Analysis of The Importance of Outdoor Advertisement to Attract New Consumers: A Case Study of NEXT in The UK

1. Introduction

The outdoor advertisements being the earliest form to attract and lure the consumers are still relevant in the context of post-globalized market conditioning. The developing technology has though been changing the order of the advertisement and the online ads are getting much preference to the bill board ads, conducted surveys are illustrating something else. The recent researches have made it evident that the fleeting peeps at the advertisements helps the consumers to change their consumption behaviour and the inclination toward the displayed product get enhanced with the time.

The Next plc, UK, one of the retail giants of the country is lacking the innovative billboard advertisement strategies and in-depth analyses into the issue has shown that their alignment toward technologically developed device instead of the earlier forms have hampered their extensive affect on the consumers. During 2010-2011, NEXT plc, though expected higher growth in EPS (Earning per share), the increment rate was minimal. The amount of turnover just got enhanced by only 1%, which made it clear that the company failed to attract the consumers in their expected manner (Nextplc.co.uk, 2015). The retail giant then focused on the billboard advertisement to enhance the attractiveness of the product but faced some deterrence in this field. The dissertation thus deals with the effectiveness of outdoor campaign in respect to the company.      

1.1. Research Rationale

The issue of the research is to evaluate the effect of the outdoor advertisements in attracting the new consumers. Next plc, UK lacking innovative ideas along with the required crisp and twist in billboard advertisement is facing severity in this segment of public address. The researcher here focuses on the effectiveness of the outdoor advertisement strategies of Next plc to lure the consumption behaviour.

Reeves (2014 pp.236) notes down, that implementation of billboard advertisement in the age digital marketing is the new strategy of the companies to restore the earlier form of representation with afresh technological booting. The introduction of digital outdoor ads has been creating distraction to the commuters and the Government of UK has been implementing policies to hinder such effort in a bid to enhance road safety.

Next plc, is putting its bid to digital outdoor advertising and facing the repugnance from the article 67 of Control of Advertisement regulations. The digital display boards are affecting public safety and the company lies in the verge of creating newer advertisement policy to address the outdoor advertisement market (William, 2008 pp.156). The issue thus seems significant in contemporary market conditioning.   

1.2. Research Aim

The major aim of the research is to evaluate the effect of the outdoor advertisement on the consumers of NEXT Plc. The research looks into the immediate effect of the billboard advertisements and the changing rate of consumption.  

1.3. Research Objectives

  • To evaluate the effect of the outdoor advertisements on the consumers
  • To examine whether the outdoor ads effectively enhance the attractiveness of the product
  • To locate if the consumption behaviour gets changed with effective outdoor advertisement strategies
  • To find out whether the outdoor advertisement is applicable even in the era of digitalized and online marketing  

1.4. Research Questions

  • What is the effect of the outdoor advertisements on the consumers?
  • Does outdoor advertisement encourage the attractiveness of the product?
  • What is the impact of the outdoor advertisement on the consumption behaviour?
  • Is outdoor advertisement effective enough in the era of virtual and digitalized marketing?

1.5. Research Hypothesis

The researcher hereby anticipates the outcome of the research and the hypothesis is framed in this way.

The major hypotheses of the research are:

H1: Outdoor advertisement is the most effective tool even in the era of online and digital marketing

H0: Outdoor advertisement is not as effective as the online medium in the age of post-globalization and post-consumerism

2. Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter deals with the previous research works done on this subject and also includes the detail references of the existing literature. The outdoor advertisement and its impact on the customers here have been dealt under the light of various theories and models.

 2.2 Conceptual Framework

Figure: Conceptual framework

(Source: Created by Author)

2.3 Concept of Outdoor advertisement

According to Joseph (2010 pp.423), the outdoor advertisement is the tool which displays and explains the product in an innovative and crispy manner so that the customer can get the features of the product within a fleeting glimpse. In the era of online and digital marketing, the outdoor advertisement has not lost its space and the companies are becoming much concerned in this field. The major reason for such concern for the companies, as per Dickens (2012 pp.365), is that this form of advertisement portrays a larger than life conditioning of the product resulting into a detailed perception of it among the consumers.

However Hutton and Fosdick (2011 pp.236) thinks that the outdoor advertisement is efficient whenever, the billboards are placed very close to each other and the commuters are exposed to the rows of displays within meagre timeframe. Thus the outdoor advertisement definitely encourages the attractiveness of the product and even affects the consumption behaviour of the consumers. Janiszewska and Insch (2012 pp.149) have notified that the large illustration of the products pass to create the band image in the mind of the audience and naturally the unconscious acts in the conformist way to the brand.  It is evident that the outdoor advertisement not only increases the amount of attractiveness but also encourages the customer retention and brand loyalty of the consumers. Innovative and informative outdoor ads thus, according to Makasi (2014 pp.246), appear as the basic key to promotional activities.  

2.4 AIDA model

Querica et al. (2011 pp.298) notes that the consumers pass through certain stages to adopt the consumption behaviour and the billboard advertisement appears as one of the basic tools to cultivate it. Sincerely, the consumers whenever are exposed to the billboard advertisement, they observe a new product. The information attached to the product in the advertisement makes the audience aware about the feature of the product. The first stage of consumption attribute gets passed. As per Iveson (2011 pp.136), the consumers then start to measure the quotient of requirement and find out whether the features of the products actually conform to their needs. The billboard advertisement becomes significant in this stage as the interest making process depends on the colourfulness and the innovative approach of the presentation which lead the consumers to incline to the product.

The next stage is the creation of the desire and Dickens (2012 pp.452) thinks it fully depends on the band value and the established image of the brand in the mind of the consumers. The billboard advertisement exposing the brand name several times to the audience passes to create the brand consciousness which on the other side acts as an impetus to the audience for making their desire regarding the subject or the production. However, Kaptan and Pandey (2010 pp.365) note down that the consumers then start to take the action of consumption depending on the created credibility of the brand. The outdoor advertisement thus appears effective in helping the customers in first three stages of the adoptions with its power to address a huge audience at a time. Wiliam (2011 pp.496) nevertheless adds, that the billboard ads may even useful to crate the brand positioning as the multiple exposures to similar product and its name repeatedly affect the psyche of the audience resulting into the establishment of band value.  

2.5 Information processing model

The information processing model appears significant in the case of advertisement as the organizations through their ads try to enhance the storage amount of the information in the mind of the customers so that the band position gets secured. The information process theory as per Srivastava and Thomas (2010 pp.23) include three basic steps and at each stage the audience acts consciously. The first stage is input stage and Makasi (2014 pp.136) notes down that at this point the external stimulus acts as the major impetus to the audience. Actually, the commuters are mundanely exposed to several sort of billboard advertisements and the advertiser needs to understand the clause of their acceptance over the others. Kaptan and Pandey (2010 pp.146) notify, that the selective attention feature of the audience should be kept in mind during the framing of the billboard. The innovative style should be effective in such extend so that the audience prefers the production to the others. The second stage is storage and Iveson (2011 pp.243) mentions that it depends on the attention capacity of the audience. The much informative, crispy and innovative the billboard ad would be, much would be the sustainability of the impact of such advertisement.  

The last stage output is the step which the advertiser or the company considers as the profiteering step. Reeves (2014 pp.156) mentions that the consumers in this part of the process take the decision to buy or reject the product and the successful advertisement enhances the quotient of outputs against the input and storage.  The attraction of the consumers thus significantly depends on the quality of the outdoor advertisements.

2.6 Adoption theory

As per Dickens (2012, pp.146), the people follow the adoption stages as proposed by Everett Rogers, in the age of post-consumerism whenever a new innovation comes into the market. Form the entrance of the product to the active consumption, one thing remains common in every aspect and that is advertisement. As Rogers notified that the people primarily try to get the knowledge of the product and thereafter gradually adopt the newer consumption behaviour.

The primary stage of adoption is creation of knowledge about the innovation. The people through advertisements and other methods get to know about the product. William (2011, pp.237) notifies, the second stage that is persuasion seems to be the most important stages of the process as in this part the customers try to get much information about t6he product and already participates in information processing. Querica et al. (2011, pp.473) mentions that depending on the gathered knowledge the customers take the decision and then starts implementing it. The last stage of the model is unique as it talks about the confirmation which in turn is similar to that of retention. As per Makasi (2014, pp.137), this stage actually illustrates the change in the behaviour of consumption as the long term effect of the brand value is much important than that o the immediate effect on the consumers.  

3. Research Methodology

The research should not be done randomly and a proper framework is needed to achieve the objective of the research. The qualitative and quantitative data are here analyzed thoroughly and the positivism has been taken here as the research philosophy.    

3.1 Types of Investigation

3.1.1 Research Philosophy (Positivism)

There are three philosophical notions namely Positivism, Interpretivism and realism. According to Bergh and Ketchen (2009, pp.423) the positivism is the most scientific method to conduct the research as the process actually recognizes the quantitative data and qualitative data and based on these prepare the route of the research. The researcher here has taken positivism to scientifically analyze the collected data in a bid to make a proper framework.   

3.1.2 Research approach (Deductive)

The researcher has here preferred the deductive approach to the inductive one. Bernard (2011, pp.146) notifies that the inductive approach is a method where the observation and the creation of hypothesis leads the route of the research whereas the deductive approach focuses on the existing theories and following data collection, put them into the research gap to fulfil the objective of the research.  

3.1.3 Research Design (Descriptive)

Three theories of research designs are apparent and these are exploratory, explanatory and descriptive. As per Dul and Hak (2011, pp.189), the exploratory research is done whenever the researcher suffers from lack of the required information regarding the subject and the observation leads the framework o the research. Explanatory, on the other hand, Cameron (2009, pp.346) comments, puts focus on the cause and effect relation between the different variables of the research subject. However, the researcher here prefers the descriptive method to the others as the researcher has gone through the previous research works and proceeds with formulating hypothesis.

3.2 Data collection method

The researcher has here used mixed method as the qualitative and quantitative data have been analyzed thoroughly to meet the goal and the motto of the research.

Quantitative data collection:

The researcher has here chosen the method of survey to collect the quantitative data. 50 customers of the Next plc have been surveyed and their comments on the subject have been considered as the base of the research. The survey questions hovered around the effectiveness of billboard advertisement on the consumers. 65 customers here have been approached among which 50 turned over.

Quantitative data collection:

4 managers of the company had been interviewed to get their views on the outdoor advertising policy of Next plc. The managers have been asked about the effectiveness of their policy. The researchers even tried to know the change in the consumption behaviour with the initiation of extensive the outdoor advertisement campaign.   

3.3 Sampling

In the case of quantitative data collection from 50 customers, the researcher has taken probability-sampling method and in the case of 4 managers non-probability sampling method has been used. The sampling had been randomly done to evade any biasness in the research (Freshwater, 2007, pp.451).

3.4 Accessibility issues

In few cases the researcher faces some problems while surveying as the consumers express reluctance to respond to the questions. On the other side, some people even denied answering back. The researcher interviewed the managers over phone as their busy schedule did not permit the learner to go and have a one to one conversation.   

3.5 Ethical Consideration

The researcher has followed every section of the Data Protection Act, 1998 and pledges to not reveal any data collected in the form of survey. The sample persons had not been forced to answer in any manner and their heterogeneity of the vision had been recognized. The information collected is simply used for the research purpose and are not vulnerable to commercial exposition.

The collected data had not been manipulated in any sense and no cooked and framed data are presented here to comply with the objectives of the research.

3.6 Data Analyses plan

The quantitative data have been put into the tabular and graphical form using the SPSS and Ms Excel tools to scientifically interpret the information. The interviews have been stored in the transcript form as the digital storage was not permissible. The analysis has been done considering the depth of the subject.

3.7 Research Limitations

The researcher has here got meagre time to conduct the survey and sent the questions online. Excess time and funding could have made the research much proliferating in true sense of the term.

4. Dissertation Structure

Figure: Dissertation Structure

         (Source: Drawn by the Researcher)

5. Gantt chart (Time Table)

Activities   1st week 2nd week 3rd week 4th+5th week 6th week 7th week
Topic finalization            
Preparing Literature Review            
Research methodology            
Primary Data Collection            
Interpreting Data            
Findings            
Conclusion and Recommendation            
Submission            

6. Conclusion

The dissertation puts its focus on the growing effectiveness of the outdoor advertisement in the age of digitisation. The people naturally like to restore the # old form of identity in the newer verse to attend the nostalgic quotient of satisfaction. In the case of Outdoor advertisement the same thing happened and the customers now prefer the essence of the billboards and are getting attracted to it surmounting the online market and digital practices.  

References

Books

Kaptan, S. and Pandey, S. (2010). Brand imitation. Himalaya Pub. House

Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research methods for business students, Page 52, 5th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall

Journals

Cameron, R. (2009) ‘A sequential mixed model research design: design, analytical and display issues’, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), 140-152,

Ellis, T. and Levy, Y. (2009) ‘Towards a guide for novice researchers on research methodology: Review and proposed methods’, Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 6, 323-337

Freshwater, D. (2007) “Reading mixed methods research: contexts for criticism”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), pp. 134-46

Hutton, G. and Fosdick, M. (2011). The Globalization of Social Media: Consumer Relationships with Brands Evolve in the Digital Space. J. Adv. Res., 51(4), p.564

Iveson, K. (2011). Branded cities: outdoor advertising, urban governance, and the outdoor media landscape. Antipode, 44(1), pp.151-174

Makasi, A. (2014). The Impact of Operational Customer Relationship Management on Customer Loyalty. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 9(6), pp.396-420

Onwuegbuzie, A. J. and Leech, N. J. (2009) On becoming a pragmatic researcher: The importance of combining quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8, 375-387

Quercia, D., Di Lorenzo, G., Calabrese, F. and Ratti, C. (2011). Mobile Phones and Outdoor Advertising: Measurable Advertising. IEEE Pervasive Comput., 10(2), pp.28-36

Reeves, R. (2014). Excerpts from Reality in Advertising. Advertising & Society Review, 15(2), pp.45-61

Srivastava, R. and Thomas, G. (2010). Managing brand performance: Aligning positioning, execution and experience. J Brand Manag, 17(7), pp.465-471

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