Meme marketing: How marketers can drive better engagement using viral memes?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionMalodia, S., Dhir, A., Bilgihan, A., Sinha, P., & Tikoo, T. (2022). Meme marketing: How marketers can drive better engagement using viral memes?. Psychology & Marketing. 10.1002/mar.21702
Scholars and industry stakeholders have exhibited an interest in identifying the underlying dimensions of viral memes. However, the recipe for creating a viral meme remains obscure. This study makes a phenomenological contribution by examining viral memes, exploring the antecedents (i.e., content-related factors, customer-related factors, and media-related factors), consequences, and moderating factors using a mixed-method approach. The study presents a holistic framework for creating viral memes based on the perceptions of customers and industry stakeholders. Four quantitative studies (i.e., a lab experiment, an online quasi-experiment, an event study, and a brand recall study) validate the theoretical model identified in the qualitative study. The research underlines the potential of viral memes in marketing communications as they enhance brand recall and brand engagement. The study found that viral memes are topical and highly relatable and are thus well received by the target groups, which increases customer engagement and brand recall. Marketers can adopt the findings of this study to design content for memes that consumers find relevant, iconic, humorous, and spreadable. Furthermore, marketers can use customer-related factors suggested in the theoretical framework for enhancing escapism, social gratification, and content gratification for their target customers which in turn shall organically increase their reach within their target segments and enhance brand performance in terms of brand recall and brand engagement.