The Effects of Message Framing on Search Intent & Purchase Intent in High Tech Product Advertising: Change in Risk as Intermediary


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date23 Jul 2021


The importance of marketing in high technology (high-tech) industries is growing as new buyers of inherently high risk and technologically advanced products are relying on the marketing information provided by the supplier company in making initial purchase considerations. This study draws upon prospect theory and information processing theory to evaluate how buyers of high-tech products may respond to heuristic cues in a product advertisement, specifically message framing, in forming perceptions of purchase risk, and thereby establish pre-purchase behavioral intentions (i.e. information search and purchase intent).

In this work, a quasi-experimental field study involving a high-tech company, a real high-tech product and a sample database of real buyers is conducted using a two-phase approach. The experiment involves viewing a framed product advertisement (positive framing promoting benefits of use or negative framing highlighting risks of non-use) whereby the participant’s change in levels of perceived risk, search intent and purchase intent are measured subsequently. Follow-up phone interviews tap into the type of framed arguments that are retained and recalled by participants. Results of the study show that message framing has an indirect impact on search intent and purchase intent through the influence of change in the risk dimension of purchase importance. The findings provide both theoretical contributions for academic research and practical implications for marketing practitioners in the high-tech industry.

    Research areas

  • Message Framing, Perceived Purchase Risk, Search Intent, Purchase Intent, Business-to-business Marketing, Organizational buying behavior, High-tech Industry