Mobile targeting in industrial marketing : Connecting with the right businesses

Xiangnan FENG, Yiwei LI, Xiaolin LIN, Yijian NING

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Although the existing literature has acknowledged the importance of mobile marketing, few scholars have examined the efficacy of mobile targeting. This paper contributes to the burgeoning literature on mobile targeting by investigating the effects of customer mobile habits and social capital on firm sales. Leveraging unique customer mobile browsing data from a major telecom service provider in China, we use a Bayesian SEM (structural equation modeling) approach to show that customer mobile habits and social capital exert significant influences on customers' purchase intentions. Specifically, customers who engage in more hedonic mobile behaviors, such as social networking, video browsing, and gaming are associated with a higher probability of purchasing, controlling for the usage of communications apps including messaging and emailing apps, and the usage of functional apps, such as maps, living services, and app market apps. Additionally, our research results reveal a significant positive effect of social capital on firms' sales performance. These findings offer important insights that are often missing from organizational targeting campaign designs in terms of targeting both the right customers and the right business alliance partners and enable a better understanding of managerial and decision-making implications in the context of the B2B market in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date26 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the editor and the reviewers for their valuable comments, which substantially improved this article. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71490722, 71802166). The authors are listed alphabetically.


  • Bayesian SEM
  • Big data
  • Hedonic value
  • Mobile habits
  • Mobile targeting
  • Social capital


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