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Driving COBRAs: the power of social media marketing

Man Lai Cheung (Department of Marketing, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong) (Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Guilherme D. Pires (Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Philip J. Rosenberger III (Central Coast Business School, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, Australia)
Mauro Jose De Oliveira (Department of Business and Marketing, The University Center of FEI, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 26 August 2020

Issue publication date: 13 April 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of social media marketing (SMM) efforts, including entertainment, customisation, interaction and trendiness via WeChat, on consumers' online brand-related activities (COBRAs) and their related outcomes, including on-going search behaviour and repurchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework is tested for luxury cosmetics brands. Data were collected in China from 433 WeChat users utilising a self-administered online survey. Data analysis uses partial least squares–structural equation modelling.

Findings

Entertainment and interaction drive consumers' consuming, contributing and creating behaviours, whilst trendiness drives creating behaviour only. Inconsistent with previous research findings, customisation has a non-significant impact on consumers' consuming, contributing and creating behaviours. Consuming and creating behaviours assist in driving on-going search behaviour and repurchase intention. Contributing behaviours assist in driving on-going search behaviour only.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional in nature, this research adds to the marketing literature by explaining how to use SMM to drive COBRAs for luxury cosmetics in China using WeChat. To enhance the generalisability of the findings, future research might consider a longitudinal design, including comparisons between countries with diverse cultures as well as other industries and product types.

Practical implications

COBRAs may be heightened by using entertaining and trendy content. Incorporating interactive content on social media platforms encourages consumers to consume, contribute and create content on social media brand communities, further driving their on-going search behaviour and repurchase intention.

Originality/value

Examination of SMM's role in the marketing literature largely overlooks the impact of SMM elements on COBRAs. This study contributes to the SMM research by empirically testing a theoretical model, confirming that specific SMM elements – including entertainment and interaction – are key factors in driving consumers' consuming, contributing and creating behaviour on social media brand communities, influencing consumers' on-going search behaviour and repurchase intention.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for constructive comments offered by the anonymous reviewers.

Citation

Cheung, M.L., Pires, G.D., Rosenberger III, P.J. and De Oliveira, M.J. (2021), "Driving COBRAs: the power of social media marketing", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 361-376. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-11-2019-0583

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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