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Title: The influence of SMS advertising on online brand equity among students in the UK
Author: Darabi, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 0423
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2017
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With the technological improvements and new developments in the mobile industry, more and more brands are sending their advertising messages using consumers’ mobile phones. This growing interest is reflected in their allocated marketing budgets and expenditures, which shows that digital marketing and especially mobile advertising is booming. Allocations of the resources for various mobile advertising formats reveals that SMS (Short Message Service) advertising is usually ignored as it only accounts for a small portion of this expenditure, while newer approaches such as paid for search and display adverting incur the highest investments. However, new reports such as eMarketer (2016 a) suggest that there is still potential for SMS advertising to foster positive brand-customer relationships. These effects have been largely overlooked by both practitioners and academics as evidenced by the dearth of research on the influence of text messages on brand equity. Thus, this study aims to fill this gap by investigating the effect of SMS advertising on online brand equity. There is a growing body of the literature recognising the importance of brand equity. However, in terms of online brands, there is still potential for further research on online brand equity and its corresponding dimensions. Subsequently, following a comprehensive review of the literature, this study adopts four dimensions –brand awareness, brand trust, brand value and brand loyalty – to investigate online brand equity. Thus, the present thesis explores the relationship between SMS advertising and dimensions of online brand equity. In particular, the research examines the effect of two factors – namely, attitude toward using SMS advertising and consumers’ incentives assessments – on adopted dimensions of CBBE (consumer based brand equity) for online brands; specifically, brand awareness, brand trust, brand value and brand loyalty. Furthermore, this study selects students in the UK as a new cultural context. Accordingly, this study developed four research objectives and fourteen hypotheses to achieve its aim. The positivist perspective was used to examine the hypotheses. Since the study was aimed at exploring relationships between known variables, a questionnaire was designed using key items form relevant studies and administered to 311 students in the UK. The collected data was analysed for validity and reliability and subsequently, the hypothesised relationships were examined using Smartpls 3. The findings of the research show that while there are statistically significant relationships between SMS advertising and dimensions of online brand equity, their overall effect on brand equity is limited – except for the influence of incentives assessments on brand loyalty. In particular, this study showed that attitude toward using SMS advertising has direct and significant relationships with both brand trust and brand awareness. Furthermore, consumers’ assessment of the incentives that are included in text messages could affect the brand value and brand loyalty. This research also demonstrates that there are inter-relationships between the identified dimensions of online brand equity i.e. there is a significant relationship between brand value and brand trust. Moreover, the findings show that consumers’ gains (benefits) from the text messages (i.e. incentives and information) have a more significant effect on consumers’ attitude toward using SMS advertising compared to the sacrifices demanded in the process (i.e. irritativeness and importance of permission). Thus, despite the fact that some limited studies have examined the effects of SMS advertising on brand equity, this research makes incremental contributions to the mobile advertising and branding research in three ways: First, the previous studies on the factors influencing consumers’ attitude toward SMS advertising were mainly conducted before 2010. However, the nature of SMS advertising has since changed significantly i.e. the role of text messages has changed from an entertaining communication medium to a simple informative and reminder of available offers. Hence, this research re-evaluates the strength of previously identified relationships in this regard. Furthermore – applying the expectancy-value theory— this thesis focuses on attitude toward using SMS advertising (attitude toward an act) in comparison to previous research which focused on attitude toward SMS advertising or attitude toward specific text messages (attitude toward an object). Secondly, based on the hierarchy of effects model, the present research examines the inter-relationships between the dimensions of online brand equity—namely, brand awareness, brand trust, brand value and brand loyalty—for pure digital brands. Thirdly, this thesis extends the hierarchy of effects model to determine the possible relationships between SMS advertising and the dimensions of online brand equity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available