The Foundations of Mobile and SMS Advertising


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In this section of the research, the objective of the literature will be introduced. Then a brief set of study will be set regarding mobile marketing, marketing communication and emerging market media. The foundation for SMS advertising will be briefly explained with reference to a case from Australia. To explore the human factors is extremely essential for the enhanced understanding of how advertising via mobile phone work and how to make it further effective (Choi et al., 2005). The purpose of this research primarily focuses on examining the determinants or variables or the drivers of the consumer acceptance of advertising via mobile devices.

According to Amberg et al. (2004) and Heinonen and Strandvik (2003) consumers are more and more exposed to mobile advertising, their acceptance is also equally regarded as a critical success factor. This will be proved with the help of two theories namely Theory of Reasoned Behaviour (or Attitude) and Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as suggested by Al-alak and Alnawas (2010) with the help of using the dependent and independent variables. These variables are selected from various past literatures in the similar area of study. Finally conclusion will be given where an overview of what has been done till now will be provided along with the gaps if any identified in the research and finally forming or identifying the research questions that will help in solving the next section that is methodology.

As the research topic is basically related to mobile marketing, a brief comment on what mobile marketing is can be provided. Barutcu (2005, p.15) defines mobile marketing as "using a wireless medium to provide consumers with time - sensitive and location - sensitive, personalized information that promotes products, services and ideas, thereby benefiting all stakeholders. Shortly, mobile marketing refers to marketing activities and programs performed via mobile phone in mobile commerce."

Mobile advertising is one of the most important topics for discussion and is an interesting topic. Even though there is very few proof on what is the actual amount being spent on but is known fact that markets around the world are spending huge amount of money in the mobile media (Webster, 1992). Media advertising on a large scale directly focusing on the mass population is no more effective because of fragmentation (Peppers et al., 1999). But since mobile marketing or mobile advertising is the emerging market media, targeted one-to-one marketing communications is becoming more and more important (Shaw et al., 2001).

Factors or the determinants having potential to influence the effect of mobile advertising were identified to verify the Theory of Reasoned Behaviour/ Attitude (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). These were used for reviewing the relevant Marketing and Mobile Advertising literature. Some of the important rather keywords used purposely for searching the past literature were "mobile advertising", "mobile marketing", "SMS advertising" and "wireless marketing". Few other keywords were used as well to find the past literature on mobile advertising. The search was narrowed down to scholarly peer reviewed journal article, conference proceedings and papers with complete and full access to texts as well.

The most frequently cited variables with reference to SMS recipients' cognitive, behavioural and emotional responses are represented. Factors that could be manipulated experimentally mainly on the basis of medium and message was basically focused on most area of the research. Due to empirical evidence as suggested by Tsang Ho and Liang in 2004 that consumers generally have negative attitude towards mobile advertising.

The Foundations of Mobile / SMS Advertising

Due to the high and increasing growth of short messaging services (SMS), the concept of mobile advertising has emerged very significantly in the last decade. According to Yunos and Gao, (2002, p.2), Mobile marketing refers to market the activities by using a wireless network or mobile advertising solutions to build awareness about the brand or to promote the sale of goods and services by delivering advertisements. Royall (2003) conducted a research about mobile advertising in Australia and states that more than 10 million text messages are send by the Australians daily. IBIS world report recorded that due the above mentioned activity, the Australians are approximately generating an annual turnover of $75 million for the industry players. The consumption level and the adoption by the consumers are by far couple of the largest attributes for the growth of Short Messaging Services because of which Turchetti, (2003) has touted SMS as the most up-to-date communication medium of the century. Simpson (2003) has observed that mobile phones are amazingly essential to many young consumers' everyday lives more than ever due to its texting capabilities. But, according to Barwise and Strong (2002), mobile advertising, surprisingly, has received scarce attention from the field of academics. By providing direct line of two way communication and offering business a impartially reliable, effective and economic way for communicating with employees and customers alike can help in building the relationship between the brand and the consumers if SMS is used wisely (Barbieri, 2002). According to Barnes (2002) and Doyle (2001), at the time of building customer relationship, the most important factor for success is developing a relevant, timely and related service.

Possible mediators for maintaining the effectiveness in advertising also were investigated by Anderson and Nilsson (2000), while campaigning for SMS advertising by exploring the effectiveness of SMS advertising. It was observed that for the service delivered through SMS for finance advertising news, a huge number of participants signed up. A positive impact on Consumer Brand Awareness and Purchase Intention due to the campaign but not for Brand Attitude was indicated by these investigators. The results suggested the enhancement by the mobile phone to "extent end user's pay attention to the message, remember them and respond to them by searching for more information on the advertised product" (p.46). Anderson and Nilsson, (2000) concluded that the activity to be authorization based, the message to be entertaining, valuable and relevant, the consumers should receive in exchange for advertising, something of value. For reaching young adults through an experiment, Barwise and Strong (2002) in particular, explored as a way, the effectiveness of text messaging. Particularly for campaigns aiming at the young generation, mobile marketing has potential as an advertising medium is suggested by the findings. High level of message readership, responses with direct behaviour and stronger attitudes of the brands were observed in addition.

According to Chaffey (2004, p. 318) "the achievement of marketing objectives through the use of electronic communications technology" is referred to as Electronic marketing (e-marketing) which is often used as a tool for direct marketing. That is, marketing through media advertising interacting directly with the consumers, generally calling for a response to be made directly by the consumers (Kotler, 2002, p.784). A subset of electronic marketing is mobile marketing or SMS marketing or wireless marketing and is defined by Dickinger et al. (2005) as a wireless medium providing consumers with location-and-time-sensitive, personalized information promoting goods, services and ideas, thereby benefiting all stakeholders. Mobile marketing is defined by Ververidis and Polyzos (2002) as the use of mobile phones as a device for communicating with the customers for providing them with the provision of the information of their products and services as well as to promote the selling of their products and services. According to Barnes (2002), push and pull strategies of marketing are the two models in which a mobile phone can be categorised. While campaigning the push-model, messages are sent to the customers by the initiative taken by the marketer. Whereas, in the pull-model campaign, the customer request for the information and the marketer send the information as required by the customer. Since the contact and communication is initiated by the market, the former model includes a large amount of SMS advertising and also raises the concern of authorization by the consumers. According to Tezinde et al. (2002), asking of consumers' consent for receiving commercial messages by giving each and every one an opportunity to stop receiving the messages at any time is referred to as Permission marketing. According to Sheehan and Hoy (2000), privacy concern of the individuals can be by a long way reduced by adopting this approach and for successfully controlling more and more information; it can act as a substitute trust-building (Milne et al., 1999). But unfortunately, for getting the consumers' consent, cognitive laziness and inattention of the consumers are manipulated by some marketers. However, Bellman et al. (2001) affirm that the consent of nearly every visitor can be found by any online organization using the correct permutation of question framing and default response.

[all of this para above has to be in that context section I mention above at the start of this chapter. You have to start broad and become narrower as you get more into the study]

For understanding the attitude of the consumers towards mobile advertising, two theories for the formation of the attitude were taken into study.

Theory of Reasoned Behaviour (TRA); and

Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)

Fishbein and Ajzen in 1975 originally proposed the theory of reasoned behavior (TRA) that will help in understanding the behavior and also in predicting the outcomes. The theory of reasoned behavior stands in a main assumption that before deciding to engage or not in a certain behavior, the implications of the action that the consumer decides to engage in is taken into consideration by the consumer. It also posits that behavior intent is the main determinant of a person's behavior. The attitude towards performing the behavior in question and the behavior of the person due to the social pressure on him or her (subjective way) are the significant factors on which a person's intention is contingent for behaving in a certain way. Putting forward, it can be said that according to the person involved and behavioral context, the attitude of the consumer and the subjective norms differ. According to Ajzen and Fishbein (1980), a person's insight about the anticipated consequences of performing the behaviour and the judgments of those consequences are the factors for determining a person's attitude. Fishbein and Manfredo (1992) state that there is a huge anticipation that the behaviour will be in point of fact executed by the person if his intent is strong. As a result, to make out the basic factors accountable for the formation and change of behavioural intent is the most important anxiety. Perceived behavioural control, another factor that affects behavioural purpose is introduced by a theory called Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) which is an additional room to Theory of Reasoned Behaviour. The main elements of perceive behavioural control are perceived power and control beliefs. Therefore, according to Mackenzie and Jurs (1993), there is a strong expectation that people will have a high perceived control over that behaviour if they have a strong control belief about the survival of factors that might smooth the progress of behaviour.

Another theory that can be used for increasing the purchase intention which is taken as the dependent variable is AIDA model that is get Attention, hold Interest, arouse Desire, obtain Action (Groucutt, 2004). The AIDA model of consumer response to marketing communications is used to measure the extent of influence of the advertisement on the subject. This model implies that the promoted messages which are designed to acquire consumers' attention will gain interest and will eventually generate the desire to act in a certain manner (Blythe, 2000).

In the following section, based on the above explained theory, the following five factors are identified and explained in detail as determinants of mobile advertising, which helped to identify the attitude of the consumers towards mobile advertising.


Usefulness of the information:

According to Ayanwale et al. (2005), in the normal media, that is television, people do not have the option to whether subscribe the advertisement or not. Because of this they are treated as passive customers. But in advertisements through mobile medium, especially SMS, people have full freedom to either subscribe or not to subscribe for the advertisement. That is they can control the messages they receive. Hence, they are treated as active consumers. Bauer et al. (2005) found that whether to accept or not the advertising messages depend solely on what benefits consumers will be attaining from such messages. They also concluded that the main motive of the consumers to accept advertisements from the mobile medium is perceived utility. Mobile advertising will be accepted by consumers only if it is relevant to the interest of the consumers and contain good quality messages (Doherty, 2007). Scharl et al. (2007) reported that consumer purchasing intentions are more likely to be influenced toward the products that are advertised only if they are short, entertaining, funny and compact SMS which advertise what is relevant to the customers and inform about prize and promotions.

Credibility (ad source):

The traits of the communicator are often referred by using the term "ad source" (Drossos et al., 2007). It does not matter if he or she is an individual or a company as a whole as the communicator can be either or both of these. These traits normally include expertise, prettiness, power and trustworthiness (Drossos et al., 2007). According to Mackenzie and Lutz (1989), there is a strong influence of attitude towards the advertiser due to credibility factor. This is in turn a vital attitude forecaster towards the ad. The belief of the customer to the extent that it is possible for any organisation for designing and delivering products and services because of which the wants and needs of the customer will be satisfied and is found to be having positive effects on attitude toward the brand, toward the ad and also toward the purchase intent is defined as corporate credibility (Choi and Rifon 2002).

Product involvement:

In the glow of preliminary review of the research on mobile advertising conducted earlier, a need for comparative research is identified that explores whether mobile users' reaction is different for different types of products. According to Malhotra (2005, p.480), "it is likely that the relative effect of cognition versus affect varies... across objects (e.g., perfumes vs. mutual funds)". The FCB Grid states that feeling or thinking nature makes the product different (Ratchford 1987; Vaughn 1986).

The product is categorized as "feel" only when the customers base their decision to purchase decision for the most part on how they feel about the product and the product is categorised as "think" only when customers base their decision to purchase decision for the most part on their thoughts (Ratchford, 1987). According to Laurent and Kapferer (1985), customers' involvement with the product decides the degree of consumer processing the advertising communication and also their reaction to the message whether in active or passive manner. According to The Elaboration Likelihood Model suggested by Petty and Cacioppo (1986), for processing information, motivation is affected by involvement. More and more product specific information may be explored by people with high level of involvement with the product. Positive attitude may be likely to be formed by the consumers involved, towards the products advertised only if there are strong advertisement arguments.

Attitudes towards mobile advertising in general:

The study of attitude influences a vital predecessor of brand attitudes that is attitudes towards a specific ad. Thus, the study of attitude may be especially significant towards a specific ad (Alwitt and Prabhaker (1992) Mackenzie and Lutz, 1989). According to Tsang, Ho and Liang (2004), unless having special consent to receive advertising messages on their mobiles, the consumers have attitudes negatively affecting towards mobile advertising. Therefore, it is very much possible that attitudes towards mobile advertising (SMS advertising) in general can influence attitudes towards particular mobile advertisements.

In advertising, attitude is traditionally regarded as a pointer of the effectiveness of advertising (Jun and Lee, 2007). As stated by Ducoffe (1995), attributing the standards by the consumers towards mobile advertising will help hell to establish the consumers' approach towards mobile advertising. Mobile advertising, according to Maneesoonthorn and Fortin, 2004; Lee et al., 2006, is a stream of information that is attractive as well as interactive, at the same time seizing interest of the consumer. On the other hand, there is an increasingly negative attitude by the young consumers towards mobile advertising even though advertising via mobile medium is acknowledged by Zanot (1984) and Tsang et al., (2004) as an efficient way for spawning reaction by the consumer. This can be due to the past depressing experiences by the consumer.

Personal use / Irritation:

According to Heinonen and Strandvik (2003), on comparing with other marketing channels that send messages directly, the response of the consumers towards mobile marketing in particular is relatively low. Heinonen and Strandvik (2003) concluded that one of the main reasons for consumers' negative attitude towards advertisement from mobile phone is because of the personal nature of the mobile phones.

According to Ducoffe (1996, p.23), in the context of advertising, irritation can be defined as "When advertising employs techniques that annoy, offend, insult, or are overly manipulative". Customers should neither be disturbed nor irritated by the mobile advertisements received (Tsang, Ho and Liang, 2004). In other words only limited number of advertisements should be sent to the users; otherwise attitude towards the mobile advertising by the consumers will be negative (Haghirian, Madlberger and Tanuskova, 2005). According to Carroll et al., 2007, Merisavo et al., 2007 and Demarneffe, 2008, mobile advertisements should not be sent to the customers at disturbing time.

People's attitude towards advertising is greatly influenced by when people feel humiliating by the advertisements they receive (Shavitt, Lowrey and Haefner, 1998). According to Stewart and Pavlou (2002), mobile advertising can sometimes irritate and distort the customer or the addressee by advertising some information which is perplexing.

The measures of effectiveness used in this research are attitude of the customer towards advertising and the purchase intention of the customer. According to Batra and Ray (1986) and Homer (1990), a tough negotiator of efficient advertising is having the attitude towards the advertisement and also according to them, a strong positive relationship occurs between attitude towards the brand and the advertisement which in turn is also related positively towards the intention of the customer to purchase.

From the past various researches undertaken, various researchers have identified numerous variables that they found useful for explaining the effect of mobile advertising on consumers by considering the consumers' attitude and behaviour for their research. According to Basheer and Ibrahim (2010), Usefulness and Relevance of Information, Entertainment, Personal Use, Permission Marketing and Trust are the variables used for determining the attitude and behaviour of the consumers for acceptance of mobile advertising.

For Drossos et al. (2010), Location and time, interactivity, incentive, ad source (credibiity), appeal, product involvement and attitude towards mobile advertising in general were the variables found to be having a positive relationship with the purchase intention of the consumer.

Tsang et al. (2004) used entertainment, informativeness, irritation and credibility as the factors affecting attitude of the consumer towards mobile advertising. Haghirian and Madlberger (2005) have also identified entertainment, informativeness, irritation and credibility for measuring the impact of consumers on attitude toward advertising via mobile devices.

According to Merisavo et al., (2007), utility, context, control, sacrifice and trust are identified as drivers affecting the consumer acceptance of mobile advertising. Perceived entertainment, credibility, reward, technological familiarity and message frequency are described by Luxton et al., (2009) as the key variables for the attitude of the consumer towards marketing via mobile devices.

Permission, Simplicity, Relevance, Appeal and Benifit, Absence of Disturbance and Trust were considered by Mirbagheri (2010) as the six vital elements effecting consumers' perception of mobile advertising. Bauer et al. (2005), identified, innovativeness, existing knowledge, information seeker and attitude towards advertising as consumer based acceptance drivers and perceived utility, perceived risk social norms and behavioural intention as innovation based acceptance drivers in their research.

According to Roach (2009), Compatibility, relative advantage, complexity, product involvement and adoption are the attributes for determining the strengths and direction of the relationships to know the attitude of consumer towards adoption of mobile phone advertising.

Suher and Ispeir (2009), identified four key variables which affects the attitude of the consumer towards mobile advertising. These are Infotainment, life partner, privacy and irritation.

Brand familiarity, attitude towards SMS and MMS advertisements and relevance of advertisements are determined by Rittippant et al., (2009) as key determinants affecting the consumers' perception of the effectiveness of mobile as a marketing tool.

Van der Waldt et al., (2009) identified entertainment, informativeness, irritation and credibility as the most important variables for identifying the attitude of the consumers towards mobile advertisements.

For Phau and Teah (2009), entertainment, information, interactivity, past experiences and irritation are the determinants which will affect the consumer attitude towards mobile advertising.

Usefulness of the information, Level of involvement, attitude, credibility and personal use are the common determinants used by different authors in most of the researches. Moreover these variables are used in this study because they show a higher degree of relationship with the purchase intention of the consumers. But no research was conducted to find the above mentioned situation in the city of Worcester which could be identified as a gap in this research. Hence, the objective of this research is to find the effect of mobile marketing among Worcester adults which will be found by answering and analysing the following identified research questions.

What is the relationship between purchase intention and usefulness of the information presented via mobile marketing?

What is the relationship between purchase intention and the level of involvement of the promoted product via mobile marketing?

What is the relationship between purchase intention and the attitude towards receiving mobile advertisements?

What is the relationship between purchase intention and the perceived credibility of the source of mobile advertisement?

What is the relationship between purchase intention and perceived sense of personal use of mobile phone?

Factors influencing mobile advertising adoption:

Branding strategy:

By the way of marketing directly and promoting the activities, relationship with the customers can be intensified with the help of an effective channel offered by the wireless internet (Frolick and Chen, 2004). In a previous study for mobile advertising, it was found that 60 per cent of the mobile advertising was acknowledged by 79 per cent of the participants which is astonishingly very high (Barnes, 2003). Moreover, attention of the consumer can be attracted and can produce a much higher degree of consumer responses by the firms using mobile advertising because "one to one dialogue" can be practiced by such firms (Kavassalis et al., 2003).

Facilitating conditions:

Without any doubt, SMS based messages are received by consumers due to the essential infrastructure provided due to the technologies connected with mobile communications (Okazaki, 2005). As per the technology acceptance model stated by Lu et al. (2003), while attempting to set up a theoretical scaffold of wireless internet implementation, a proposal is made that one of the most key determinants, along with the effortlessness of using wireless internet is facilitating conditions and hence the required state of affairs for a wider broadcast of mobile advertising are the amalgamation of hostile principles and disjointed systems across countries and also cross network support for SMS and higher association speeds.

Location-based services:

Having the talent to follow the position of the user and accordingly to endow with services and various offers for promotion is one of the distinct features of mobile internet (Sadeh, 2002) and for this purpose, to wireless internet services, different mobile handset manufacturers and the various service providers are increasingly engrossed by the commercial viability of applying the satellite based global positioning system (GPS). Philips (2004a) stated that according to a forecast estimates, revenue from location based services around the world is likely to go beyond $3.6 billion by the end of 2010 which will be a significant boost from $500 million in 2004.

Regulatory control:

According to Okazaki (2005), the way of advertising via mobile is very much related to advertising via e-mail on the set internet, having only one huge distinction - that is, mobile advertising is an "opt-in" facility. This means consumers get a full amount of control greater than what they obtain, because the demand of the consumer for exceeding messages that are made to order has to be prepared to accept with consumers' demand for privacy (Sadeh, 2002). DeZoysa (2002) states that for some consumers SMS advertising was very disturbing and annoying. According to a survey conducted of 3000 mobile users in 2002 most of them considered the advertising via mobile phone even for a 30 second ad to be intrusive.

Cultural barriers:

It is quite natural that there can be a huge cross-border difference between various countries due to language, lifestyle and also media habits. Hence, for such MNCs, such differences may be a serious hindrance for adopting mobile advertising because even a single campaign may not be effective in various (different countries) mobile markets (De Mooij, 2004). De Mooij (2004) also stated that if MNCs had to take up their mobile advertising campaign as per the national precise feature of each market, then mobile advertising will not only be costly but also stubborn.

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