Yogyakarta, December 16th, 2022
The Master of Science and Doctoral Program (MD) FEB UGM has successfully held a scientific discussion event, namely MD REFO # 8 on December 16th, 2022, with a hybrid system and took place in the BRI Auditorium Room Lt. 3 MD FEB UGM building and via Zoom meeting for online. The eighth MD REFO (Research Forum) presented Mr. Felix Septianto, Ph.D., Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at The University of Queensland, Senior Lecturer at The University of Queensland. The moderator for this event was Mrs. Widya Paramitha, Ph.D., Marketing Lecturer at FEB UGM. This time, the research forum raised a current topic, namely “Developing Authentic Influencers from the Inauthentic: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence Influencers,” which is research from Mr. Felix. MD REFO #8 aims to add theoretical and methodological insights and support scientific contributions, especially in modern marketing. The participants consisted of various parties, including students, academics, practitioners, and the public, who were present to listen to the speaker’s presentation with research, which is very interesting and relevant to digital marketing, namely the role of influencers.
In this scientific discussion opportunity, Mr. Felix started his presentation by explaining the role of influencers in marketing and brand recognition activities. Based on the number of followers, there are four categories of influencers, nano, micro, macro, and mega. The interest thing about the role of influencers is the authenticity of influencers on social media which also determines success in influencing consumer purchasing decisions. Consumers can judge each piece of content, that the influencer is waiting for on his social media.
Color is one of the brand attributes that have very strong influence on consumer decisions, namely in terms of warm and cool, which is discussed in the psychological theory of color. The research also observed this, namely conducting an experiment, where the treatment was choosed the same product to be promoted by manipulating the product description. There are two types of products tested, namely utilitarian and hedonic products.
Based on the results of experimental research conducted on 225 respondents in the United States, the authentic influencers have more influence on hedonic products than inauthentic influencers. In terms of the colors used, consumers respond more to product photo recommendations with warm color because they are more authentic. Unlike the case with utilitarian products, where there is no difference between authentic and inauthentic influencers. Thus, it concluded that the influencer’s role is less relevant for utilitarian products because consumers will focus on the product (quality, price, function). Unlike the case when consuming hedonic products, consumers focus on feelings or the emotional side.
The role of influencers is increasingly crucial in today’s modern marketing era. Therefore, this topic has widely researched to respond to the need for marketing strategies through understanding consumer behavior. It hoped that the event able to increase knowledge and motivate all participants regarding the role of influencers in supporting the success of modern marketing that meets the needs and desires of consumers. Issues in influencer practice can also be further criticized, including being used as a research context. The active role of the participants during the question and answer session also proves the high enthusiasm for the role of influencers. The MD REFO #8 event was closed with the distribution of door prizes for the selected questioners and continued with a group photo. (Y)