Understanding Mobile Phone Usage through a Value-Based Approach: Marketing Implications

Understanding Mobile Phone Usage through a Value-Based Approach: Marketing Implications

Yung Kyun Choi (Dongguk University, South Korea) and Sungmi Lee (Innocean Worldwide, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch018


As mobile devices increasingly become a ubiquitous and essential part of everyday life, marketers must face a host of new challenges. This new marketing environment requires that marketers understand how consumers use their mobile phones and, more particularly, how they perceive and derive value from doing so. In this article, the authors suggest that mobile services offer either context-related or content-related values. They also explore managerial implications, by revealing factors that influence consumers to utilize mobile phone services.
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Mobile phones were originally devised for communication purposes only. Now that mobile phones have become smart and able to support a wide variety of services, they are even more dramatically transforming our everyday lives. They allow people to chat, search for information, watch videos, hear music, play games, and even purchase products. In comparison with other media, mobile phones constitute a personalized medium for active rather than passive users to use purposively toward achieving various goals. Consequently, users will have subjective and complicated perceptions about the values they ascribe to using mobile phones.

Previous research on mobile phone use has frequently applied value-related theories such as the uses and gratification theory (U&G) and the technology acceptance model (TAM) to understand adoption and usage of mobile phones (Leung &Wei, 2000; Taylor & Harper, 2001; Choi, Hwang, & McMillan, 2008; Choi, Kim, & McMillan, 2009; Choi & Totten 2012). The U&G theory suggests that people are motivated to use mobile phones to gratify certain psychological needs, beliefs, or expectancies. TAM implies that actual mobile phone use depends on users’ perceptions regarding usefulness and ease of use, which then influences their attitudes toward usage and their subsequent behavioral intentions.

Although those early viewpoints about perceived value are closely linked to user experiences, we still need to better understand how people view the use of mobile phones to satisfy their needs. In this study, we argue that value judgments are based on benefits. Our argument aligns with Pihlström and Brush (2008) who explained that users assess value according to whether mobile phones have allowed them to achieve their purposes compared with alternatives such as accessing the Internet through non-portable devices, fixed networks, or traditional media. In the following section, we explain the concept of the benefit-oriented value dimension in terms of user assessments of value, both context-related value and content-related value (Helkkula, Pihlström, & Kelleher, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Value: Includes social image, identification, social self-concept, personality expression, and pursuit of upward class mobility.

LBS: Service that offers personal navigation and location awareness features, and this service uses location data to control features. It detects users’ current geographic positions to provide personalized services such as car navigation software, weather information, and Google Maps.

Entertainment Value: Perceived value related to enjoyment and fun-seeking.

Context-Related Value: Refers to perceptions of value dimensions regarding temporary conditional and epistemic value of an object.

Content-Related Value: Refers to value dimensions regarding emotional, social, and convenience value of an object.

Novelty: The perceived quality of an object or an attribute being new, unusual, and unfamiliar.

Mobile Phone Usage: Is defined as the use of a mobile phone, for example, including such activities as sending text message, navigating mobile internet, downloading or opening mobile apps, etc.

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