Word-of-Mouth Referral Sources for Buyers of International Corporate Financial Services

Money, R. Bruce
September 2000
Journal of World Business;Fall2000, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p314
Academic Journal
Managing word-of-mouth promotion for corporate or commercial services has received little research attention, even less in an international context--surprising given the growth and importance of services in the global economy. This study explores the issue of who does the referring of financial services in the world's two largest economies: the U.S. and Japan. Decision makers in both locations who made the initial financial services purchase for 48 Japanese and American companies were interviewed regarding whom they used as a referral source. A total of 13 different types of sources were identified and grouped into four categories. The dominant type of referral source used was the "insider" (headquarters, partner, investor) for both Japanese and American companies, especially in a foreign market. Otherwise, the Japanese buyers of services used more of a variety of sources than did the Americans in both foreign and domestic locations. General implications for marketers of financial services in the U.S. and Japan are discussed.


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