Perception Of Internet Users On Data Driven Advertising Amongst University Students
As a result of new and improved technologies and techniques, advertising has witnessed rapid changes over the years. One of such changes is data driven advertising. Marketer and businesses are shifting focus to online advertisement due to the emergence of information technology and cheap access to the internet. Other reasons why marketers prefer online ads to traditional forms of advertising include cost, wide coverage, the interactive nature of online ads and its appeals to the younger population. However, the extent to which these data driven advertisements affect the purchase behaviour of consumers has not been extensively explored. In view of this, the study sought to examine the perception of internet users towards data driven ads and how such perceptions influence their purchase behaviour. To achieve this objective, a survey was conducted among students of Babcock university and Lagos state University to represent the population of internet users. A total of 248 of these respondents were conveniently sampled for the study.
1.1 Background to the Study
The internet over the years has developed due to the growth in technology like laptop, telephone, computer, etc. and this has made it possible to target advertising accurately to specific consumers and to use consumer information to tailor the content of advertisements to suit the changing need of consumers.
Internet Advertising Bureau (2012) defined Advertising as a form of communication used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to take or continue to take some action. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common.
Data Driven Advertising for internet users is the simplified resource on how their data is used to serve advertisements to their web browsers either as pop ups or by other means, where that data comes from, and how it moves through the ecosystem has been a serious issue of consideration by many computer/internet users and various researches has been carried out on this subject matter. Briggs, Rex, Nigel (1997) stated that some quarters have advocated that making use of consumer’s data helps them reach their goals, and consumers get the most from their online experiences and more profit is generated to the advertiser.
This newly found targeting ability is made possible due to immense amount of user generated data that flows through the internet, especially social networks and the sheer amount of people using these platforms per time. According to social media week.Org, it was discovered that as at January 2014 about 74% of all internet users use social networks.
Many questions go through the minds of internet users on why he/she is seeing the advertisement even though he has not given a command that could warrant that to the computer. Internet users also wonder on how the advertisers know what they like, thereby leaving them thinking on. Targeted advertising happens for good reasons in most case, some online advertisers have explained how data is used to make the web more relevant to its users and it will also be for mutual benefit (Gonzales, 2013)
When a consumer visits a web site, the pages they visit, the amount of time they view each page, the links they click on, the searches they make and the things that they interact with, allow sites to collect that data, and other factors, create a ‘profile’ that links to that visitor’s web browser. As a result, site publishers can use this data to create defined audience segments based on visitors who have similar profiles. When these visitors return to a specific site or a network of sites using the same web browser, those profiles can be used to allow advertisers to position their online ads to those visitors who exhibit a greater level of interest and intent for the products and services being offered.
Lester (2013) explains that advertisers may also deliver adverts based on a user’s suspected geography through geo-targeting. A user’s IP address communicates some geographic information (at minimum, the user’s country or general region). The geographic information from an IP can be supplemented and refined with other proxies or information to narrow the range of possible locations. For example, with mobile devices, advertisers can sometimes use a phone’s GPS receiver or the location of nearby mobile towers. Cookies and other persistent data on a user’s machine may provide help narrowing a user’s location further.
Good as all these are, there is an adverse effect to serving users advertisement based on what data can be gathered. The problems will be discussed more explicitly in the statement of problem.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In recent years, the internet appears to have become an integral part of our human existence. This research therefore, intends to test the perception of students on data driven advertising in relations to how it affects invasion of privacy.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study aims at analyzing the perception of internet users of data driven advertising in Babcock University and University of Lagos with the following objectives:
- To investigate the level of awareness about data driven advertising by Babcock University and University of Lagos students.
- To examine Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ perception of invasion of privacy reinforced by data driven advertising.
- To determine Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ attitude towards unsolicited mails and adverts that are sent to their Yahoo mail and Facebook.
- To test Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ level of knowledge of data driven advertising.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent are Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ aware of data driven advertisement?
- To what extent is Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ perception of invasion of privacy reinforced by data driven advertising?
- What is the attitude of Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ when unsolicited mails and adverts are sent to them?
- To what extent are Babcock University and University of Lagos students’ knowledgeable about data driven advertising?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will serve as a pointer to finding out the perception of internet users on data driven advertising and also to find out the feeling of Babcock university students and University of Lagos students on their privacy if it is being invaded. The result of this study will be used to enlighten and educate internet users on the issues associated with the use of data driven advertising.
This research will also be of vital importance to website publishers, advertisers and advertising bodies such as Association of Advertising Agency of Nigeria (AAAN) and other bodies who engage in online advertisement to enlighten them on how internet users perceive what is being sent to them.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is limited to students’ in Babcock University and University of Lagos to test their perception about data driven advertisement in order to determine if these students’ feel their privacy is being invaded on. In order to achieve this, a structured questionnaire will be administered to the students’.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
In the course of this study, the following terms relating to the subject-matter will frequently be used:
The positive/negative disposition to unsolicited advertisement on the internet.
They are 100 Level – 400 Level students’ of Babcock University and University of Lagos.
Data driven advertising:
This is when advertisements are tailored to you on your internet platform through the use of your personal data.
This is a form of tricking someone thereby sending mails that are identical to that of a known brand owner.
This is when two different people search for something on the internet and get different result based on their browsing history, geographical area, likes etc.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Marketer and businesses are shifting focus to data driven advertisement due to the emergence of information technology and cheap access to the internet. Other reasons why marketers prefer online ads to traditional form of advertising include cost, wide coverage, the interactive nature of online ads and its appeals to the younger population. However, the extent to which these online advertisements affect the purchase behaviour of consumers‟ needs empirical research to understand. Against this backdrop, the study sought to examine the perception of internet users on data driven advertising amongst university students. The study sampled internet users from Babcock University and University of Lagos to represent the population of online users. A total of 248 of these respondents were sampled for the study. Descriptive analysis and regression analysis were conducted to answer the research questions. The findings revealed that respondents generally have a positive perception about online advertising. For instance, the respondents described it as credible, less intrusive, informative and entertaining. The study further revealed that perception of users towards online ads significantly influences their purchase behaviour. The implication of these findings is that marketers and advertisers must take steps to design their online ads to attract consumers.
Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made.
The result obtained shows that entertainment have great effects on the perception and hence the purchase behaviour of toward the web advertisement. This is an important finding for the marketers and advertising designers to make online ads more attractive and entertaining in order to attract online users.
Furthermore, the study recommends that marketers and advertisers should develop online ads that are seen as credible, informative and entertaining. This is because the findings of the study revealed that all these attributes have significant positive impact on purchase behaviour of customers.
Thirdly, online advertisers and marketers must take steps to manage the perception of online users regarding online advertising. To do this, customers must be educated about the credibility and reliability associated with online advertising
Furthermore, the study was conducted by sampling a cross section of university students in Nigeria. It is recommended that this study be replicated in other parts of Africa and other continents to determine whether regional variations exist in the above findings.
Also, the study mainly targeted social media users. It is recommended that future studies should replicate this study by considering other forms of internet users.
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