Uses and gratifications of online advertising

Mahmoud, Abd El-Basid

This study attempted to clarify the motives, attitudes, and obtained gratifications from commercial websites as the most important format of online advertising, and to examine the relationships among these elements. The present research has demonstrated that the intersection of uses and gratifications theory and online marketing can lead to a deeper understanding of the marketing constraints and utilities offered by interactive computer-mediated communication technology. An online survey was conducted with Egyptian and German users who visited commercial websites. A total of 648 people responded to the survey, 352 of them to the German version and 296 to the Arabic version of survey that questioned the reasons they use commercial websites as well as what gratifications they obtain from this experience. With more and more businesses worldwide establishing web presences, it is also important to understand how an organization’s commercial website may affect a customer’s perception of the organization. However, customers from different cultures would most likely perceive different website characteristics as providing a value-added experience. Therefore, it is important to understand how commercial websites vary in their approach not only across businesses but across cultures, so content analysis of the sites, which were visited by sample, was employed to better understand the nature of the content being consumed. A total of 252 visited commercial websites by the sample of German and Egyptian users were content analyzed. Four websites had to be removed from the study due to technical errors involved in coding the sites. Coders looked at quantity and type of ads displayed; format and features of the ads, as well as the characteristics of the commercial websites as a whole. The results of survey study indicated that respondents generally were positive about their experience of using commercial websites, German respondents were slightly more positive about using shopping utility of commercial websites than Egyptian counterparts. This study also presented a theoretical model describing the relationships between the uses and gratifications elements (motives, attitudes, usages, and gratifications) in the context of online advertising particularly commercial websites. All the hypotheses of this study have been fully supported except hypothesis 1; since it was partially supported. Both of age and educational level of respondents have a significant effect on their overall motives for using commercial websites, overall motives of using commercial websites have a significant effect on the average time spent on these websites, motives of using commercial websites and gratifications obtained from using these websites were both positively and significantly related to positive attitudes toward using these sites, there is a strong relationship between overall motives for using commercial websites and overall obtained gratifications from using these sites, positive attitudes have a significant effect on the average time spent on these websites, the consumers’ time spent on commercial websites had a strong effect on consumers' gratifications obtained from these websites, and vice versa, consumers' gratifications obtained from these websites had a strong effect on consumers’ time spent on these sites, and finally there is a significant difference between Egyptian and German consumer’s attitudes toward using commercial websites. Findings of content analysis study found that the websites that were visited by German users used the basic and contact information more than did the sites that were visited by Egyptian users. The study found that the websites that were vi

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Mahmoud, Abd El-Basid: Uses and gratifications of online advertising. 2010.

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