Special Features of Mobile Advertising and Their Utilization

Special Features of Mobile Advertising and Their Utilization

Jari Salo (University of Oulu, Finland) and Jaana Tähtinen (University of Oulu, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch151
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Mobile advertising, or m-advertising, refers to ads sent to and presented on mobile devices such as cellular phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and other handheld devices.1 M-advertising can be seen as a part of m-commerce (e.g., Mennecke & Strader, 2003), which is seen as radically different from traditional commerce (e.g., Choi, Stahl, & Whinston, 1997). Thus, it can be argued that m-advertising is also different. M-advertising enables the advertiser not only to send unique, personalized, and customized ads (Turban, King, Lee, Warkentin, & Chung, 2002), but also to engage consumers in discussions and transactions with the advertiser. Any retailer can make use of m-advertising. Thus this study focuses on the brick-and-mortar retailers’ use of m-advertising in Finland. In Finland, mobile phone subscriptions reached 84% of the population at the end of the year 2002 (Ministry of Transport and Communications Finland, 2003), and more than 30% of the users under 35 years and over 20% of all users have received m-advertising in the form of SMS (www.opas.net/suora/mob%20markk%20nous.htm). However, there are no commercial solutions available for the MMS type of m-advertising. Therefore, the empirical setting of this study is a service system SmartRotuaari, which is a part of a research project (see Ojala et al., 2003; www.rotuaari.net) offering the retailers an infrastructure and a service system for context-dependent m-advertising in the city of Oulu in Northern Finland. This study focuses on permission-based m-advertising. In Finland, that is the only form of m-advertising that is legal. Firstly, we will discuss the features of m-advertising that make it unique. Secondly, we will present some empirical results from the SmartRotuaari case. Based on the recognized features, we study which of them retailers utilized in their m-ads, as well as those remaining unused. The aim is to find out how well the uniqueness of m-advertising was portrayed in the m-ads. The study concludes by suggesting how retailers could improve the use of m-advertising in order to fully harness its power.

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