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Virtual influencer marketing: a study of millennials and gen Z consumer behaviour

Padma Angmo (The Business School, University of Jammu, Jammu, India)
Rachna Mahajan (The Business School, University of Jammu, Jammu, India)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 19 January 2024

Issue publication date: 9 May 2024




Virtual influencers (VIs), who are fictional characters, have gained popularity in recent years, particularly among Generation Z and millennials. With the hype surrounding VIs, more research is required. Thus, this study aims to examine how Gen Z members and millennials react to VIs used for marketing purposes.


This study follows an exploratory approach. The data were collected from 29 participants (14 male and 15 female) through two focus groups and semi-structured interviews.


The authors found that opinions about VIs were mixed, and two main themes emerged from the study: (1) challenges and potential and (2) decision-making and psychological aspects.


This study broadens the paradigm for analysing the efficacy of VIs. This emerging topic is of relevance for the marketing sector as well as for transdisciplinary research and practice.



The authors wish to express their gratitude to the editor and anonymous reviewers for their time and insightful comments.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Angmo, P. and Mahajan, R. (2024), "Virtual influencer marketing: a study of millennials and gen Z consumer behaviour", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 280-300.



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