Achieving well-being is the ultimate goal of every human activity. Thus, the topic attracts the attention of researchers across various disciplines. A voluminous body of research has also emerged on consumer well-being (CWB) within the marketing literature. However, despite the prevalence of social media platforms and their profound influence on people’s lives, the relationship between CWB and social media within the realm of marketing remains an underresearched area. Further, and more importantly, notwithstanding the proliferation of influencer marketing and the significant marketing expenditures dedicated to this social media marketing practice, there is severe lack of empirical evidence at the intersection of CWB and influencer marketing. Seeking to make an original contribution to the conceptual architecture of CWB, the aim of the thesis is, therefore, twofold. First, to examine well-being and behavioral outcomes of exposure to influencer marketing. Second, to investigate variables that are expected to affect indirectly as moderators and mediators these interactions.
A systematic assessment of the intellectual structure of research on CWB, which is supplemented by a narrative literature review in order to expand the boundaries of the CWB domain to include the context of influencer marketing, provide the foundations for the development of a conceptual framework that illustrates and explicates the relationships between exposure to influencer marketing, the bipartite formulation of subjective well-being (SWB) (i.e., affective and cognitive well-being), purchase intention and product type. Specifically, the proposed framework postulates that exposure to influencer marketing directly influences SWB (in a negative manner) and purchase intention (in a positive manner) with product type (experiential versus material goods) acting as a moderator. SWB is also theorized as a mediator between exposure to influencer marketing and purchase intention.
The empirical stage of the thesis adopts a quantitative research approach and a survey strategy resorting to adaptations of well-known and established scales. The quantitative data are collected by surveying 410 Cypriot consumers who are Instagram users recently exposed to influencer marketing.
The results of this study provide evidence for the significant negative effect of exposure to influencer marketing on SWB and the significant positive effect on purchase intention. It is also demonstrated that affective well-being mediates the relationship between exposure to influencer marketing and purchase intention but cognitive well-being does not. With regard to this, the results reveal a special case of competitive mediation in which the direct relationship dominates the indirect one with affective well-being acting as a suppressor that reduces the total positive effect. Further, the findings indicate that product type moderates the relation between exposure to influencer marketing and both components of SWB but not the relationship between exposure to influencer marketing and purchase intention.
The empirically validated framework represents a first step towards jointly investigating behavioral and well-being consequences of exposure to influencer marketing, therefore laying the foundations on which future studies can build to identify the nature of this interrelationship. In conclusion, this doctoral dissertation offers several valuable contributions to the CWB, consumer psychology, influencer marketing, social media marketing, advertising and broader marketing literatures.
Consumer Well-Being and Consumer Behavior: The Role of Influencer Marketing
- PhD thesis
- Business Administration -- Management