Author(s): Ragu Prasadh Rajendran and C. Joe Arun
Being authentic in advertising and using electronic word of mouth (eWOM) to satisfy customers pose significant challenges to managers. Drawing from prior literature, social influence theory, and the anchoring effect this study offers a framework to develop and apply authenticity in advertising and to use eWOM as marketing tools to satisfy customers. Consistent with prior literature, this framework identifies four dimensions of authenticity in advertising when implementing it as a strategy in marketing: brand essence, brand heritage, realistic plot, and message credibility. Firms may choose to attach importance to any of the dimensions of authenticity. Depending on the firm’s strategy, managers can use this framework to aid firms to examine and use authenticity in advertising. The authors formulate hypotheses to suggest that depending on the firm’s strategy, the effect of each of the four dimensions of authenticity on positive eWOM can be managed differently. Since few studies have focused on the impact of positive eWOM on customer satisfaction, this study addresses the issue by also considering the moderating effect of perceived trustworthiness. This study will help managers to get a better idea regarding how to execute authenticity in advertising and to use positive eWOM to satisfy customers.