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The literature as to what makes marketing communication for hi-tech products more effective is an area of interest for marketers. This study compares story-based reviews with technical reviews and tests narrative paradigm theory (NPT) (Fisher 1984, 1987) and its constituent of narrative believability in the context of smart TVs. The choice of this sector is driven by the hi-tech nature of this industry, its rapid market growth, and an expanding market as customers increasingly switch to smart TVs. Product characteristics (Floyd et al. 2014) and price (Bodur et al. 2015) are known to impact the need and intensity of Internet search behavior conducted by customers before purchase. Given these features, customers purchasing a smart TV undertake considerable Internet search. Various websites exist that host reviews for different smart TVs in the market. This study departs from the idea that a narrative-based review of a durable product has a stronger impact on narrative persuasion and purchase intention than an argumentative-based review that makes use of highly technical language. An experimental format is adopted where subjects, receive as treatment, review with either an argumentative or story-based content. The experiment reveals that narrative believability for a story-based narrative is higher than that for an argumentative review, but the effect of narrative believability on purchase intention exhibits no significant difference for the two types of content. Implications for management are discussed, limitations are noted, and directions for future research are indicated.
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- The Effect of Narrative Believability on Persuasiveness and Purchase Intention: An Abstract
Mario L. Cassar