The 3M and Developing Marketing Communications: An Empirical Study
Two studies are reported that test the 3M Model’s ability to identify traits from which message themes can be derived that influence and persuade target markets. The approach, called PERMS, involves developing a structural model that identifies the elemental, compound, and situational traits predictive of the surface trait measure of interest. The surface trait becomes a market segmentation variable. From among the elemental, compound, and situational traits predictive of the surface trait, message themes are developed. Experiments are then conducted to test whether the message impacts the target segment in the expected manner. Self-schema theory (Fiske and Taylor 1984) is identified as a possible theoretical mechanism responsible for the effects. Study I found that the elemental trait of agreeability was inversely related to a surface trait measure of electronic innovativeness. In Study 2 message themes were developed in which a source acted more or less agreeable with a salesperson. Consistent with expectations, the results revealed that among high electronic innovators, buying likelihood and attitude-toward-the-brand were higher for the low agreeability ad. In contrast, among low electronic innovators, buying likelihood and attitude-toward-the-brand were higher for the high agreeability ad.
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