Enhancing Mobile Advertising Effectiveness in Turkey through Peer Influence

Enhancing Mobile Advertising Effectiveness in Turkey through Peer Influence

Gözem Güçeri-Uçar (Department of Management, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jeco.2013100101


This article aims to explain how involvement and peer influence may enhance mobile advertising effectiveness by increasing consumers’ intention to participate in SMS-based mobile marketing campaigns. Both individual and joint effects of these variables on marketing campaign participation intentions of Turkish consumers are analyzed. Findings indicate that involvement is not necessarily a strong predictor of campaign participation intentions in the context of mobile marketing. Peer influence, on the other hand, was shown to have a significant effect on intention to participate in an m-marketing campaign, as well as being a moderator of the relationship between involvement and campaign participation intention. A unique contribution of this study is the linking of involvement and peer influence in a unified framework to demonstrate how these two variables can jointly be used to increase m-marketing campaign participation numbers.
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High penetration of mobile phones and increased usage of the mobile medium by marketers has led researchers and practitioners to investigate how to enhance the effectiveness of this channel as a means to communicate with consumers. The definition of mobile marketing spans all methods of one-way or two-way communication of marketing messages to and from consumers via mobile devices (Barnes, 2002; Godin, 1999; Scharl et al., 2005; Truong & Simmons, 2010; Tsang, Ho & Liang, 2004; Zoller, Housen & Matthews, 2001). While many forms of mobile advertisements exist, the oldest and still most widely used form of m-marketing is SMS (Short Message Service) messages (Chen & Hsieh, 2012). Barwise and Strong (2002) describe SMS-based mobile marketing as text-based advertising on consumers’ cellular phones. The popularity of SMS-based mobile advertising stems from the fact that SMS messaging has a high usage penetration among consumers, it is compatible with all mobile phones available in the market, it is simple to send and receive, and it is relatively inexpensive for the advertisers as a marketing tool. In addition, it also allows for personalization and interactivity (Liu et al., 2012). While it is possible to use SMS advertisements to merely push marketing messages to targeted consumers, interactive campaigns can also be designed to enable communication among marketers and consumers. Participants of the marketing campaign may be asked to answer survey questions, participate in quizzes or contests, or voice their opinions on specific questions asked by the marketer. SMS based marketing campaigns may also allow consumers to interact with each other through simple games or competitions in which participants ask each other questions or send each other messages.

The term “effectiveness” in the context of mobile marketing stands for the success of a push message in stimulating the desired response from its recipients (Varnali, Yilmaz & Toker, 2012). This desired response depends on the goal of the marketer and could range from responding to the push message, passing the message along to someone else, or visiting a location such as a store to immediately purchasing a product or service. Despite all of its advantages, recent studies suggest that SMS-based mobile advertisements may not always be effective in stimulating the desired response from their recipients (e.g. Varnali & Toker, 2010; Varnali, Yilmaz & Toker, 2012). Some studies have also found that SMS-based m-marketing may be losing its effectiveness in terms of consumers’ response rates to marketing messages (e.g. Gauzente, 2010; Truong & Simmons, 2010). In order to utilize SMS-based mobile marketing at its full potential as a powerful marketing tool, it is important to understand what factors contribute to mobile advertising effectiveness, and how their impact can be maximized in order to ensure the success of the relevant marketing campaign.

In terms of the rapid uptake of mobile marketing, the Turkish market has a special global position. The 2010 report of Turkish Statistical Institute states that the mobile phone subscriber penetration has exceeded 93% of the population with over 65 million mobile phone subscriptions. Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has determined in their 2010 year-end report that the mobile marketing revenue in Turkey has grown from 1 million USD in 2005 to over 100 million USD in 2010. According to the ADEX 2011 report, Turkey was the 7th fastest growing mobile advertising market in Europe in 2011. While the Turkish market attracts the attention of marketers as well as local and global mobile marketing agencies as a prospering avenue of new opportunities, the Millward Brown AdReaction 2012 Global Report revealed that Turkish consumers are rapidly losing interest in marketing campaigns and activities promoted via the mobile medium. This was especially emphasized for SMS-based mobile advertisements due to their perceived intrusiveness. As a result, developing new methods to revive consumer interest in this channel is an urgent necessity, which is why the Turkish market was selected as the starting point in our analysis.

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