An evaluation of the influence of experiential marketing on spectators' behaviour in the Taiwanese professional baseball league
2014-06-18T08:07:00Z (GMT) by
The relationships between service quality, consumer satisfaction, and loyalty have been widely discussed in the service marketing literature, but there is still an ongoing debate about these relationships because they have not been well studied in spectator sport industry (Theodorakis & Alexandris, 2008). Schmitt (2011) claimed that consumer experiential could be a new perspective for evaluating the nature of these relationships. However, experience marketing has some special and unique attributes requiring specific definitions in specific research contexts. Thus, the current research attempts to (1) identify what kinds of experiences are found in Taiwanese professional baseball games; (2) test models of relationships between consumer experience, service quality, satisfaction and loyalty taking into account the unique aspects of the specific context of Taiwanese professional baseball games; and (3) test the role of consumer experience on the relationships between perceived service quality, satisfaction and loyalty. In order to achieve the research aims, the current research adopted a mixed method approach using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Four focus groups, representing the qualitative stage, were conducted to acquire a better understanding of consumer experience types and characteristics in Taiwanese professional baseball games. The main findings of the focus groups are that (1) ordinary experiences include the game itself while additional events and activities characterise extraordinary experiences. However, (2) when games involve a special performance and record or modifies a ranking position, they can be seen as extraordinary experiences as well. Moreover, ordinary experience and extraordinary experiences also depend on clubs, game days, and stadiums. A questionnaire survey, representing the quantitative stage, was used to investigate the relationships between consume experience, service quality, consumer satisfaction and loyalty. The sampling strategy was designed based on the specific research context features (i.e., different clubs, dates and stadia), and 1,229 questionnaires were collected. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted in order to test the measurement model and compare theoretical models according to specific research context features. The main findings were that: (1) the degree of association between consumer experience and service quality is significant, (2) both direct and indirect relationships of consumer experience on consumer satisfaction and loyalty are significant, (3) only an indirect influence, via consumer satisfaction, of service quality on consumer loyalty is significant, (4) the differences of relationships are significant between clubs, but not significant between dates and stadia. The current research concluded that (1) consumer experience is an important dimension to take into consideration to better understand the formation of consumer loyalty, (2) there is a two-way relationship between service quality and consumer experience, (3) Intangible experience elements are captured by consumer experience while tangible experience elements are captured by service quality, (4) Extraordinary experiences in sport spectating events are highly dependent on situational factors, (5) specific research contexts features are important to take into consideration when conducting consumer experience research.