Observing The Roleof Influencer Marketing in Consumer Electronics Category: An Emerging Market Perspective
Research Objective:Consumer electronics is a fast growing category in India. This study focuses on the comparative effect of celebrity v/s domain expert influencers in consumer electronics category. The researcher has observed the effect of influencer marketing on consumers’ brand attitude. Brand attitude is a significant indicator of consumer-brand relationship. Further, the level of consumers’ involvement with the influencers’ communication is hypothesized to moderate the relation between influencer marketing and brand attitude.
Methodology - Descriptive research design was used to conduct the study. Hence, a questionnaire was created using pre-existing scales for the said variables. Data were collected from 438 respondents. Hypotheses were tested using regression, factor analysis, and hierarchical regression analysis.The proposed model and hypotheses is as follows:
H1: Expert influencers have a significant effect on consumers’ brand attitude
H2: Celebrity influencers have a significant effect on consumers’ brand attitude
H3: Message process involvement moderates the relationship between influencer marketing and brand attitude
Research Findings: The results indicate that there is a definite advantage in employing expert influencers over celebrity influencers for marketing consumer electronics products in an emerging market like India. Message involvement moderates the relationship between influencer marketing and brand attitude.
Contribution to Theory:Research in the area of influencer marketing is limited. Literature has established that consumers’ involvement with advertising on traditional platforms v/s digital platforms is different. This study establishes the significant effect of expert influencers over celebrity influencers for marketing of consumer electronics products. Further, the moderating role of message involvement is also established. Practical Implications: Choosing from among expert and celebrity influencers is a conundrum for marketers across the globe. In India, the spends on influencer marketing are growing at a rapid pace. This study proposes the marketers that it is advisable to invest marketing dollars with expert influencers. Also the influencers should be suggested to create relevant content for the followers as the message involvement strengthens the relationship between influencer marketing and brand attitude.
Limitations of the Study: Data was collected from Gen Y respondents only. Although this is a significant proportion of consumers buying electronics products in India, the results cannot be generalized for all consumer cohorts in India. Data is cross-sectional only. A longitudinal study can help establish the long term impact of influencer marketing.
Keywords - Expert Influencer, Attractive Influencer, Brand Attitude, Moderation.