From the Guest Editor: Special Issue on Mobile Advertising Issues and Challenges

Shintaro Okazaki

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

This special issue presents some of the most interesting ongoing research on mobile advertising.

In recent years, advances in the mobile device have created diverse opportunities for the dissemination of multimedia content. An increasing number of promotional messages are sent to users who have granted prior consent or permission. Such permission-based mobile marketing has proliferated worldwide; mainly because its value-added content can be personalized with context and location specificity. Hence, global brands, such as Adidas, Volvo, and Dove, have adopted text messaging in their customer-relationship management (Sultan and Rohm 2005).

Customer-relationship management is a business strategy designed to identify and maximize customer value, and it requires a customer-centric business philosophy and culture (Spiller and Baier 2005). It begins with prospecting for new customers, with timely information at the right place, to foster top-of-mind brand awareness. These characteristics match those of the mobile phone: a highly portable communication device with ubiquitous data transmission capability. More and more firms have adopted this communication device to attract consumer attention, and to increase consumer responses through a “one-to-one dialogue” with customers.

Our knowledge of mobile advertising has traditionally been garnered through exploratory studies. However, despite some initial research success, mobile advertising still suffers from a lack of research that attempts to build theoretical foundations. Indeed, exploring the effects of mobile advertising in the real world is a difficult task. This is due to such problems as difficulties in searching for the available customer databases, and lack of appropriate “real” stimuli for survey, data collection, and analysis strategies, among others. But more and more researchers are finding ways to build lasting and valuable empirical knowledge. Many researchers, in different parts of the world, have struggled to overcome such obstacles with the goal of furthering our knowledge about this advertising medium.

The papers in this special issue provide a good overview of ongoing research in the field. In the first paper, Bruner and Kumar explore a long-awaited issue regarding one of the key aspects of mobile marketing: location-based advertising. Their insights into a scale development of attitude toward location-based advertising have both academic and practical implications. Drossos et al. bring us fascinating evidence of the factors influencing SMS advertising in Greece. To test their primary hypotheses, this team of researchers conducted experiments based on incentive, interactivity, appeal, and product involvement.

What are the essential difference between push and pull advertising strategies? Unni and Harmon address this important question in the context of mobile advertising. They provide interesting findings regarding the effects of privacy concerns on location tracking, perceived benefits, value, and intentions to try this service. From Finland, Merisavo et al. present a large-scale survey with a “real” campaign stimulus. Structural equation modeling tests five drivers of mobile advertising acceptance: utility, context, control, sacrifice, and trust. Finally, Nasco and Bruner’s study examines perceptions and recall of mobile advertising. The study was designed to represent various modality combinations, in order to test hypotheses based on cognitive load theory.

As the Guest Editor, I would like to thank all of the authors for submitting their fine work to this Special Issue. The hard work of the reviewers, who provided their expert reviews within very tight schedules, greatly improved the quality of the final papers in this Special Issue. Without their contributions, this Special Issue would have been neither so timely nor so successful. Finally, I would like to thank John D. Leckenby and Hairong Li, the Editors-in-Chief, for giving me the opportunity to organize this Special Issue, and Karen Lancendorfer, the Associate Editor, for the consistent support and guidance she provided throughout the process.


Spiller, Lisa and Martin Baier (2005), Contemporary Direct Marketing, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sultan, Fareena and Andrew Rohm (2005), “The Coming Era of ‘Brand in the Hand’ Marketing,” MIT Sloan Management Review, 47 (1), 83-90.

About the Guest Editor

Shintaro Okazaki (Ph.D., Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) is an Associate Professor of Marketing, College of Economics and Business Administration at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Email: [email protected].