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Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2004

An Investigation and Conceptual Model of SMS Marketing
Astrid Dickinger, Parissa Haghirian
Vienna University of Economics & Business Administration, International Marketing and Management Department; {astrid.dickinger, parissa.haghirian}@wu-wien.ac.at Jamie Murphy, Arno Scharl
University of Western Australia, Business School
{jmurphy, ascharl}@ecel.uwa.edu.au

Abstract
Mobile marketing, also known as wireless
marketing, promises vast opportunities. Still
in an experimental phase, businesses have
little experience using this new marketing
tool. Mobile services offer companies powerful marketing potential via direct communication with consumers, anytime and anywhere, but little research on this subject exists. This paper discusses Short Message Services (SMS), which belong to the first

and most successful forms of mobile data
transmission. Based on a literature review
and exploratory qualitative research, this
paper defines mobile marketing, describes
its most popular application, text messaging,
introduces a conceptual model of success
factors for implementing mobile marketing,
and proposes future research avenues.

1. Introduction
They live in the same house but their lives
contrast. Like many of her 16-year old
friends doted on by parents and grandparents, Ingrid Johnson has time to kill, money to burn, follows trends and loves to shop.
Her dad, Bill Johnson, would kill for free
time, pinches pennies, ignores trends and
hates to shop. Yet they passionately agree on
one thing; they could not survive without
their cell phone. The quest for companies is
leveraging cell phone technology in order to
effectively market to both Ingrid and Bill.
Mobile devices increase consumer communication and challenge companies as to appropriate marketing.

As with most new technologies, mobile
usage differs geographically. Unlike the
Internet, where the US led the adoption, Japan leads in mobile Internet technology, with a penetration of Internet enabled
phones of 72% as of June 2002. Europe and
North America lag at 45% and 25% respectively, according to an A. T. Kearney and University of Cambridge survey of 15 industrialized countries [2]. These differences in mobile technology adoption relate to differences in the global development and pricing of cell phones.

Japan introduced cell phones with constant
Internet access in 1999. These devices let
customers receive and display messages,
figures and photographs. About 60 million
Japanese, or 47%, actually use Internet enabled mobile services [38]. The Japanese market, which Europe and America may
follow, leads the world in the development
of mobile marketing, illustrated by the Japanese cell phone display in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Japanese cell phone display
(www.j-phone.com/japanese/products/display.html)

Development aside, an important question
for companies in all countries is how to use
this personalized marketing tool effectively.

0-7695-2056-1/04 $17.00 (C) 2004 IEEE

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Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2004

Despite the growing demand and marketing
potential, there is little research on mobile
marketing. This paper helps fill that void by
addressing four research questions. What is
mobile marketing? What do leading European experts conclude about mobile marketing via its most successful application, Short Message Services (SMS)? What model
helps explain effective mobile marketing?
Finally, what fruitful marketing avenues and
theoretical approaches merit exploration?

2. Defining Mobile Marketing
“Marketing management is the process of
planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of goods, services, and ideas to create exchanges that
satisfy individual and organizational goals”
[5, 1]. This American Marketing Association definition implies sequential marketing...
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