In 1999, marketing professor Philip Kotler published Kotler on Marketing. He discussed
the 1990s as a time of turbulent change by the rise of the internet. Kotler concluded with Transformational Marketing, in which he discussed how the marketing field would change. ‘In the coming decade marketing [departments] will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value’ (Rose, 2014). Arriving in this multi-media age, marketers have a wide range of means in reaching and communicating with their target audience. As a result, there is a tendency for consumers to be overexposed to audio and visual marketing messages, information, texts and graphics bought by existing marketing beliefs. To deal with this, consumers are becoming accustomed to screening out and ignoring uninteresting advertisements, especially those that lack innovation (Mai & Schoeller, 2009).
While traditional marketing and advertising continue to play a crucial role in delivering results for organizations, an increasing number of marketers are now incorporating content marketing: a powerful approach that pursues deeper, more valuable relationships with their audiences and engages prospects in a meaningful way by sharing insightful information that consumers seek (Gattis, 2014). Rose (2014) cites a recent research conducted by Forrester Research (i.e. one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world, specialized in independent technology and market research), which predicts that branded content volume is growing at a rate of 200% annually. As content marketing on itself is nothing new (for example Albert Heijn’s Allerhande, Unilever’s Yunomi-platform or the NS ‘Eropuit’ campaigns) content marketing has been seen more as a project instead of an imbedded marketing process. Instead of just sending information, what mostly is happening when posting an advertisement, branded media is all about pulling audiences to the company. From a push strategy to a pull strategy.
In January 2014, The Guardian posted: Video is the future of content marketing. Based on various studies, more than half of companies are already making use of the medium. It claims that 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future to attract or engage customers, improve their SEO and social engagement. Here, to fully realise a video’s potential, firms must make it easy for users to find and share videos.
One of the main benefits of videos is the ease and simplicity of getting a message across. What a viewer would read in several minutes from a written article they can watch in seconds with video.
But, expected is that a rise in creating videos will cause a decline in people actually viewing them. Therefore, animated videos are increasingly becoming popular. They get the ad message across in a simple and quick way by allowing the marketer to focus only on representing the content that matters, where any non-relevant detail can be easily left out. Also, it is a simple, cost-effective and engaging way receive get more attention on to the video. They allow a marketer to reduce complex topics to simple, friendly visuals and emphasize character expressions (Smartinsights, 2014).
Although the buzz around, and future prospects of, content marketing is evident, it lacks of academic findings within this field. This research aims to examine the effects of a content marketing video on viewers’ emotional responses. Consumers process emotions via cognitive and/or affective routes. By the use of an experimental design, a possible relationship between content type, processing route and emotional outcomes is revealed. Furthermore, the use of animations and content videos seems to be inextricably linked together often. The potential strength of this phenomenon evaluated in this study as well.
RQ: Does a content marketing video lead to stronger affective and cognitive processing, and does this lead to stronger emotional outcomes?
Based on previous theoretical findings, a moderation effect of a consumers’ need for cognition (NFC) is predicted. Conceptualized, this is implemented in figure 1 as presented below. To clarify the conceptual model, the study starts with a theoretical framework. Based on this previous findings within the field, hypotheses are formulated. By the use of an experiment, as explained in the methodology part, results will be presented. With the collected field and secondary data, conclusions can be formed. Finally, implications and limitations of the study are presented.