Marketing in the Rise of Online Data: Dealing with the Shifts in Firm-Consumer Information Asymmetry

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The rapidly increasing availability of online data and information has led to shifts in information asymmetry experienced by firms and consumers, who now can make more informed decisions than ever before. However, both firms and consumers also experience challenges related to leveraging the available data and information. For firms, these challenges mainly relate to developing analytical capabilities that allow working with data from different sources and using such data in decision making. For consumers, these challenges are primarily associated with navigation through large amounts of online information without experiencing information overload.
This dissertation engages in the ongoing discussion about the shifts in the firm-consumer information asymmetry driven by the increasing availability of online data and information. In addition to discussing the opportunities linked to the firm-consumer information asymmetry shifts, it attends to overcoming the associated challenges faced by both stakeholder groups. In doing so, this dissertation relies on three essays.
Essay 1 addresses the importance of the development and use of analytical capabilities that extend beyond the boundaries of individual firms. The implications of this essay shed light on how firms can better leverage the available online data in decreasing information asymmetry for themselves as well as partners within their business networks. Essay 2 addresses how parasocial interaction fostered in consumer-to-consumer video reviews influence consumer purchase decisions. This essay provides insights into what kind of video reviews are most likely to help consumers make purchase decisions and how firms can help consumers access such reviews. Finally, Essay 3 examines how firms can leverage sharing brand communications through social media takeovers on their own social media accounts to strengthen relationships with consumers. This essay further elaborates on the importance of relationships formed on social media in helping firms gain unique consumer data and support consumers in accessing relevant and timely information.
This dissertation challenges the traditional way of viewing transactions between firms and consumers by considering the use of increasingly available online data and information by both stakeholder groups. The implications of this dissertation further point to the increasing importance for firms to take more active stands in fostering information symmetry in the market.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Heinonen, Kristina, Degree supervisor
  • Frösén, Johanna, Thesis supervisor
  • Ciuchita, Robert, Thesis supervisor
Award date02.12.2022
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-952-232-478-8
Electronic ISBNs978-952-232-479-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • 512 Business and Management
  • online data
  • information asymmetry
  • analytical capabilities
  • consumer-to-consumer reviews
  • social media marketing


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