A Study On Indian Consumers Attitude Towards SMS Advertising Through Mobile Phones

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1 38 Opinion-Volume 1, No. 1, December 2011 A Study On Indian Consumers Attitude Towards SMS Advertising Through Mobile Phones Abstract Ravindra Reddy. T* Dr. Rajyalakshmi N** The rapid increase in the usage of mobile phones and other mobile devices by Indian consumers has created a new channel for marketing. In India there are over 850 million mobile subscribes and the number is rapidly increasing day by day. This has paved the way for many companies of goods and services in the country to do their sales promotions through the mobile phone platform. SMS marketing is one of the most popular forms of mobile marketing. Over the past few years SMS has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. Mobile Advertising is particularly attractive in India since the personal computers ownership remains low, which creates the need for an alternative interactive medium. The present research investigates consumer s attitude towards mobile advertising and a research frame work is constructed to extract relevant factors affecting consumers attitude towards SMS based advertisements and users actual behaviour.the results of the research revealed that the attitude of the consumers towards SMS advertising are reflected in terms of privacy, irritation (angry), Prior permission, time of sending, local language, operating knowledge and consumer preferences. The research was conducted with a suitable sample sized study about the changing attitude and behaviour of the Mobile users or consumers. Keywords: Information Technology, Mobile marketing, Mobile advertising, SMS, Consumer attitudes, India. Introduction Advertising via mobile devices or mobile advertising is defined as the usage of interactive wireless media (such as cellular phones and pagers, cordless telephones, personal digital assistants, two-way radios, baby crib monitors, wireless networking systems, GPS-based locators and maps) to transmit advertising messages to customers in form of time and location sensitive, personalized information with the overall goal to promote goods and services. Information technology affects everything from daily life to business in the 21st century. In business environment, it shapes not only commerce but also the way in which companies implement their marketing *Priyadarshini college of Engineering and Technology, Nellore, Associate professor, Dept of Management studies **Andhra University, Visakapatnam, Professor, Dept of Commerce and Management Studies

2 A Study On Indian Consumers Attitude Towards SMS Advertisiung Through Mobile Phones 39 strategies. Offering new marketing channels to interact with customers is crucial to increase sales for company. Thus, the successful application of information technology to connect marketing applications is highly prominent. One of the advances in information technology is wireless mobile communication technology that makes the anytime-to-anyplace communication possible. This technology system allows increased mobility and extended services even to remote areas. Due to wireless communication system, mobile phone users are able to access their s, search, order and buy products and services from everywhere without computers. 1 Besides the Internet and personal computers, the mobile phone is the key to marketers because it is extremely popular and offers people the opportunity of mobility now. Through the introduction of data services, Short Message Services (SMS), Multimedia Message Service (MMS), Mobile Internet, 3G services etc., the mobile phone is rapidly becoming a viable commercial marketing channel. Even though companies are investing heavily in mobile commerce and mobile marketing, the nature and implications of this channel have yet to be fully understood and studies need to be performed to gain an insight into how to utilize it best. 2 Nowadays, mobile marketing adoption and acceptance is on the rise, but marketers would have little ability to consistently generate profits without a clear understanding of the elements driving consumer acceptance. Mobile advertising is a fresh way of marketing, and it is turning step by step from basic SMS messaging to more interactive and intelligent communication channel, such as MMS and Java based applications. Mobile technology is developing constantly, which attracts both advertisers and customers. Thus, mobile advertising will become more common in the near future. Statement of the Problem Mobile penetration in India is the second largest in the world. Now in recent times rural peoples are also recognizing the importance of mobile phones and they are getting the SMS from the advertisers. The prospect of mobile marketing in India is in growing level. Currently, the subscribers are increased from million in May 2011 to at the end of June2011in India. The global mobile advertising market is facing severe challenges and problems in the current economy scenario because changing of customer attitudes with respect to mobile advertising. 5 The success or failure of the advertising is based on the attitude of the customers. The changing attitude of Indian consumers with respect to the new technology advertising methods and the problems faced by the marketers to gain customer attention and lack of studies on new modes of advertising also validate the present study. Objectives of the Present Study The following are the important objectives of the study 1. To identify the general attitude of the consumers towards SMS advertising. 2. To evaluate the factors affecting the attitude of the customers towards SMS advertising. 3. To identify the problems and prospects of SMS advertising. 4. To ascertain the ways and means to improve the attitude of the consumers towards SMS advertising. Research Methodology This study consists of 1000 samples customers of mobile users in the area of Nellore city, Andhra Pradesh during the period from April, 2009 to June The data set include, primary data were collected by field survey method using a structured questionnaire and secondary data were collected from various data bases, Internet, Business articles, business periodicals etc. Apart from this data, the leading journals and magazines relating to mobile advertising sector were also referred for this study. Sampling Technique In the present study the technique used by the researcher is a non probability sampling method of purposive sampling. The respondents are purposively selected on the basis of ownership of the mobile 6. Further they are considered on the basis of using mobiles and receiving SMS advertisements and interesting to give response towards questionnaire. In these study areas, the total numbers of respondents are 1000 which include various

3 40 Opinion-Volume 1, No. 1, December 2011 types of consumers like professionals, employees, unemployed, housewives, retired, business, formers and students. Tools for Data Collection Questionnaire is the main tool for data collection and the questions are on five point Likert scale from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5), the field survey method was adopted for collection of data. The data is analyzed through simple percentage method and Weighted Mean. Data Analysis and Interpretation Demographic profile of the Respondents Table 1 reveals that 64.5% of the respondents are males and 35.5% of the respondents are females. It is concluded that majority of respondents are males. It reveals that 12.1% of the respondents belong to the age group of below or equal to 20 years, 50.2% of the respondents belong to age group of 21 to 30 years, 23.9% of the respondents in between 31 to 40 years, 9.1% of the respondents belong to age group of 41 to 50 years, 3% of the respondents belong to 51 to 60 years and 1.7% of the respondents belong to the age group of above 60 years. It is concluded that majority of the respondents are responded to the questionnaire in the age group of 21 to 30 and 31 to 40 years. This is due to the more acceptability of SMS advertising in the age group of 21 to 30 years. It reveals that 8.7% of the respondents are educated up to SSC, 18.5% of the respondents belong to Diploma/intermediate holders, 36.1% of the respondents are graduates, 34.8% of the respondents are post graduates and 19% of the respondents are Doctorates. The table shows that 7.8% of the respondents belong to professionals, 30.2% of the respondents belong to the category of employees, 5.9% of the respondents belong to category of unemployed, 7.7% of the respondents business people, 31.2% of the respondents belongs to student category, 11% of the respondents are the category of house wife, 2.6% of the respondents are retired people and 3.6% of the respondents belongs to category of agriculturists. It is inferred majority of the respondents are students and employees. And 48.1% of the respondents are married and 51.2% of the respondents are unmarried those majority from student s category. In the remaining 3% of the respondents are widows and 4% of the respondents are widowers. It also reveals that 11.2% of the respondent s monthly income is up to 10,000 and 20.6% respondent s income ranges from 10,001 to 20,000, 13.9% of the respondent s income ranges from 20,001 to 30,000, 3.7% of the respondents of the income range from 30,001 to 40,000, 2.3% of the respondent s income ranges from 40,001 to 50,000 and 1.7% of respondents belong to the income group of 50,001 and above. 46.6% of the respondents are no income group majority belong to categories of students, unemployed and housewives. Results and Discussions The results reveals that 20.7% of the respondents are strongly agree for receiving the sms advertisements to their mobiles and 43.6% of the respondents are agree the statement. Around 20% of the respondents are undesided.10.2% of the respondents is disagreeing to receive the sms advertisements and 5.3% are strongly disagreeing to receive the sms advertisements. It reveals that 42.1% of the respondents are read always, 31.2% occasionally and 5.7% of the respondents never read the sms advertisements. Around 18.7% read rarely and 2.3% often read sms advertisements. It reveals that 55% of the respondents are getting angry while they are receiving sms ads and 22.3% are neutral to the statement. Around 22% of the respondents are not getting angry. It reveals that 59.7% of the respondents are storing in the mobile for further reference and 10.8% are neutral to the statement. Around 30% of the respondents are not storing in their mobile. In case of storing it is found that few are storing for the purpose of future and some are storing due to lack of time to read and the time they received is not convenient. It is further noticed that some of the consumers who are storing messages but further they are not at all reading the sms ads. It reveals that 16.9% of the respondents are strongly agreed that the sms ads are useful and relevant information and 37.2% are some what agree and 29.2% are neither disagree nor agree. Around 12.2% of the

4 A Study On Indian Consumers Attitude Towards SMS Advertisiung Through Mobile Phones 41 respondents somewhat disagree and 4.5% are strongly disagreed to the statement. It reveals that 61.9% of the respondents are said sms ads are more convenient in their respective local language and 19.8% are neutral to the statement. Around 18.3% of the respondents are disagreed to receive in local language. It reveals that 23.4% of the respondents are strongly agreed that sms ads are intrudes the privacy of an individual, 41.3% are agree and 18.3% are neutral to the statement. Around 12% of the respondents are somewhat disagree and 5% are strongly disagree to the statement. It reveals that 19.2% of the respondents strongly agree lack of knowledge to operate mobile is one of the problem to sms ads and 30.5% agree the statement and 9.7% of the respondents feel neutral to the statement. Around19.6% of the respondents disagrees and 21% are strongly disagreeing to the statement. It is clear that 40.9% of the respondents strongly believe that the prior permission of the mobile user is necessary for sending sms ads and 38.5% are agree and 8.8% are natural to the statement. Around 6.7% of the respondents disagree and 5.1% are strongly disagreeing to the statement. Around 39.6% of the respondents strongly agree that sms ads are useful if consumer preferences are taken into consideration before sending the ads and 41.5% of the respondents agree to the statement and 12.4% are neutral to the statement. Around 3% of the respondents somewhat disagree and 3.4% are strongly disagree to the statement. Around 52.5% of the respondents are feeling inconvenient to receive ads at any time and 47.5% of the respondents do not have any inconvenience. It is clear that 7.2% of the respondents feel saving money is the benefit of sms ads, 13.9% feel saving time, 23% feel that sms ads provide useful information and 3.3% of the respondents feel sms is an entertainment. Around 7% of the respondents feel sms ads provide the benefit of personalization and around 6.6% feel it provides interactivity with advertisers. 23.6% of the respondents feel sms ads provide all the above benefits and 15.5% feel no benefit from sms ads. Factors affecting Attitude towards SMS advertising Table 2 reveals that the order of factors influencing the consumers attitude towards SMS advertising. It states that prior to send SMS ads, marketers should collect consumer preferences and prior permission has first and second weight in the ranking. The content of ads should be easy to read and remember got third rank in the order. Consumers are given fourth rank that they need restrictions towards more no of ads in a day. Consumer are preferred that location based SMS ads as fifth rank. Privacy got a sixth rank in influencing attitude of consumers towards SMS ads. The message language got seventh ranks in influencing attitude of the consumers such they are more convenient in their local language. Some of the consumers are feeling that SMS ads will occupy more space in their mobile and this factor got eight ranks in the order. The fear of spam might be influencing the consumer s attitude as ninth factor. Consumers have more fear about unsolicited messages. The ambiguity of messages is the tenth factor influencing the attitude of consumers towards SMS ads. Limited characters in a text message got eleventh factor influencing consumers attitude. Angry or irritation got twelfth rank in influencing attitude of consumers towards SMS ads. Some of the consumers have an attitude that SMS ads will mislead consumers and which got thirteenth rank in the order. Lack of knowledge to operate mobile is one of the factor and ranked in fourteen in the order. This factor is influencing more in case of aged people. Some of the people perceive that SMS ads more for premium products and it have got the last rank in the order. Conclusion It can be interpreted from the analysis of the results that majority of the collected respondents are favor to receive the SMS ads if their preferences are taken into consideration before sending the ads and further those who are disagree they have negative attitude toward SMS ads. By analyzing the results it is found that some of the mobile users are getting angry while getting SMS ads due to inconvenient at times when they are busy and especially at working hours thus the advertisers need to consider the time convenience of the customers while sending the SMS ads. From the survey it is found that

5 42 Opinion-Volume 1, No. 1, December 2011 large customer feel that SMS advertisements are disturbing their privacy. Their attitude was favourable if advertisements were sent with permission. This implies permission based advertising may become a major mechanism in the mobile advertising in the future 7. Customers are fear about spam, marketers need to ensure that they send only relevant information to targeted consumers and they need to further ensure that consumer preferences are taken into consideration before sending SMS advertisements. Table 1 Demographic Profile of the Respondents Sex Frequency Valid percent Male Female Age Frequency Valid percent < > Education Frequency Valid percent <SSC Inter/Diploma Graduation Post Graduation PhD Occupation Frequency Valid percent Professional Employee Unemployed Business Student Housewife Retired Agriculture Marital Status Frequency Valid percent Married Unmarried Widow 3.3 Widower 4.4 Monthly Income( ) Frequency Valid percent <10, ,001-20, ,001-30, ,001-40, ,001-50, ,001&above Not applicable Table 2 Factors influencing Consumers Attitude Factors Total score WMV Rank You get angry when you receive SMS ads Offers on SMS ads are often misleading in nature You feel SMS ads basically focus on premium products Contents in the SMS ads are some times ambiguous You believe that information on SMS advg is simple to read and easy to remember You feel SMS ads in local language are convenient

6 A Study On Indian Consumers Attitude Towards SMS Advertisiung Through Mobile Phones 43 Limited characters is one of the problems in SMS advg You feel SMS advg basically intrudes the privacy of an individual You fear that spam might occur Number of SMS ads should be restricted in a day Lack of knowledge to operate mobile is one of the problem in accepting SMS ads You believe prior permission of the mobile users is necessary for sending SMS ads Storage space and memory of your mobile is occupied by SMS ads SMS ads of your near by stores will influence your acceptability in SMS advg SMS advg is useful if consumer preferences are taken into consideration Source: Primary Data Note: 1.Strongly Disagree 2.Disagree 3.Neutral 4.Agree 5.Strongly Agree WMV-Weighted Mean Value. References 1. Aungst,S.G,Wilson,D.T.(2005) A primer for navigating the shoals of applying wireless technology to marketing problems, journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol.20(2), pg Bauer, H.Barnes, S.Reinhardt, T.Neumann, M. (2005) Driving Consumer Acceptance of Mobile Marketing: A Theoretical Framework and Empirical Study, Journal of Electronic Commerce and Research, Vol. 6 (3), pg Becker, M. (2005) Effectiveness of Mobile Channel Additions an A Conceptual Model Detailing the Interaction of Influential Variables, from iloopmobile research.com. 4. Telecom subscription Data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, New Delhi, June 30,20011.Released on August, 8, R.S.Sivarethina Mohan,P.Aranganathan,Conceptual Framework of Mobile Marketing: Spamming the Consumer Around the World., Indian Journal of Marketing,February,2011,Vol 41, No Research Methodology, Methods and Techniques; Second Revised Edition, C.R.Kothari, New Age International Publishers, Melody M. Tsang, Shu-Chun Ho and Ting-Peng Liang, Consumer Attitudes Toward Mobile Advertising: An Empirical Study, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Volume 8, Issue 3, (Number 3/ Spring 2004), Pages 65-78, 2004.

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