ADVERTISING

Whole new industry expanding with mobile phone advertising, UC marketing researcher says

Thursday 13 December 2012, 1:35PM
By University of Canterbury
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Gone are the days when a mobile phone is a voice only communication device.

These days technology that goes into most mobile phones is more advanced than some desktop computers, a University of Canterbury (UC) marketing researcher Dr Allen Lim said today.

Smartphones can now be used as alternatives to camcorders, cameras, GPS devices, gaming consoles, movie players, music players, storage devices, encyclopaedias, wallets and much more.

``It is no surprise that the mobile phone comes up as one of the most important things that people cannot do without. The mobile phone has now become a very affordable device with more than six billion mobile phones in use worldwide.

``The wide use of mobile phones and the attachment of users to their mobile phones make it a very attractive advertising medium. From the advertiser’s perspective, advertisements can be personalised and delivered directly to relevant users. While, from a consumer’s perspective, advertisements and promotional materials that are of interest to them can be delivered as soon as they become available.’’

The first advertisement on a mobile phone was released by a Finnish news provider six years after the launch of SMS in 2000. The Finnish company offered free news headlines via SMS, sponsored by advertising.

Mobile phone technology has advanced. So has the ability to deliver more sophisticated advertisements in order to gain consumers attention and provide better value and experience to consumers. Dr Lim spent three years researching mobile phone advertising for his PhD.

``The big question is `can gaining consumers attention and providing users with value and experience be more achievable by using more sophisticated technology?’ This is what my research was all about – to identify values of interest that both advertisers and consumers would like to gain from the delivering and consuming of the advertisement and then determine if technology can be used to improve these values for both advertisers and consumers.

``Results have shown that advances in the technology used in an advertisement do provide better experiences to consumers. However, the effectiveness of an advert in terms of consumer recall of the advert information suffered as a consequence.

``This means that advancing the technology used may gain a greater audience for the advertisers, but significantly less of them will remember what is advertised in the advertisement. Results have also found that the type of product advertised plays an important role in determining the effectiveness of the advertisements when delivered in different levels of technology.

``It is hoped that the advertising industry may benefit from using the findings from my thesis where advertising agencies may improve the effectiveness of their proposed mobile campaigns to their clients. I am determined to contribute my knowledge, skills and expertise to the rebuild of the economy of Christchurch.’’

Dr Lim graduated with a UC doctorate yesterday. He is among 4500 graduates this week. New Zealand’s first chief coroner Judge Neil MacLean received an Honorary Doctorate at yesterday’s event while former All Blacks rugby coach Sir Graham Henry will be made an Honorary Doctorate at tomorrow’s (Friday) graduation ceremony.