QUESTION TYPE: Paradox
PARADOX: Word of mouth marketing is more successful when the marketer admits to their targets that the marketer is part of a marketing campaign. (The targets are friends and acquaintances.)
ANALYSIS: The unstated (and valid) assumption is that people generally dislike being marketed to. Yet telling people they were being marketed to increased sales. Why? Use your intuition when reading these sorts of situations. How would you feel if someone told you the truth? Well, people like honesty. Maybe that’s the reason.
That was my prephrase, anyway. It doesn’t turn out to be the exact answer, but thinking through my intuitive response to the situation helped me predict it. I actually imagined how I’d feel if a friend tried to pitch me on a product and told me their affiliation.
Note that the bit about mass-media ads at the end is misleading. It gets you thinking about word-of-mouth vs. normal ads. But the stimulus is comparing word-of-mouth (disclosed) vs. word-of-mouth (undisclosed).
This question is about a comparison between two different styles of word-of-mouth campaigns! Only B and E even address this comparison.
- This answer makes an irrelevant comparison between the effectiveness of word of mouth and mass market.
The stimulus is comparing two different word-of-mouth situations: those where marketers admit they’re marketers, and one where they don’t.
- This is a tempting trap answer. But the stimulus isn’t saying that knowledge of affiliation leads to no influence. Once a marketer announces affiliation, people are more influenced, and buy more.
If you picked this you were probably approaching these answers from a scientific bias point of view.
- This tells us how marketers come to be marketers, but it doesn’t tell us why they’re effective or why there’s a difference when they disclose their affiliation.
- This tells us why word-of-mouth is popular. But it doesn’t address the comparison between two types of word-of-mouth campaigns that the stimulus mentioned.
- CORRECT. This gives us a reason why being honest about affiliations leads to more sales.
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