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 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 99   Attributes: MSc STANDARD

 Amount: 3,000

 Aug 05, 2019 |  11:35 am |  2095



This study examines the influence of telecommunication advertisements on students’ perception and preference for GSM services in Kogi state tertiary institutions. The study emerged from the backdrop of increasing complaints about poor GSM services in Nigeria, and the assumption that advertising could help in shaping perceptions and choice of GSM networks among active users and subscribers. The study was aimed at making an empirical contribution to existing understanding of the level of influence advertising has on consumer behaviour in the telecommunication industry. The study was based on the presupposition of the source credibility and hierarchy of effect theories. The survey method as adopted for the study using a multi-stage sampling method in which institutions were randomly selected and research instruments purposively administered to the respondents. The survey received a 95 per cent response rate from a sample of 381 of 400 drawn from 4 out of the 13 tertiary institutions in Kogi state using a multi stage sampling method in which these institutions are divided into strata and each stratum was purposively selected. Data gathered were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results were analysed using percentage frequency, mean and standard deviation while the association between the level of advertising influence and preferences was tested using Pearson correlation analysis. Chi-square test was also carried out to test association between GSM service preference and demographic variables. Overall results show a strong positive association between the level of advertising influence and respondents’ preference for GSM service. Finding also shows that the message of the advertisement was considered the most appealing element in the advertisement that influences students GSM patronage. Furthermore, there is analysis showed a low user approval rate (perception) of GSM prepaid advertisements and also highlights other extra advertorial intervening factors apart from advertising that equally influence students’ GSM patronage. The study concludes that since there is a strong positive relationship between the level of advertising influences and sstudents’ preference for GSM services, such influences may affect their perceptions of the advertisements which in turn may determine GSM service they will eventually subscribe to. It therefore recommends that GSM advertisement messages should be factual, accurate and realistic since such messages affect perception and preference for GSM patronage.

1.1              Background to the Study
Before the deregulation of Global System of Mobile Communication (GSM) in Nigeria only a few Nigerians could boast of using telephone services. The introduction of phone booth system in the late 1990s on some major streets in the country gave little respite to telephone users as it affords them the opportunity to make calls even though they had to leave their houses to where the booths are.

However, the deregulation of Nigeria’s telecommunication sector in 2001 was a major landmark in the telecom industry. This marked a turning point in the industry and broke the monopoly hitherto enjoyed by the defunct Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) paving way for service providers like MTN, Vodafone which had now metamorphosed over the years to AIRTEL, GLO and ETISALAT into the market. This phenomenon witnessed an increase in the number of GSM subscribers and gave rise to the four major players (MTN, GLO, AIRTEL and ETISALAT) to dominate the market and also gave Nigerians access GSM services

According to Akinkuotu, (2008) there were about 800,000 subscribers base for a country that had over a 100 million people when the pioneer GSM networks began operation in Nigeria. However, within the first seven years of GSM operation in Nigeria, the number increased from less than a million subscribers’ base to over 60 million in 2008 and by 2012, the number of active lines had reached 90 million. However by 2013 the number of active subscriber base was over 113 million (NCC: GSM subscribers now over 113 million, 2013) and by October, 2014, the number has hit 130 million subscriber base (GSM subscriber base hit 130 million-NCC, 2014).

With the number of subscribers growing at a geometrical rate giving the level at which service providers strive to dominate the market, the number of active lines may well be above 140 million by the end of 2015. The push and pull in the telecom industry and the desire to assert dominance over rivalry brands compelled operators to review their billing system from per minute to per second billing system and charges per short messages (SMS) from what used to be 15 naira per page of a text message to 4 naira today. Also, the high cost of acquiring a mobile line from what used to be about 10,000 naira to as low as a 100 naira in most cases.

The scrambling for subscribers in the market place equally led to development of products to meet their different needs. Service providers have within their years of operations in Nigeria developed different products to meet specific needs of their teeming subscribers and charged different tariff for these plans. For example MTN developed product like super saver, family and friends among other prepaid packages. GLO for instance has infinito, G-bam, Bounce among others. ETISALAT on the other hand has the easy cliq, easy starter and the easy life packages while AIRTEL has the 2good plan and AIRTEL come alive package. All these variety of products are in attempt to lure subscribers to the brand given the lowest possible call tariff as advertised.

Beside the downward review of call tariff and development of GSM packages, service providers equally employ other marketing communication strategies such promotion and advertising to lure subscribers. Some give bonuses on recharge, free SMS, and data and as well advertise their products and services using different advertising platforms like mass media (television, radio, newspaper/magazine), internet, outdoor, mobile advert, bill board, Interactive Voice Recorder (IVR) and on campus show (for students) to reach targets.

Despite the laudable feat in the telecommunication sector, the quality of service delivery by network providers has remained questionable given their inability to deliver a hitch-free service that is devoid of complain by subscribers. These complaints range from occasional network failure, card recharging problems, checking of balance difficulty, wrongful deduction of credit among others. The persistent network failure resulted to the NCC in January 2008 ordering some service providers to offer compensation to all subscribers who were active in their network (Babaita, 2010).

Even though service providers were made to pay compensation, these problems which hitherto have continue to hinder smooth operation of GSM in Nigeria are yet to be resolved. Coincidentally, the youths are active users of GSM services who are always willing to take advantage of the competitive market situation. Apart from making calls or sending text messages, most of them download applications that enable them to interact on any of the social media platform. However, the persistent network problem associated with GSM services leaves them in a dilemma of the network to choose. Most often than not, they are left with no option but to subscribe to more than one GSM network as this gives them the opportunity to explore, analyse and compare services of the different networks before making their choice.

Therefore, given the persistent complaints about poor service quality of GSM in Nigeria and the assumption that advertising could help in shaping perception and choices of GSM networks among users, created the need to study the relationship between advertising and preference of GSM services among tertiary institutions students in Kogi state. The aim is to know the level of influence advertising has on the choices of GSM network they use.

Consumers’ perception over the years suggests that attitudes toward advertising have become more and more unfavourable (Cheung, Harker and Harker, 2008). Various studies (Calfee and Ringold, 1994; Elliot and Speck, 1998; Coulter, Zaltman and Coulter, 2001; Cheung, Harker and Harker 2008) attempt to explain consumers’ perception towards advertising in order to understand how it influences them in making purchase. Cafee and Ringold (1994) found that on average, two third of consumers think that advertising is untruthful and it persuades people to buy things that they do not necessarily need or want. On their part, Coulter, Zaltman and Coulter, (2001) found out that advertising is manipulative and unrealistic because it encourages excessive compulsive shopping and unrealistic lifestyle.

According to Okeyere, Agyapong and Nyarku (2011) every advertising message need to speak the consumer’s language, and provide convincing evidence of product’s attributes. This is because people may express skepticism towards the product if it fails to meet their expectations as advertised. Given the frequency at which GSM service providers advertise their products and services, subscribers have occasionally express doubt over the services offered. This is because they often complain of occasional network failure among GSM networks in the country when trying to use the services. At some point, subscribers experience persistent problems like drop calls, call set up, connection problem and inability to sometimes recharge the mobile line. When this happens, it often leaves subscribers in dilemma of choice of service providers.

Students of tertiary institutions are mainly youths who are active users of GSM services. Apart from calls, they surf the internet, sometimes chat with friends or download materials for assignments using the services of any of the GSM networks. They may be discouraged to continue patronizing a service provider when they experience any of the service shortcomings. The service providers therefore tend to influence consumers’ perceptions and choices through frequent advertisement. This leaves an agitation for investigating the links between telecommunication advertisement and consumers’ perceptions and preferences of GSM services.

The principal aim of this study is to make an empirical contribution to existing understanding of the influences of advertising on consumer behaviour in the Nigeria’s telecommunication industry.
Objectives of the Study

1.      To find out the level of advertising influence on students’ GSM service preference

2.      To determine the element of advertisement that appeals the most to students’ GSM service patronage.

3.      To determine user approval (perception) rate of GSM prepaid package advertisements among students.

4.      To examine the extra-advertorial factors that intervenes in students’ choice of GSM service provider.

5.      To determine if an association exist between the level of advertising influence and students’ GSM preference.

To achieve the objectives of the study, the study aims at providing answers to the following research questions:

1.      What is the level of advertising influence on students’ preference of GSM service?

2.      Which element of advertisement appeals most to students’ GSM service patronage?

3.      What is the user approval (perception) rate of GSM prepaid package advertisements among students?

4.      Are there extra advertorial intervening factors that influence students’ choice of GSM network?

5.      What association exists between the level of advertising influence and students’ preference of GSM services?

The central focus of most studies on mobile phone service providers is that researchers focused more on factors that influence the choice of service provider by consumers without emphasis on the influence of advertising. These studies give attention to promotional elements like price, service quality, and service availability. On the other hand, most studies on advertising research centre on consumers’ attitude (Van der Wald, Rebello and Brown 2009) or the language use in advertising (Dada, 2010). Unfortunately, the influence of advertising in most of these studies has, is not clearly stated.

This study is significant in that it explores the influence of advertising on consumers’ perception and preference of GSM services among subscribers. Its findings will also assist service providers in Nigeria to know how subscribers perceive their brand, thereby enabling them to improve where necessary.

Furthermore, the study contributes to the quantitative understanding of the association that exists between advertising and consumer behaviour in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

Kogi state tertiary institutions are the data location for this study. This is because base on available literatures, there are limited studies done in the area GSM and advertising influence in the state, and hence the need to carry out a study using students of selected tertiary institutions in the state. Furthermore, students as active users of GSM can provide the required information and also, tertiary institutions are cosmopolitans, with people from all the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, thus represent the Nigeria ethnic composition. The study focuses only on prepaid services of GSM networks advertisements in Nigeria. This is because most GSM users subscribe to prepaid services. And it covers only the four major players of GSM services in the Nigeria’s telecommunication industry.

1.7               Limitations of the Study
Since the study was conducted using population of students from selected tertiary institutions in Kogi state, there may be variations if similar study is conducted in tertiary institutions of other states of the country with larger population. Also, results may not be a true reflection of the entire telecommunication market especially where the populations of a similar study are not students hence generalization in the national context may be affected.

1.8               Definition of Terms

i.    Influence: the effect of a persuasive message resulting into a possible outcome.

ii.    Preference: the most frequently subscribed GSM network by consumers.

iii.    Perception: possible views or feeling of subscribers about GSM products and services.

iv.      GSM advertising: messages of GSM service providers in the media to create awareness to subscribers about their products and services.

v.        GSM networks: operators of GSM that provide telephony services

Students: undergraduates in any tertiary institutions in Kogi state who users of GSM networks are.

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