Emergence of Mobile Marketing in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analysis of Consumers’ Behaviour towards Mobile SMSs
Mobile Marketing refers to the marketing activities undertaken to reach the consumers directly via mobile phones, connected to a ubiquitous network, to which the consumers are frequently connected. Mobile communication is a part of mobile marketing. It is often materialized by the use of mobile Internet, SMS and MMS by companies to send advertising messages via mobile phones. Thus, companies have found a new opportunity to operate in terms of targeted communication. Studies undertaken in other context indicated that mobile marketing is more efficient than other contact modes with the permission that is given in advance by the consumer to be sought. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa in general and in Cameroon in particular, there is still a timid interest among researchers on the field of mobile marketing. The objective of this paper is to describe the reactions of Cameroonian mobile phone consumers toward mobile services.
Last data published by the Cameroonian ministry of Post and Telecommunication showed a high level of penetration rate (From 71% in 2014 to 90% in 2018) of mobile phone holders. Therefore, there has been an increase in the use of mobile phone to send more advertising SMSs or MMSs by some firms and for financial and commercial transactions. Moreover, the development of I.T. industry in Cameroon is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it facilitates the violation of individual freedom and on the other hand, it enhances the emergence of new services, able to satisfy claims and needs of mobile consumers. While the regulatory I.T. environment is truly a prerequisite for the development of digital communications infrastructure, it also requires a consumer protection framework that can adapt to technological change and business practices.
In Cameroon, two laws have been promulgated on the 21 of December 2010. But this legislation, after analyses, does not really protect consumers from intrusiveness of some mobile services such as advertising SMSs or MMSs. For this reason, mobile consumers regularly react negatively towards intrusive mobile advertising SMSs and MMs into their private life. For instance, more than 22.7% of Cameroonian mobile phone consumers deleted advertising SMSs or MMSs without reading them. In addition, in the absence of permission, consumers conditioned receiving mobile advertising by their entertaining and informative character.
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Department of Marketing, University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon.