Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Textual marketing communication is effective in various contexts such as print advertising, user-generated content, and social media (Diamond 1968; Ludwig et al. 2013; Nam and Kannan 2014). However, visual marketing communication studies are limited in the context of print advertising (e.g., Hagtvedt and Brasel 2017). This dissertation includes two essays to examine the visual communication effectiveness online.

Essay 1 develops a conceptual framework to examine the visual-based brand perception (VBBP) and related concepts on social media. We propose that the VBBP is a co-creational process between a company and its consumers and exhibits three characteristics: i) a two-way communication that both a company and its consumers are pivotal authors of brand stories, ii) a dynamic process that the brand meaning keeps evolving, and iii) a dyadic process between a company and its consumers. In the conceptual model development, we identify six visual attributes as measures of VBBP and adopt a machine learning-based image mining technique to quantify the measures on a large scale. We empirically validate the conceptual model and find that during the co-creational process, both the company and consumer visual-based brand perception information richness (VBBP_R) increase over time. Moreover, in examining the difference between a company and its consumers, we find that there is a visual-based brand perception gap (VBBP_G) between a company and its consumers. From these findings, we advise three marketing communication strategies to help companies manage their VBBP_G.

Essay 2 examines a related research question: the joint effects of visual and textual communication on crowdfunding success. Essay 2 extends Essay 1 in three ways: i) we consider both textual and visual marketing communication on another online platform, ii) beyond the concept of perception, we emphasize examining how marketing communication influences a marketing outcome: duration of crowdfunding success, iii) we investigate not only how visual and textual communication influence crowdfunding success individually but also how they influence the outcome jointly. We empirically validate visual communication is more effective than textual communication on a crowdfunding platform. Our findings support an integrated marketing communication strategy that marketers should implement using multiple communication tools in a harmonic way. We demonstrate that the synergistic effect of visual and textual communication has a positive effect on crowdfunding outcome.

Committee Chair

Wu, Jianan



Included in

Marketing Commons