What makes mavens tick? Exploring the motives of market mavens’ initiation of information diffusion

Gianfranco Walsh (Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing II, University of Hanover, Hanover, Germany.)
Kevin P. Gwinner (Associate Professor, Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA.)
Scott R. Swanson (Associate Professor, Department of Marketing, College of Business and Economics, University of Wisconsin‐Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA.)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 1 March 2004


With growing competition and the increasing complexity of commercial information, interpersonal communication continues to be important to marketers. Market mavens, those consumers with general product knowledge that act as disseminators of product information, play a central role in influencing others’ purchase decisions. Previous research, which has focused on mavens’ demographics and media consumption, has neglected the motives that drive these consumer communicators. From a survey of 326 consumers, we explore how those respondents ranked high on the maven scale differ in terms of their motivations to engage in word‐of‐mouth behavior from those scoring lower on the maven scale. Our results indicate that market mavens, compared with moderate and non‐mavens, are motivated to a greater extent by a sense of obligation to share information, a desire to help others, and feelings of pleasure associated with informing others about products. The relationship between initial information diffusion, maven group, and the investigated motivations are also explored. Implications for marketers targeting mavens are offered.



Walsh, G., Gwinner, K. and Swanson, S. (2004), "What makes mavens tick? Exploring the motives of market mavens’ initiation of information diffusion", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 109-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760410525678

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