Consumer acceptance and response to SMS advertising
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The rising market penetration of the mobile phone and rapid increase in wireless technology represent significant opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers. Mobile phone advertising has emerged as one of the fastest growing advertising mediums in recent times, and this rise is being led by Short Message Service (SMS) advertising. Despite the growing number of worldwide companies adopting SMS advertising, very little is understood about consumer reactions to this medium. In particular, little academic research has been conducted on consumers’ acceptance of this medium and their behavioural responses to advertising messages. In addition, researchers have thus far been unable to identify the impact of culture on acceptance and response to SMS advertising. This research aims to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and advertising practice by testing five potential drivers of consumer acceptance of SMS advertising as well as the relationships between the acceptance of SMS advertising, intention to receive SMS advertising and behavioural responses to SMS advertising. This research is conducted cross-nationally by comparing Australian and South Korean consumers.In order to test the hypotheses proposed in this study, a survey instrument was developed. This instrument consists of existing scales in the literature as well as a scale developed for the purpose of this study, which measures consumers’ behavioural responses to SMS advertising. Data were collected from 203 Australian and 207 South Korean consumers, from personal and online survey distribution at universities in Australia and South Korea. A series of regression analyses were conducted to test the relationships between the variables, with results compared across samples. The results from this study generally suggest that acceptance, intentions and responses to SMS advertising are similar for Australians and South Koreans. Consumers from the two samples agreed on the importance of four out of the five potential drivers of the acceptance of SMS advertising. The utility of SMS advertisements, context of SMS advertisements and attitudes to advertising in general were found to have a significant impact on the acceptance of either sample. Furthermore, trust in advertisers and laws was important to South Koreans but not to Australians. These results indicate that Australian and South Korean consumers are typically not accepting of SMS advertising, unwilling to receive advertisements and respond negatively to them, while the relationships between these variables are generally strong and consistent.The results from this study highlight the need for advertisers to design SMS advertisements carefully, containing information that is useful, contextually relevant and correctly targeted. In addition, marketers should focus on building relationships with customers and offer incentives to accept SMS advertising in order to improve negative behavioural responses. This study provides useful theoretical contributions to the field of SMS advertising, with an insight into the crosscultural impact of SMS advertising, the development of a new scale to measure behavioural responses to SMS advertising and the application of key marketing theories.
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