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Got To Get You Into My Life: A qualitative investigation into opt-in text marketing

Beth W. Ghiloni


This study investigates the promise of mobile marketing and the negative attitudes that millennials express toward it. The literature on mobile marketing is dominated theoretically by the Technology Acceptance Model and methodologically with quantitative methodologies. Within this framework, privacy concerns lead to negative attitudes toward opting in to marketing text messages. This study, by way of contrast, seeks to understand the context of the phone as an environment within which millennials ask to receive marketing messages. Specifically, it explores the meaning to millennials attribute to their phone texting space, the content of this space and why they choose to opt in to corporate messages (vs. personal messages). These data suggest that privacy concerns and negative attitudes toward messages are mitigated when a brand is seen as a part of the consumers’ digital and social identity. The scholarly implication of this work is that specific brands as well as consumer brand engagement should be included in models assessing technology acceptance. The practical implication of this research is that opt-in to SMS is an invitation by the consumer to the brand to enter their self-created social network. It is a potential indicator of customer loyalty and deep brand engagement.


Mobile Marketing; Brand; Engagement; SMS; Technology Acceptance Model

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