Changes and developments in the technology and in the internet led to enhancements in the creativity in relation to marketing. In addition, technology enabled numerous innovations to build up. To cope with the continuous change in the innovations, the companies started to focus on the differentiation of applications and activities to reach the consumers through diversified communication devices. The key aspects of the communication devices are mobile devices. In today’s diversified business environment, mobile phones, smart phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant), notebook and tablets PCs are considered key mobile devises. The earlier described mobile devices are able to reach the customer instantly (Lee, 2012).
Mobile phones are the most popular among the mobile devices. The companies across the world achieve competitive edge by differentiating themselves from their competitors with the help of mobile advertising/marketing with the use of mobile phones. The key reason is that mobile phones have become an integral part of the lives and habits of people all over the world. The point is direct and one-on-one advertising i.e. mobile advertising develops opportunities to send customized messages to customers (Ene & Özkaya, 2015). The report provides an overview of the role of mobile advertising in developing consumers’ purchasing decisions and consumers’ attitudes to mobile advertising.
Main Argument/Thesis Statement
The key argument of the report is that “mobile advertising put positive effects on the consumers’ purchasing behaviors due to the factors like entertainment value, informativeness, credibility, and personalization.”
Mobile Advertising/Mobile Marketing
Mobile advertising refers to the use of interactive wireless media to offer consumers with the personalized information (time and location sensitive) with the aim of promotion of products, services and ideas, thus producing value for all the stakeholders. Mobile advertising’s aim is the delivery of information to consumers through SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Message Service) (Cho, Luong & Vo, 2015). Marketers across the world are talking advantage of the mobile advertising as $32 million was spent on mobile advertising in 2014 in just three months (Deshwal, 2016).
According to Ünal, Ercis and Keser (2011) mobile advertising is one of the key dimensions of mobile marketing and focuses on the pull and push advertisements. In relation to push advertising, written and video messages are sent to the specific audience i.e. target consumers followed by the permission from mobile phone users. On the other hand, in pull advertising free knowledge like traffic reports or weather situation is sent to the mobile phone users asked by them. The key reasons of using the mobile advertising by the marketers include low cost and high spread. Famous companies like Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft, Disney, Coca-Cola, Sony, and McDonald’s used mobile advertising by adding it in the marketing budgets (Ünal et al. 2011).
Transition in Mobile advertising/Theoretical Connection
The mobile advertising has changed significantly in relation to traditional advertising Medias. The key reason is that traditional Medias are used to target the specific groups or segment. On the other hand, mobile advertising is associated with the targeting to an individual. The attitudes of consumers to mobile advertising can be ascertained by the Uses and Gratifications Theory. The theory is linked to the way people use media. The main feature of this theory as compared to others is that it provides a notion of the “Why” people use the certain media and what individuals do with the media. On the other hand, other theories identify the effects of media on individuals (Chen, 2007).
The Uses and Gratification Theory provides an overview of the way in which people use communication along with other resources in their environment to increase satisfaction level with respect to their needs and to achieve their goals. They do so by selecting three classes of social and psychological needs as important ones in their lives. The needs include the needs regarding strengthening of information and understanding, the needs related to aesthetics, pleasurable and emotional experiences and the needs linked to strengthening of level of contacts with family, friends and other. It is the key theory in identifying the motives of the users. For example, in two of the studies related to phone usage, three movies were sociability, instrumentality and reassurance (Chen, 2007).
In relation to transition in the mobile advertising, the theory incorporated the modern media and linked framework with consumers’ online behavior. The introduction of the mobile technology, the use of mobile Internet rose from the gratifications as under the theory entertainment, instrumentality, status symbol, mobility, access and sociability are the key attractions that enable the consumers to show positive attitude to mobile advertising (Chen, 2007).
Moreover, Media Dependency Theory states that if a person depends on mass media to meet his/her needs as well as goals, the mass media would be the key factor to that person. The also states that person do not depend on all media on basis of equality as people might be more dependent on the specific media for knowledge in the times of change. In the same way, the main point related to attitudes of consumers to mobile advertising is that people move to this type of advertising than traditional media because this media serve them better than others. Another factor is the social stability (Okazaki, 2011).
Socio-cultural theory is also linked to the marketing, including mobile advertising. The theory is based on the fact that values, perceptions, and norms pass on from one generation to another. In other words, cultural and social factors play key role in relation to consumers’ attitude to mobile advertising. The theory identifies the interaction between social and cultural factors to provide an insight about cognition i.e. influence of mobile advertising on the consumers’ cognitions, preferences, values and attitudes. In other words, society and culture based on factors like social customs and language shape the cognition and perceived reality (Hunt, 2003).
It can be ascertained by the fact that mobile has become the key part of social lives and as part of culture more than 2/3 of the time by the users is used for non-communication activities. Mobile advertising experienced positive attitudes from consumers due to the transformation in experimentation, entertainment, and relationships. On the basis of theories, here is the description of consumers’ attitudes to mobile advertising.
Consumers’ Attitude to Mobile Marketing and Purchasing Decisions
According to Almossawi (2014) consumers’ show positive attitudes to mobile advertising in case the mobile advertising fulfill their needs. One of the factors that induce consumers to show positive attitude to mobile advertising is the entertainment. Entertainment leads to good mood of audience and put positive impact on the consumers’ attitude to advertised brands. In case, the marketers deliver mobile ads in an enjoyable format, the consumers instantly show attentions. To attract the customers, some of the companies deliver games, tones, and prices to customers via SMS messages. In Japan, entertainment is a key factor that affects the acceptance level of customers to SMS advertising. Pantano and Priporas (2016) indicated that in case mobile advertisement aligns with the motivations of consumers, then from the cognitive point of view they move to mobile advertisement as loyal asset and make purchases. Figure 1 identified the consumers’ responses to SMS advertising identified by Almossawi (2014).
Figure 1: Consumers’ Responses to SMS Advertising
Source: Almossawi (2014)
In addition, one factor that is of significant importance in influencing consumers to show positive attitudes to mobile advertising by initiating the purchase is informativeness. Informativeness refers to the ability of advertising to provide information to consumers about the products and services, new deals, and discounts to increase the chances of making purchases by consumers with high level satisfaction. Informativeness is linked to the delivery of valuable and practical information with useful offers to consumers to change positive attitudes of consumers to mobile ads to purchasing. Messages through mobile advertising that contain customized content and relevant information contribute to consumers’ positive attitude to mobile advertising by brands. In turn, informative ads via mobiles positively influence customers’ attitude to brands and purchase behavior (Drossos et al. 2007; Duffett, 2015).
Trust or credibility is another factor that significantly linked to the positive attitudes of consumers to mobile advertising and their purchasing behaviors (Boeck, Lamarre and Galarneau, 2011).
Credibility refers to the extent to which consumers take the claims regarding brand as trustworthy and believable identified in the mobile ad. It is also associated with the extent to which consumers have opinion that a company can design and provide products and services, according to their needs and wants. High level credibility leads to positive attitudes to mobile advertising, brand and purchase intent. The key point is that the advertising messages via mobiles like SMS with high level satisfaction of consumers’ need for credibility are positively perceived by the customers. Accordingly, the consumers are involved in word of mouth advertising and show positive intention to purchases and repurchase behaviors (Ofosu, Gyanewa and Boadi, 2013).
Ofosu et al. (2013) conducted a study on young consumers to ascertain the influence of SMS advertisement. The results indicated that informativeness of SMS ads are positively associated with the attitudes of consumers to SMS ad and purchase attitudes. On the other hand, trust is negatively correlated due to lack of credible content. Innovative content is required to increase the trust level of consumers to make their attitudes positive SMS ads and purchase behaviors.
Furthermore, personalization is a factor that is important in mobile advertisement. Personalized messages are taken positively from consumers than mass-market messages. Personalization indicates the development of customer loyalty by building a one-to-one relationship by considering every consumer need and assisting to satisfy the goal. Personalization of messages enables the marketers to efficiently target the specific groups of customers by fulfilling their needs and preferences. Personalization can be made through taking into consideration the time and location of the consumers in case of SMS ads. Consequently, the consumers positively react to ads and show positive attitude to purchasing of brands’ products and services (Xu, 2006).
Moreover, consumers’ attitudes to mobile advertising and purchasing behaviors are highly associated with the irritation factor. It is due to the fact that when advertising uses tools that annoy, insult and are highly manipulative, consumers are not inclined to show positive attitudes to ads but show irritation behaviors. The users of mobile take irrelevant and distracting information as an intrusion to privacy. Sometimes, the information provided through mobile ads leads to disappointment due to indecisiveness that consequently facilitates negative attitudes to mobile advertising and purchase intent (Delafrooz and Zanjankhah, 2015; Chowdhury et al. 2017).
Permission and incentives are two key factors that are linked to the positive attitudes of consumers to mobile advertising and purchasing intention. Various consumers consider mobile phones as the valuable private assets. In turn, permission plays key role in boost the positive attitudes of consumers to mobile advertising. This factor is of significant importance in relation to behavioral intension of consumers. In addition, it also reduces the level of irritation with respect to ads and leads to strong consumer-business long-term relationships (Noor, Sreenivasan and Ismail, 2013).
The permission factor increases the confidence of consumers to participate in purchasing activities. In this type of advertising, the marketers sent information of products and services to consumers, who allowed marketers to send messages. In other words, the consumers make voluntary participation in marketing efforts of brands by making a contract between marketers and consumers. Trough permission-based advertising, the consumers show positive attitudes to mobile advertising due to the goals’ achievement like information gathering about products and services to make ultimate purchases (Noor et al. 2013).
Last but not the least; incentive in relation to uses and gratification is another factor that affects the consumers’ attitudes to mobile marketing and purchase intension. The consumers show positive attitude to mobile advertising in return of getting specific financial rewards for accepting to receive ads. For example, some GSM operators provide rewards to their consumers through free speaking minutes when they agree to listen to their voice ads. Accordingly, involve in word of mouth advertising and as loyal customer show purchase in intension and repurchase attitude (Varnali and Toker, 2010).
There are various examples of brands/companies that use mobile advertising along with traditional mass and digital advertising efforts. One of the examples is the Lexus. The company recently introduced a mobile advertising campaign for their new market entry. In turn, they got click-through rates more than 10%. It is the representation of rate five times higher than the rates got by traditional banner ads. In addition, Coca-Cola Company reaping the benefits of their investment made in mobile advertising. Recent mobile campaign is initiated to promote event participants to join company’s reward program. Consequently, brand achieved an unprecedented 5.2% mobile ad click-through rate (Lee, 2012).
One of the examples of the top brands is Toyota. In 2014, the brand introduced new mobile advertising campaign for Corolla with the focus on voice-activated technology. The campaign helped the consumers to engage in two-way conversation with the unit of ad to imitate the experience of Entune Audio. The key advantages gained by the brand through mobile advertising and due to which consumers showed positive attitudes to ads include high level interactivity, information about product and service, personalization, credibility and entertainment (Lacy, 2014). The mobile advertising by Toyota helped the brand to achieve goals of 45% lift in foot traffic. The consumers positively reacted to mobile ads as the ads were linked to car registration data. The data identified positive attitude of consumers in relation to purchase of cars after clicking on ads (Johnson, 2014).
It can be concluded from the above discussion that mobile advertising is a key to success in this technological era with traditional and digital advertising. However, the brands or companies are required to focus on motivations or needs and preferences of consumers. For example, consumers show positive attitudes to mobile advertising if the factors are properly managed by marketers like personalization, trust, informativeness, incentives, permission, and entertainment. In turn, they make purchases and as loyal customers advertise through word of mouth advertising and show repurchase intent. Nevertheless, consumers’ needs should be aligned to the mobile advertising.
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