An Empirical Study of Factors Influencing Consumer Attitudes towards SMS Advertising

An Empirical Study of Factors Influencing Consumer Attitudes towards SMS Advertising

Pradeep Dharmadasa (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Thilini Alahakoon (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7357-1.ch063
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This article examines factors influencing consumer attitudes towards SMS advertising. The study's research framework was conceptualized using five predictor variables – informativeness, irritation, privacy, credibility, and incentives – and an outcome variable of consumer attitudes towards SMS advertising. The informativeness, irritation, and privacy was labelled as central route constructs and credibility and incentives were labelled as peripheral route constructs. Survey data collected from 251 mobile users selected from a cohort of undergraduates in business management from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, were analyzed using the Structural Equation Method (SEM). Results suggest that the informativeness and incentive variables are positively associated with customer attitudes towards SMS advertising, whereas irritation and privacy are found to be negatively associated with consumer attitudes towards SMS advertising. Surprisingly, credibility was found to be an insignificant factor predicting consumer attitudes towards SMS advertising. Several implications for consumer attitudes towards SMS advertising are discussed.
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Literature Review

In the past decade, SMS advertising has gained widespread popularity largely due to its inherent merits to potentially reach a large number of individuals at relatively low cost (Baiwise & Strong, 2002; Chen, Fang, Chen, & Dai, 2008; Dickinger, Haghirian, Murphy, & Scharl, 2004; Kim, Park, & Oh, 2008; Rettie, Grandcolas, & Deakins, 2005), immediately (Baiwise & Strong, 2002; Dickinger, et al., 2004; Rettie & Brum, 2001; Zhang & Mao, 2008), with high levels of interactivity, and ease of personalization (Bamoriya & Singh, 2012; Chowdhury, et al., 2006; Rettie & Brum, 2001; Tsang, Ho, & Liang, 2004; Vatanparast, 2010). As a result, many companies have been redirecting their marketing spending towards interactive marketing tools, like SMS (Vatanparast, 2010). Generally speaking, advertising is used to inform, persuade and remind consumers about products and services in order to enhance their ability to make informed-purchase decision and thus lead to greater sales for the relevant companies (Eze & Lee, 2012; Nelson, 1974). In the case of SMS advertising, this is a special form of marketing that uses mobile devices to send text messages to inform, persuade and remind intended customers of a company’s products and services. Unlike traditional advertising channels, where the individual consumer is often anonymous, the mobile channel is extremely personal (Muk & Babin, 2006; Tahtinen & Salo, 2003) and ubiquitous.

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