EFFECTIVENESS OF WEB LINKS USED IN TELEVISION COMMERCIALS IN INFLUENCING PRODUCT PATRONAGE

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ABSTRACT

This research set out to find out the effectiveness of web links used in television commercials. The primary aim is to find out if it has helped to provide audience additional information, thereby stimulating patronage of advertised goods. Through the use of survey, the study sought to ascertain from broadcast audiences living in three major cities in Abuja, Lagos and Delta states of Nigeria if they actually follow the links and more so, if what they find on the webpages influences them to make eventual purchase. Multistage sampling was employed to select adult members of the population who have purchasing power. The findings of the study revealed that majority of television audience do not follow web links used in television commercials due to factors such as low exposure to commercial messages and poor access to internet. However, without the additional information provided through the internet, that is, via the web links, many of the audience will patronise the product being advertised. It is therefore recommended that emphasis should be made in strengthening the contents of television commercial messages and those last seconds used in the display of web links can be effectively utilised to display additional product information. Also, for now, investment should be reduced in financing webpages aimed at providing additional product information in anticipation of visit from television audience pending increased exposure to television commercials and access to internet in the country.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract
Table of contents
List of tables and charts

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1.      Background of the study
1.2.      Statement of the problem
1.3.      Objectives of the study
1.4.      Research questions
1.5.      Definition of terms
1.6.      Significance of the study

Chapter Two: Literature Review
2.1.      Focus of the literature
2.2.      Empirical review
            Why TV Commercials
            Web links and television commercials
            Television commercials and the second screen
            Consumer behaviour theory
            Technological determinism theory

Chapter Three: Methodology
3.1.      Research design
3.2.      Population of study
3.3.      Sample size
3.4.      Sampling technique
3.5.      Instrument of data collection
3.6.      Method of data collection
3.7.      Method of data analysis

Chapter Four: Data Analysis and Presentation
4.1.      Data analysis
4.2.      Discussion of findings

Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1.      Summary
5.2.      Conclusion
5.3.      Recommendations
References


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background of the Study
Since the internet came into the public domain, businesses have adopted it as a medium to make their presence known and reach out to their customers by providing graphic details and information of their products and services. Marketing products on the Internet costs less (www.alternateadverts.com) and it has been a very effective way of keeping in touch since it is hardly restricted by time and space (pages) unlike the broadcast and print media where cost of commercial increases significantly with time and space allotted respectively. For instance, for 60 seconds advertisement on Africa Independent Television national network cost between N331,900,00 - N365,000.00 for a single slot from early morning to evening hours on weekdays and between N137,646.00 and N44,028.00 for mid news spot on Ray Power FM (Daar Communications Plc na.: p.7-13). These rates are just for a single slot of 60 seconds.

On the other hand, commercial messages can be placed on the Internet as a webpage where new product information can also be delivered directly to (subscribed) customers' devices like mobile phones and PCs using such web hosts as www.webs.com and www.wix.com. For a month, some webhosts charge a fee of about N3,000.00 to host a product website while a few others host for free. Thus, according to Belch & Belch (2003: p.29), many companies recognize the advantages of communicating via the Internet and are developing web strategies and hiring interactive agencies specifically to develop their websites and make them part of their integrated marketing communications programmes.


The estimated total population of Nigeria is 134,400,000 (National Bureau of Statistics, 2010, p.22). A study by World Internet Stats (July, 2015) places the number of Internet users in the country at 67,319,186 - a figure larger than the combined population of Malaysia (29.8 million), United Arab Emirates (9.3 million) and Singapore (5.4 million) (Population Reference Bureau, 2013, p.7-12). This presents a viable market for advertisers and producers who can use Internet channels like Youtube.com which recorded “4 billion views daily mark in 2012, about eight months after it had reached the 3 billion mark” (Owen Williams, 2015) as a channel for reaching their prospective consumers. But because there are tons of webpages in the internet and in a country like Nigeria where the targets of these businesses rely heavily on GSM service providers to access the internet at a cost, "with over 60% of the population still earning under $1.25 per day" (gsmaintelligence.com), they are wont to stay offline until some other information from friends or the broadcast media arouses their interest to go online to access a specific page or item.

Realizing that "companies that are using the Internet effectively are integrating their web strategies with other aspects of their integrated marketing concept", (Belch & Belch, 2003, p.29), advertisers in Nigeria tend to add their web links to broadcast commercials to attract the target audience to their webpages. There, the audience can spend more time browsing through the catalogue to see and evaluate other details that could not be captured within the short airtime allocated by the broadcast media. This is in anticipation to stimulate eventual patronage.

This research is therefore set to examine the effectiveness of web links used in broadcast commercials through the use of questionnaire to find from broadcast audiences living around the commercial areas of Abuja, Lagos and Delta states if they actually follow those links and more so, if what they find on the webpages stimulate them to make eventual purchase.

While we await a general adoption of smart TVs by consumers, we can for now easily tell the frequency and demographic details of only users who directly click on hyperlink from another website or other online files using a computer or mobile devices. This is achieved using web analytical tools like Google Analytics. Web analytics—also referred to as Web metrics, e-Metrics, or e-analytics—is the science of Internet audience measurement and analysis. It deals with the consultation of Web sites, the gathering of Web usage data, the computation and presentation of metrics, and the exploitation of the results, in order to improve the satisfaction of Web site objectives (Jean-Pierre Norguet, 2004, p.2). This study thus focuses on those who see and hear them on their broadcast medium (television) whose information yet seems under served to researchers and advert analysts.

1.2         Statement of the Problem
For decades, advertisers relied heavily on the broadcast media to sell clients' products. This was due to its inherent advantages- simultaneous wide reach that induces mass appeal, the graphic nature of television and the sound effects of radio which aid understanding and retention. Today, to make up for its shortcomings- its transient nature, short time for commercial messages and huge cost to advertisers, advertisers tend to introduce a synergistic approach of message delivery. This is through bridging television and the Internet by adding web links of product information online to TV commercial messages.

So far, there has been no clear record of success made through this effort. The level of effectiveness has not been gauged to see if the use of weblinks in television commercials has actually brought about gains for businesses through stimulating and increasing patronage.

This study was conducted to ascertain if the addition of weblinks in television commercials has yielded any benefits. It probed the level of audience exposure to television commercials, especially commercials with weblinks and to extent to which this has been able to stimulate gainful patronage. This work therefore rationalizes if the approximate five seconds spent on.....

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