Competence is power: How digital influencers impact buying decisions in B2B markets

Crisafulli, B., Quamina, L. and Singh, J. 2022. Competence is power: How digital influencers impact buying decisions in B2B markets. Industrial Marketing Management. 104, pp. 384-399. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2022.05.006

TitleCompetence is power: How digital influencers impact buying decisions in B2B markets
TypeJournal article
AuthorsCrisafulli, B., Quamina, L. and Singh, J.
Abstract

In B2B markets, vendor companies increasingly rely upon influential individuals in the digital environment to communicate information about their offerings to client organizations. Given the growing B2B digital engagement, cues that help to differentiate highly impactful digital influencers are crucial for vendor companies. Drawing from Stereotype Content Model, we analyze competence and warmth as relevant cues of digital influencers. Employing experimental studies, we examine how competence and warmth influence B2B purchasing managers’ evaluation and selection of vendors’ solutions. We find that the digital influencers’ competence enhances purchasing managers’ intention to buy the advocated vendor’s offering. When compared with warmth, competence minimizes capability and relational concerns associated with the purchase decision. Further, we show that such effect of competence is prominent when manager-influencer identification is low. Our research advances knowledge on the characteristics of digital influencers that shape B2B purchasing managers’ evaluation and selection of vendors. We identify concern-based psychological mechanisms underlying the effect of influencers’ characteristics, and related boundary conditions. Our findings provide implications for digital influencers seeking to expand reach in B2B markets, and for vendor companies and marketing agencies in the selection of digital influencers.

Keywordsdigital influencers
competence
warmth
stereotypes
buying decision
supplier selection
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Journal citation104, pp. 384-399
ISSN0019-8501
Year2022
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2022.05.006
Publication dates
Published online27 May 2022
Published in printJul 2022

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