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Let’s Make a “Deal”: How Deal Collectives Co-Produce Unintended Value from Sales Promotions

Let’s Make a “Deal”: How Deal Collectives Co-Produce Unintended Value from Sales Promotions

Colin Campbell and Hope Jensen Schau

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Consumers are using online forums to create unintended deals that injure firms.

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Related Marketing Courses: ​
Digital Marketing; Marketing Strategy;

Full Citation: ​
Campbell, Colin, and Hope Jensen Schau (2019), “Let’s Make a ‘Deal’: How Deal Collectives Coproduce Unintended Value from Sales Promotions,” Journal of Marketing, 83(6), 43-60.

Article Abstract
Users of deal collectives co-produce “deals” that yield value beyond what a marketer intends when offering promotions. We develop an understanding of how this unintended value is co-produced through the combined actions of users in deal collectives. Users are drawn to deal collectives by a web of motivations that include subversive shopper feelings, which reflect a desire to outsmart firms and temporarily upend the market power structure. Uncovered transvaluation processes show that deal forums, due to their collective knowledge, creativity, and trust, are more effective than individual consumers at identifying, developing, and vetting opportunities to capture unintended value. We further reveal that unintended value can stem from untargeted promotions, pricing and promotion errors, and by combining or stacking promotions. Strategies for monitoring deal collectives and either discouraging or supporting their activities are offered.

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Special thanks to Kelley Gullo and Holly Howe, Ph.D. candidates at Duke University, for their support in working with authors on submissions to this program. 

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Colin Campbell is Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing, University of San Diego School of Business, USA, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Hope Jensen Schau is Eller Professor, Department of Marketing, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona.