Targeting Women's Clothing Fashion Opinion Leaders In Media Planning: An Application For Magazines
University of Toulouse
The interest in opinion leadership was first investigated by sociologists in the United States in the 1950s. Their studies showed how those opinion leaders who are more exposed to media process the information they receive and forward it to their immediate circle of friends or relatives (Katz and Lazarsfeld, 1955). In marketing, the opinion leader is someone who informally influences the attitudes of other individuals in an intended direction (Reynolds and Wells, 1977). A great number of marketing researches conducted in the 1970s and 1980s highlight the potential of opinion leaders as a media target because they provide a primary 'word of mouth' source of information in interpersonal communications: their immediate environment (friends, colleagues, neighbors, social contacts) seeks their views before or after buying a product or service (Bearden and Etzel, 1982; Dichter, 1966; Montgomery and Silk, 1971; Newman and Staelin, 1973). Research has also shown that information spread by word of mouth has a greater impact on decisions to buy than other marketer-dominated sources of information such as publicity (Herr, Kardes, and Kim, 1991; Price and Feick, 1984).