Perceptions of Mobile Advertising in South Africa

Nash, Brett
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It has been suggested that the mobile phone is the fastest growing and potentially the most addictive advertising medium ever developed. The danger of mismanaging this mobile medium however risks alienating consumers, damaging the reputations of major brands and depriving mobile operators of a lucrative revenue stream. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of mobile advertising in South Africa by evaluating the factors that influence a consumer’s willingness to accept the mobile phone as a means of receiving promotional content. The data analysed in this study was collected by means of a questionnaire that was administered to a stratified random sample of 500 South African contract (post paid) mobile subscribers. The questionnaire contained various questions and statements that represented those constructs suggested by the literature as impacting upon consumer perceptions and willingness to accept the mobile advertising medium. A seven point scale was used for the purposes of this study to derive ordinal level data for the purposes of analysis. The data was subjected to multivariate and descriptive statistical procedures. The results of the analysis were used to answer the research questions, derive the various recommendations as well as to develop topics for further research. The main findings of the research showed that South African consumers generally hold a negative attitude towards mobile advertising and little intention of adopting the mobile medium in the future. Even though marketers and service providers would like to exploit he medium, consumers in South Africa do not perceive the value. It was found that there are three consumer acceptance dimensions, each made up of specific constituent factors, which have a direct bearing on the perception of mobile advertising amongst South African consumers. These are defined as the Derived Value realised by consumers when participating in a mobile advertising campaign, the key role Consumer ii Trust plays in the relationship between the consumer and the stakeholders within the advertising value chain, and the risks and sacrifices that fuel the Perceived Threat associated with inclusion or participation in mobile advertising campaigns. It is suggested, however, that if managed successfully these consumer acceptance dimensions could help improve the prospects for mobile advertisers in South Africa. The research paper concludes with a number of recommendations and strategies tailored to help support the future success of the medium at various points along the mobile advertising value chain.
Mobile advertising, Advertising, Mobile telecommunications, Mobile phones, Cell phones