The Effect of Preference Stability and Extremity on Personalized Advertising

Cong Li, Jiangmeng Liu, Cheng Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Personalized advertising is widely believed to be an effective persuasion strategy. A typical personalized advertising process consists of two phases: The message sender first “learns” the message receiver’s preferences, and then “matches” the message to that person according to his or her preferences. The present study argues that this process may be problematic because it assumes that an individual’s preferences are always stable (i.e., preferences remain the same over time) and extreme (i.e., preferences are highly polarized). Through a 2 (message type: personalized vs. nonpersonalized) × 2 (preference stability: high vs. low) × 2 (preference extremity: high vs. low) between-participants experiment (N = 227), it is shown that the effectiveness of personalized advertising is moderated by preference stability and extremity. A new conceptualization of personalization is proposed based on the study results, and how the two phases of personalized advertising may be refined is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • match
  • personalization
  • personalized advertising
  • preference extremity
  • preference stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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