Investigating the significance of word-of-mouth marketing from a consumer perspective in the German sanitary industry

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Lam, Luca
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MSc in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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The modern digital age leads to an ongoing communication between consumers and companies. Consumers exchange experiences about products and services, recommend them or warn others against a bad buy. In addition, consumers are constantly overwhelmed by persistent advertisements, which leads to an overstimulation. They perceive advertisements as disturbing or ignore them completely. Word-of-mouth can provide a great connection and a solid base of trust between consumers and companies (Schueller, 2015, pp. 12-14; Silverman, 2011, pp. 28-30). Therefore, it can significantly influence the company’s success in a positive and negative way. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the significance of word-of-mouth marketing from a consumer perspective in the German sanitary industry. In the end, it shall provide a qualitative answer about how significant this marketing tool is in the context of this specific industry. The research is conducted through a qualitative research based on in-depth interviews with semi-structured questionnaires and two different research populations. The first population consists of wholesalers and installers who are considered as influencers. The second population consists of consumers who are or were involved with a purchase of a sanitary product. The samples are selected based on the researcher’s location. The research revealed deep insights into the word-of-mouth and influencer marketing as well as into the consumer behaviour in the German sanitary industry. Overall, it revealed that word-of-mouth plays a crucial role in the sanitary industry from different perspectives. Based on the primary and secondary research, it is recommended that businesses of the German sanitary industry should consider word-of-mouth as a controlled marketing tool and understand its importance for customers. Further research could be undertaken to investigate further into the consumer behaviour and especially into branding strategies for the German sanitary industry.