Original Research

Does complementary role matter? An empirical study on paid search and social ads on purchase

Zongwei Li, Xu Tian, JiaNing Chen, Lingling Ren, YanHui Zhang
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 54, No 1 | a3472 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v54i1.3472 | © 2023 Zongwei Li, Xu Tian, Jia-Ning Chen, Ling-Ling Ren, Yanhun Zhang | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2022 | Published: 08 June 2023

About the author(s)

Zongwei Li, Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China
Xu Tian, Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China
JiaNing Chen, Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China
Lingling Ren, Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China
YanHui Zhang, Department of Business Administration, School of Business, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

Abstract

Purpose: Online integrated marketing is arousing extensive attention from industry and academia, whereas no uniform conclusion on the effectiveness of integrated versus single marketing has been reached thus far. Accordingly, the integrated marketing effectiveness of paid search advertising and social advertising, and the moderating role of product type in it are primarily investigated in this study.

Design/methodology/approach: The interaction between paid search advertising and social advertising and purchase is elucidated. Moreover, the moderating effects of product type on the relationship are examined. The hypotheses are tested using an empirical model in accordance with the natural transaction data from Taobao.

Findings/results: An empirical analysis confirms a complementary relationship between paid search and social advertising on enhancing purchase. Furthermore, this study suggests that paid search advertising is more probably employed for the purchase of hedonic products, and social advertising more markedly affects the sales of utilitarian products. Moreover, the above-described two advertisements jointly increase the sales of hedonic products.

Practical implications: The results provide applicable guidance for sellers’ advertising strategies on online shopping platforms. Sellers should stimulate sales by strategically using integrated marketing tools, and they should adopt different marketing strategies in accordance with different product types.

Originality/value: The findings reveal the complementary relationship between paid search and social advertising. Furthermore, this study expands the application of dual-process theory and analyses the information processing of utilitarian and hedonic products.


Keywords

paid search advertising; social advertising; dual-process theory; online purchase; complementary effect.

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