What's the marketing relevance of an online health community?

Susan Stewart Loane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Online health communities are virtual social networks, usually formed around a specific illness or disability. Many are led by consumers with little or no involvement of healthcare firms, so the relevance of these communities to the marketing discipline is not obvious. With more than 1.3billion users worldwide spending more than 30 hours each month connecting with others via the internet (ComScore, 2012a, 2012b), it is vital that marketers seek to understand this new environment where consumers are as easily influenced by peers as they are by carefully designed marketing messages. Within these homogeneous social networks participants develop trust and goodwill and generate social capital, thus co-creating consumer value with one another. This doctoral study applies Holbrook’s Typology of Consumer Value (Holbrook, 1999)to the study of social capital generated within an online community for sufferers of Crohn’s Disease. Positioned at the intersection of contemporary marketing and sociological research, this study provides new insights and understanding of how value is co-created between consumers within an online social context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Conference 2013
Subtitle of host publicationmarketing relavence
Place of PublicationCardiff, UK
PublisherAcademy of Marketing
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAcademy of Marketing Conference (2013) - Cardiff, UK
Duration: 8 Jul 201311 Jul 2013


ConferenceAcademy of Marketing Conference (2013)
CityCardiff, UK


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