Article

Supporting the Adoption Funnel with Differential Effects from Traditional Advertising, Online Displays, and a Micro-Influencer Campaign

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Abstract

Growing a digital platform requires bringing users to the platform and converting them into adopting the online service or community. Growth may be supported with advertising, but knowledge about what type of advertising affects what stage in the adoption funnel is incomplete. This research investigates how television and print advertising, digital banners, and firm-created word-of-mouth from a micro-influencer campaign differentially affect aggregate-level searches, platform visits, and platform sign-ups of a new lifestyle and home decoration online community platform. Results from the endogeneity-bias-controlled funnel model indicate, that traditional advertising helps in early stages, digital banner advertisements bring users directly to the platform at intermediate stages, and firm-created word-of-mouth helps converting users in the last stages of the adoption funnel. These findings complement existing adoption funnel studies with fewer or different advertising or funnel variables. For managers, the results imply that advertising can address bottlenecks in the platform adoption funnel.

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