Consumer attitudes towards mobile marketing in the smart phone era
This exploratory online questionnaire-based study confirms the findings from earlier studies in the pre-smart phone era regarding consumers’ negative attitudes towards mobile marketing communications. This study shows that these attitudes persist despite increasing frequency of use and increased functionality of mobile phones in the smart phone era. Consumers perceive their mobile device to be for personal communication, and prefer to be able to exercise control over their interaction with organisations. Findings suggest that acceptance can be enhanced by permission marketing, trust-building, creating a sense of being in control, and useful and entertaining website content. Accordingly, pull technologies seem to hold particular promise for mobile marketing communications. This study, therefore, proceeds to explore use of and attitudes towards an important pull technology, QR codes. QR codes, two-dimensional bar codes, can be scanned to provide access to websites, information and applications. Despite their potential, uptake is low. Users in this study who had scanned a QR code had used them to access a variety of different content on different types of items and in different locations. The most frequently accessed type of content was information on a web site, the two most common locations for a scanned QR code were a newspaper or magazine advert, or outdoor advert or poster, and the two most common locations at which scanning was performed were in the street and at home. Ease of use, utility and incentives are drivers to continued use whilst lack of knowledge about how-to scan or of the benefits of QR codes may hinder adoption. Recommendations are offered for practice and for further research.