This thesis investigates to what extend young Danish consumers utilize online user-generated content (UGC) as an information and advisory resource during the decision making process when choosing a new smartphone. With the rapid expansion and penetration of online social media in modern society consumers are increasingly exposed to electronic word-of-mouth on products and services via UGC. This content is authored and created by the consumers themselves, and is therefore a channel of influence that smartphone marketers have little or no control over. This research draws on the theoretical literature of consumer decision making, attitude formation and involvement with products and advertisements to investigate to what extend and why consumers use UGC in their smartphone decision making. Based on the theory on involvement and supported by a netnographic study of smartphone relevant UGC a conceptual model was developed and tested empirically with data collected through an online questionnaire. The quantitative analysis concluded that 48% of young Danish consumers used UGC the last time they chose a new smartphone. Moreover 77.9% of the respondents that did use UGC agreed that it influenced their considerations and decision regarding model choice. Through a structural equation modelling analysis it was concluded, that the consumer’s level of felt involvement in the consumption of UGC had a strong effect on the level of influence it had on their choice considerations. Smartphone purchase involvement, trust in UGC and a positive view on UGC compared to traditional advertisement were the main drivers of felt involvement in UGC consumption. Through a cluster analysis two key segments of smartphone consumers that use UGC was identified – “The Insecure Choosers” and “The Engaged Experts”. The segments relation to smartphones and use of UGC differentiates significantly, and marketing communication towards each segment should be adjusted accordingly. Three recommendations for smartphone marketers on how to use UGC in their marketing have been proposed. Marketers should strive towards generating as much positive UGC on their respective brands as possible through electronic word-of-mouth marketing initiatives. Furthermore existing UGC should be utilized and presented to desired target audiences on the company’s own digital assets. Finally initiatives to generate UGC or present UGC should be aligned with the needs of the two identified segments in order to maximize the felt involvement, and thus increase impact on purchase considerations.
|Educations||MSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||149|