Title: Snowball sampling consumer behaviour research to characterise the influence of market mavens on social networks

Authors: Takashi Yoshida; Tomohisa Gotoh; Nobuyuki Tomizawa; Ken'ichi Ikeda

Addresses: Graduate School of Business Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 3-29-1 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0012, Japan ' Knowledge Discovery Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, 1753 Shimonumabe, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 211-8666, Japan ' Knowledge Discovery Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, 1753 Shimonumabe, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 211-8666, Japan ' Department of Social Psychology, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

Abstract: Market maven is a type of consumers who spread their capricious knowledge widely. Although the existence of market mavens has been known, our research is the first to characterise their disposition and role on social networks. We carried out researches about consumer behaviour and social networks, applying snowball sampling technique, an ideal way to acquire samples of influential individuals. Market mavens were included more among influential respondents. In addition, by the analysis of social network structure, market mavens were found to be taking part in more groups of people and therefore act as a bridge between groups that spreads information from one to others. These results revealed the market mavens' influence in diffusion processes.

Keywords: word-of-mouth; WoM; technology diffusion; viral marketing; snowball sampling; market mavens; local diffusion; social networks; community structure; degree correlation; consumer behaviour; information sharing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISTA.2013.056534

International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2013 Vol.12 No.3/4, pp.268 - 282

Available online: 25 Sep 2013

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