Rawabdeha, H., Ghadira, H. and Al-Abdallahb, G. (2021). “The effects of user generated content and traditional reference groups on purchase intentions of young consumers: A comparative study on electronic products,” International Journal of Data and Network Science, 5(4), 691–702. DOI: 10.5267/j.ijdns.2021.7.012.
Al-Salami, K.H., Sawadi, Z.T. and Saadi, I.A. (2015). “An empirical study for competition case between Iraqi telecommunication companies using Game Theory,” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 5(9), 1 – 7.
Arazy, O., Kumar, N. and Shapira, B. (2010). “A theory-driven design framework for social recommender systems,” Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 11(9), 455 – 490.
Asur, S. and Huberman, B.A. (2010). “Predicting the future with social media,” in 2010 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, 1, IEEE, pp. 492 – 499.
Balakrishnan, B.K., Dahnil, M.I. and Yi, W.J. (2014). “The impact of social media marketing medium toward purchase intention and brand loyalty among generation Y,” Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148, 177 – 185. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.032.
Barghouth, D., Al-Abdallah, G.M. and Abdallah, A.B. (2021). “Pharmacy service factors and pharmacy performance: the role of patient satisfaction in community pharmacies,” International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing. DOI: 10.1108/IJPHM-03–2020–0017.
Barreda, A.A., Bilgihan, A., Nusair, K. and Okumus, F. (2015). “Generating brand awareness in online social networks,” Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 600 – 609.
Bataineh, A., Alabdallah, G. and Alkharabsheh, A. (2015). “Determinants of continuance intention to use social networking sites (SNS): Studying the case of Facebook,” International Journal of Marketing Studies, 7(4), 121 – 135. DOI:10.5539/ijms.v7n4p121
Bataineh, A., Alhadid, A., Alabdallah, G. and Alfalah, T. (2016). “The role of information technology capabilities in capitalizing market agility in Jordanian telecommunications sector,” International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 5(8), 90 – 101.
Beers, B. (2019). What is the telecommunications sector? [webpage]. Available: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/070815/what-telecommunications-sector.asp [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Belch, G.E. and Belch, M.S. (2015). Introduction to Advertising and Promotion, 10th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Bickart, B. and Schindler, R.M. (2001). “Internet forums as influential sources of consumer information,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 15(3), 31 – 40.
Chasser, A., Wolfe, J. (2010). Brand Rewired: Connecting Branding, Creativity and Intellectual Property Strategy. San Francisco, CA: Willey.
Chevalier, J.A. and Mayzlin, D. (2006). “The effect of word of mouth on sales: Online book reviews,” Journal of Marketing Research, 43(3), 345 – 354.
Christodoulides, G., Jevons, C. and Blackshaw, P. (2011). “The voice of the consumer speaks forcefully in brand identity: User-generated content forces smart marketers to listen,” Journal of Advertising Research, 51(1), 101 – 111.
Daft, R.L. and Langel, R.H. (1986). “Organizational information requirements, media richness and structural design,” Management Science, 32(5), 554 – 571.
Dean, B. (2021). Social network usage and growth statistics: How many people use social media in 2022? [webpage]. Available: https://backlinko.com/social-media-users [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Demba, D., Chiliya, N., Chuchu, T. and Ndoro, T. (2019). “How user-generated content advertising influences consumer attitudes, trust and purchase intention of products and services,” Communicare, 38(1), 136 – 149.
Dewan, S. and Ramaprasad, J. (2008). Consumer blogging and music sampling. Working paper, University of California at Irvine, Irvine.
Escalas, J.E. (2007). “Self-referencing and persuasion: Narrative transportation versus analytical elaboration,” Journal of Consumer Research, 33(4) 421 – 429.
Forman, C., Ghose, A. and Wiesenfeld, B. (2008). “Examining the relationship between reviews and sales: The role of reviewer identity information,” Information Systems Research, 19(3), 291–313.
Gabriel, D. (2013). Inductive and deductive approaches to research [webpage]. Available: https://deborahgabriel.com/2013/03/17/inductive-and-deductive-approaches-to-research/ [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Gagnon, E. (2014). “Goodbye, B2B brand marketing: Developing content-based marketing programs for the post-marketing era,” International Management Review, 10(2), 68 – 71.
Gautam, V. and Sharma, V. (2017). “The mediating role of customer relationship on the social media marketing and purchase intention relationship with special reference to luxury fashion brands,” Journal of Promotion Management, 23(6), 872 – 888.
Gensler, S., Völckner, F., Liu-Thompkins, Y. and Wiertz, C. (2013). “Managing brands in the social media environment,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(4), 242–56.
George, D. and Mallery, P. (2013). SPSS for Windows Step by Step: A Simple Guide and Reference, 11.0 update, 4th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Ghattas, D. and Al-Abdallah, G. (2020). “Factors affecting customers’ selection of community pharmacies: The mediating effect of branded pharmacies and the moderating effect of demographics,” Management Science Letters, 10(8), 1 – 12. DOI: 10.5267/j.msl.2019.12.037.
Ghose, A., Ipeirotis, P., Li, B. (2012). “Designing ranking systems for hotels on travel search engines by mining user-generated and crowdsourced content,” Marketing Science, 31 (3), 493–520.
Gilly, M.C., Graham, J.L., Wolfinbarger, M.F. and Yale, L.J. (1998). “A dyadic study of interpersonal information search,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 26(2) 83 – 100.
Global Telecom Industry Statistics 2020 – CAPEX, Mobile Revenue, Infrastructure Market Share and Regional Subscription Data – ResearchAndMarkets.com”. businesswire.com. Retrieved 2021 – 05 – 17
Godes, D. and Mayzlin, D. (2009). “Firm-created word-of-mouth communication: evidence from a field test,” Marketing Science, 28 No. 4, 721 – 739.
Goh, K.-Y., Heng, C.-S. and Lin, Z. (2013). “Social media brand community and consumer behavior: Quantifying the relative impact of user-and marketer-generated content,” Information Systems Research, 24(1), 88 – 107.
Goh, K.Y., Hui, K.L. and Png, I. (2011). “Newspaper reports and consumer choice: Evidence from the do not call registry,” Management Science, 57(9) 1640 – 1654.
Gupta, P.D., Guha, S. and Krishnaswami, S.S. (2013). “Firm growth and its determinants,” Journal of innovation and entrepreneurship, 2(1), p.15.
Huang, J. and Chen, Y. (2006). “Herding in online product choice,” Psychology and Marketing, 23 (5), 413–428.
Hutter, K., Hautz, J., Dennhardt, S. and Füller, J. (2013). “The impact of user interactions in social media on brand awareness and purchase intention: the case of mini on Facebook,” Journal of Product and Brand Management, 22(5/6), 342 – 351.
Investingroup. (2013). Plugging in: Telecom and internet [webpage]. Available: https://investingroup.org/review/242/plugging-in-telecom-and-internet-kurdistan/#:~:text=The%20Kurdistan%20Region’s%20telecom%20industry,Asiacell%2C%20Korek%2C%20and%20Zain.andtext=While%20landline%20and%20Internet%20penetration,estimated%20to%20have%20reached%2090%25 [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Jones, S. (2014). The six stages of the consumer buying process and how to market to them [webpage]. Available: https://www.business2community.com/consumer-marketing/six-stages-consumer-buying-process-market-0811565 [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Jumaa, A (2021). “Telecommunication Sector in KRI,” Interview by Sarhang Jumaa, 5 April.
Junejo, I., Kazi, A.S., Soomro, M., Siddique, M., Juman, S.N. and Shaikh, S.H. (2020). “Website content and consumer buying behavior: The mediating role of electronic word-of-mouth,” Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 13(11), 1259 – 1264.
Karakaya, F. and Barnes, N.G. (2010). “Impact of online reviews of customer care experience on brand or company selection,” Journal of Consumer Marketing, 27(5), 447 – 457.
Kurdistan Regional Government (2021). Kurdistan fact sheet [webpage]. Available: https://gov.krd/boi-en/why-kurdistan/region/facts-figures/region-kurdistan-fact-sheet/ [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Krishnamurthy, S. and Dou, W. (2008). “Note from special issue editors: advertising with user-generated content: A framework and research agenda,” Journal of Interactive Advertising, 8(2), 1 – 4.
Kumar, A., Bezawada, R., Rishika, R., Janakiraman, R. and Kannan, P.K. (2016). “From social to sale: The effects of firm-generated content in social media on customer behavior,” Journal of Marketing, 80(1), 7 – 25.
Kumar, V., Bhaskaran, V., Mirchandani, R. and Shah, M. (2013). “Creating a measurable social media marketing strategy: Increasing the value and ROI of intangibles and tangibles for Hokey Pokey,” Marketing Science, 32(2), 194–212.
Lea, W. (2012). The new rules of customer engagement [webpage]. Available: http://www.inc.com/wendy-lea/new-rules-of-customer-engagement.html [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Lee, J. (2020). Corona virus hits Asiacell revenue [news]. Available: https://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2020/10/29/coronavirus-hits-asiacell-revenue/ [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Liu, Y. (2006). “Word of mouth for movies: Its dynamics and impact on box office revenue,” Journal of Marketing, 70(3), 74 – 89.
Luca, M. (2011). Reviews, reputation and revenue: The case of Yelp.com [working paper]. Available: https://www.hbs.edu/ris/Publication%20Files/12-016_a7e4a5a2-03f9-490d-b093-8f951238dba2.pdf [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Maddala, G.S. (1992). Introduction to Econometrics, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Mayzlin, D. (2006). “Promotional chat on the Internet,” Marketing Science, 25(2) 155 – 163.
Mothersbaugh, D.L. and Hawkins, D.I. (2016). Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 13th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Mustafa, S. and Al-Abdallah, G. (2020). “The evaluation of traditional communication channels and its impact on purchase decision,” Management Science Letters, 10(7), 1 – 12. DOI: 10.5267/j.msl.2019.12.014
Naab, T.K. and Sehl, A. (2017). “Studies of user-generated content: A systematic review,” Journalism, 18(10), 1256 – 1273.
Naylor, R.W., Lamberton, C.P. and West, P.M. (2012). “Beyond the ‘like’ button: The impact of mere virtual presence on brand evaluations and purchase intentions in social media settings,” Journal of Marketing, 76, 105 – 120
Obermiller, C. and Spangenberg, E.R. (1998). “Development of a scale to measure consumer skepticism toward advertising,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 7(2) 159 – 186.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2007). Participative web: User-created content [pdf]. Available: http://www.oecd.org/sti/38393115.pdf [Accessed: 1 january 2022].
Parameswaran, M. and Whinston, A.B. (2007). “Social computing: An overview,” Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 19, 762–780.
Petty, R.E. and Wegener, D.T. (1998). Handbook of Social Psychology. editors Gilbert DT, Fiske ST, Lindzey G,. Oxford Univ Press, New York.
Poulis, A., Rizomyliotis, I. and Konstantoulaki, K. (2019). “Do firms still need to be social? Firm generated content in social media,” Information Technology and People, 32(32). DOI: 10.1108/ITP-03-2018-0134.
Prasath, P. and Yoganathen, A. (2018). “Influence of social media marketing on consumer buying decision making process,” SLIS Student Research Journal [online]. Available: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326294733_influence_of_social_media_marketing_on_consumer_buying_decision_making_process [Accessed: 1 January 2022].
Russo, J.E. and Chaxel, A.S. (2010). “How persuasive messages can influence behavior without awareness,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 20(3) 338 – 342.
Schivinski, B. and Dabrowski, D. (2016). “The effect of social media communication on consumer perceptions of brands,” Journal of Marketing Communications, 22(2), 189 – 214.
Schuinanii, J., Wangenheim, F. and Groene, N. (2014). “Targeted online advertising: Using reciprocity appeals to increase acceptance among users of free web services,” Journal of Marketing, 78, 59 – 75. DOI: 10.1509/jm.11.0316.
Severi, E., Ling, K.C. and Nasermoadeli, A. (2014). “The impacts of electronic word of mouth on brand equity in the context of social media,” International Journal of Business and Management, 9(8), 84 – 96.
Stephen, A.T. and Galak, J. (2012). “The effects of traditional and social earned media on sales: A study of a microlending marketplace,” Journal of Marketing Research, 49(5), 624 – 639.
Trusov, M., Bucklin, R.E. and Pauwels, K. (2009). “Effects of word-of-mouth versus traditional marketing: Findings from an internet social networking site,” Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 90 – 102.
Vickery, G. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2007). Participative Web and User-created Content: Web 2.0 Wikis and Social Networking. Paris, France: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Xiao, L., Guo, F., Yu, F. and Liu, S. (2019). “The effects of online shopping context cues on consumers’ purchase intention for cross-border E-Commerce sustainability,” Sustainability, 11(10), 2777.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License [CC BY-NC-ND 4.0] that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).