Nowadays mobile phone plays the key role in communication in many countries including Malaysia. The rapid growth of the Malaysia Mobile industry has largely been due to the development of a simple and highly popular mode of mobile communication. The SMS (Short Messaging System) Statistics from Communication & Multimedia Malaysia had indicated that over 3,406 million SMS have been sent in the first period of year 2005. It seems like the fifth factor that everyone has to have it. Besides the convenience of usage in anywhere or at any time, the user can also listen to music, play games or surf the internet. Another increasingly popular function is the message services in forms of short message service (SMS) and multi-media service (MMS). Technology developments have created new marketing communication channels or media such as email, SMS (Short Messaging Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). These digital media are considered to potentially improve the possibilities to reach consumers by allowing personalization of the content and context of the message (Forrester Report 2001). Simultaneously there is a potential downside to the development of new digital channels. In a Forrester report companies using SMS expressed fear for invasion of consumer privacy (80%) and negative consumer reaction (60%) as disadvantages of the media (Forrester Report 2001, p. 3). A crucial question is thus whether there are obstacles for the marketer to use mobile media to its potential. Are customers more reluctant to receive marketing information through mobile media than through traditional media or is it the other way around?
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate factors that influence consumers’ response to SMS and MMS ads in Malaysia. The factors considered are brand familiarity, relevant on advertisement, brand loyalty, trust and attitude toward SMS and MMS.
2. Research background
Cell phone has been one of the important devices for all human kind. It has a huge impact to everyone’s life. This innovation creates marketing opportunities and challenges. Through mobile, it enable transcend traditional communication and support one-to one, many-to-many and mass communication. Phones and personal digital assistants increase the availability, frequency and speed of communication. Yet the technology associated with these devices, which let marketers personally communicate with consumers, continues to evolve. Technological innovations have enabled cell phone users to utilize them as more than a communication device, attracting advertisers to provide finely targeted and time sensitive information to their target audience. Mobile advertising is one of the most unique developments in the mobile sphere since mobile messaging gained mass consumer adoption and has emerged as one of the most important and effective advertising media in the region. Because of its popularity; marketers now discover a chance to advertise their products via SMS/MMS. The marketers hope that this new method, also known as wireless advertisement through SMS and MMS, will effectively and efficiently promote their products or services. With the emergence of high speed wireless network technologies and the increasing market penetration of mobile phones the global advertising industry’s interest in using this medium as a means of marketing communication is rising. However, in spite of the increasing number of companies investing in mobile marketing campaigns, there is, as yet, little academic research on this topic and the nature and implications of this channel are not yet understood fully.
Therefore, the main purpose of the paper is to explore consumers’ responsiveness to mobile marketing communication compared to email as a marketing media. With mobile marketing we refer to marketing communication where a consumer can be reached anywhere anytime but...