Consumers' Social Learning About Videogame Consoles Through Multiple Website Browsing
Tokyo University of Science, 1-11-2 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
This research examines the micro-level correlation between traditional marketing actions (TV ads and public relations) and pre-release consumers' social learning about videogame consoles (Wii and PS3, launched in 2006). We evaluate consumers' learning processes via the perusal of information in online communities using "pageview" data for multiple websites from a clickstream panel as indicators. We propose a bivariate Bayesian learning model combined with complementary purchase choices. The proposed model enables simpler estimation of parameters and allows to accommodate detailed information about interactions between social and personal learning processes. From the results, we find empirical evidence that companies' traditional marketing actions have a greater impact on social learning than on regular personal learning during the pre-launch period. When consumers make purchase decisions, their social beliefs about product quality are weighed at least three times more heavily than their personal beliefs. Counterfactual simulations suggest that by optimizing marketing actions, firms can stimulate consumers' learning and promote increased product engagement.
Key words： on-line social learning
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