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EMAC 2022 Annual

The Role of Marketing Activities and Searching Behavior Driving New Users Toward Acquisition

Published: May 24, 2022


Carla Freitas Silveira Netto, University of Bologna; Elisa Montaguti , University of Bologna ; Sara Valentini, Bocconi University, Italy; Federica Vecchioni, Data Reply


Firms spend effort and resources in acquiring customers. However, little is known about when a customer can be considered fully acquired and how marketing activities can influence this process. In this study, the authors propose a model that allows to map consumers' journeys to acquisition. More specifically, the model identifies the latent phases leading to acquisition and the impact of marketing activities in each phase. By taking advantage of a unique dataset mapping both consumers’ search and purchases for a major e-tailer in the luxury industry, the authors show that (1) prospects can pass through up to five hidden states: directed searchers, deliberative searchers, first triers, acquired customers, and loyal customers; (2) different migration paths across those states exist; (3) marketing activities and pre-acquisition behavior have an effect in driving prospects towards acquisition; (4) the first purchase does not necessarily entail the acquisition of the customer.