Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration (Marketing)

Document Type



Essay One was conducted to build a more complete view of bilateral, multiformat customer–firm communication. A review of communication theory builds a foundation for effective multiformat strategies across different exchange contexts (e.g., message complexity) and timing factors (e.g., relationship duration), while accounting for both positive and negative aspects of communication richness. Four perspectives on multiformat communication during exchange events suggest pertinent propositions and produce three parsimonious tenets. First, the authors propose a communication theory foundation for relationship marketing; second, they compile and synthesize extant research. Third, they identify six fundamental communication characteristics associated with different formats. Finally, they integrate insights from the previous perspectives into a single conceptual model to provide a more comprehensive view of multiformat communication. This conceptual framework can serve as a platform that academics and managers can use to develop effective communication strategies and thereby optimize customer experiences while simultaneously reducing firm costs and enhancing customer profitability and relationships.

Essays Two and Three apply the characteristic-level insights derived in Essay One to a unilateral communication context, investigating whether, when and how the video format impacts performance, with four experimental studies. Consumers are increasingly watching online product videos without sound (no audio narration). Yet, managers have few insights into developing effective video marketing strategies, in the presence of this trend. In Essay Two, the authors first identify two distinct advantages of a video watched with sound, richness (greater message understanding) and vividness (greater message visualization), both of which have a positive impact on performance (Study 1). Next, the authors uncover that the vividness effect is important for consumers with hedonic shopping goals but not for those with utilitarian shopping goals (Studies 2a and 2b). In Essay Three, the authors find the richness effect is important for consumers with utilitarian shopping goals when they are visually distracted (Study 3). Finally, the authors find that adding text captions to the video, a frequently employed strategy, can backfire (Study 4). Adding text captions to a product video lowers message understanding and purchase intentions, when the video is still watched with sound. These findings have important theoretical and managerial implications.



Committee Chair

Folse, Judith Anne Garretson



Included in

Marketing Commons