Profiling Marketplace Change Agents (Influential) Using the Multiple Flow Communication Theory

Nobukhosi Dlodlo

Abstract


This paper theoretically examines the importance of influential consumers in shaping the information retrieval and sharing practices of the general public. The principal conjectural assessment was drawn from underpinnings of the two step theory of communication and the multiple flow theory. As such, the study purports that in the world of marketing and retailing, there are three specific consumer segments that are fundamental as change agents in the propagation of marketplace related information and trends. Firstly, innovators are those consumers who have a tendency to adopt and use new products relatively early in the diffusion process. Secondly, opinion leaders are those consumers who are sought after and consulted about new products or services, by other consumers, because they are usually perceived as more knowledgeable with regard to product category related information. Thirdly, the market maven is the consumer segment consumers whose knowledge transcends many different product categories, types of distribution outlets, local marketplace developments and is also socially motivated to share this information with other consumers. This study presents both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, this review enriches the scholarly body knowledge on the psychology of influential consumers from the perspective of interpersonal communication dilation structures as well as innovation research. From a practical perspective, continued research on influential consumers will enable marketers to create engaging retail experiences and further gear their promotional strategies at these specific segments when launching product innovations.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p705


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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