Why Do I Want to Be Your Friend? Engaging with Brands in Ephemeral Media
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This study investigated the effects of ephemerality and marketing orientation on consumer engagement. Ephemeral applications, particularly in social media, constitute an emerging technology that allows marketers and users the capability to predetermine the lifespan of their online content. Since many consumers are adopting ephemeral applications, the purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of ephemerality and marketing orientation on consumer engagement with brands as well as to explore fan engagement of sports teams relative to other product categories. Explicitly, an ephemeral environment and relational orientation of the marketer were hypothesized to increase consumer engagement with a chosen brand. A quantitative, 2 marketing orientation (relational/transactional) x 2 medium (ephemeral/non-ephemeral) x 4 category of brand (sports teams/restaurants/clothing/musicians) experimental research design was used in this study. Participants (N=281) received random assignment into one of the four orientation x medium groups and self-selected the category of brand. The manipulations involved consumers’ choice of favorite brand within the chosen category in the context of a hypothetical new mobile app. After receiving the condition, the questionnaire was completed using online software. Univariate analysis of variance was used to examine the hypotheses. Results revealed that consumers are more likely to engage in an ephemeral context, regardless of the marketing orientation, yet an interaction occurred that shows ephemeral, relational messages regarding musicians prompted the highest level of consumer engagement. The research, including the implications, future paths, and limitations are detailed in subsequent chapters.
Wakefield, Lane Taylor (2016). Why Do I Want to Be Your Friend? Engaging with Brands in Ephemeral Media. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from