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Understanding millennials’ search behavior on mobile devices

Written by Jennifer Claesson, Henrik Gedda

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Thesis: Search Engine Marketing Search engines provide consumers with organic and sponsored results based on the keywords they search (Kritzinger & Weideman, 2013; Yang & Ghose, 2013). Organic results, and therefore non-paid results, are placed according to the search engine’s complex algorithm, which is based on the company’s relevance to search relative to other links, and can be enhanced by search engine optimization (Kritzinger and Weideman, 2013; Yang and Ghose, year 2010) ). On the other hand, sponsorship results are paid results, and the company is charged per click (Kritzinger and Weideman, 2013). This improves the ranking of search results and puts sponsored results above organic results (Google, 2018). Yang and Ghose (2010) pointed out that the effectiveness of sponsored search results depends on the likelihood that a company’s sponsored links and the same company’s organic listings will appear in the same search results. Jason et al. (2007) conducted a study to examine the relationship between consumer search behavior and attitudes towards organic and sponsored search engine listings. The authors found a significant preference for organic links, with most consumers looking at organic search results before considering sponsored search results (Jansen et al., 2007). Although consumers often view sponsored links as advertisements, if the content is deemed relevant to consumers, sponsored links can still be appreciated by consumers and clicked accordingly (Jansen et al., 2007; Gupta & Mateen, 2014). Consistent with Jansen et al. (2007), Jansen and Liu (2013) described the results that individuals tend not to click on the first ad list in search engine results. However, Jansen and Liu (2013) added that by showing the new discovery that the individual did not click on the first or second ad list, the individual can choose the third option on the ad list. In addition, Jansen and Liu (2013) stated that compared with earlier studies, the number of clicks on sponsored links has decreased. Veloutsou and McAlonan (2012) reinforced this by reflecting their research in the context of communication and focusing on loyalty and disloyalty to brands using search engine marketing. The author focuses on using computers as a research platform and provides results on how millennials no longer welcome brand dissemination when presenting sponsored materials, because companies in their later years abuse the opportunity to display commercial content online (Veloutsou & McAlonan, 2012) ). Some people believe that young millennials are independent and critical individuals who tend to formulate their own social behavior and participation rules (Spero and Stone, 2004). .3 Attitudes to Internet Advertising Early research conducted by MacKenzie et al. (1986) Attitudes towards advertising are defined as being willing to respond to specific advertisements in a negative or positive way when receiving ad stimuli on specific occasions. The findings presented by Shimp (1981) show that attitudes towards advertising have a great influence on personal choice behavior, which emphasizes the importance of understanding how a person influences personal attitudes in order to generate positive responses. Lin and Hung (2009) further reflect on the attitudes towards advertising formed through cognitive and emotional processing, in which individuals process information in different ways. Existing research (Kim & Han, 2014; Martins et al., 2017; Murillo, 2017) focuses on mobile marketing and has considered applying the model constructed by Ducoffe (1995) to create an understanding of personal attitudes. The model predicts the factors that affect the value of consumers' advertising, so it is used to understand the variables that affect the attitudes towards advertising in online marketing. The factors included in the model constructed by Ducoffe (1995) are; the amount of information, entertainment and excitement are described as influencing and influencing personal attitudes towards online advertising. The information volume variable reflects the focus of displaying product and service information to consumers. The irritation reflects the ability of advertisements to annoy and irritate consumers with unwanted materials, which can have a negative impact on attitudes. The third entertainment factor reflects whether the advertising material is pleasant and affects the brand in a positive way (Ducoffe, 1995). Further research has increased credibility (Murillo, 2017; Brackett & Carr, 2001) and motivational factors (Kim & Han, 2014) as important variables when evaluating the value of online marketing advertising. 2.3.1 Information volume Murillo (2017) found that the information volume of mobile search advertising has a significant positive impact on the perceived value of advertising and consumers' attitudes towards mobile search advertising. This is consistent with the work of Martins et al. (2017) The amount of information presented affects consumers' attitudes towards smartphone advertising. However, Lin and Hung (2009) concluded that information about the individual's attitude towards sponsored search ads is not important. Therefore, there are inconsistencies in the literature regarding the importance of the amount of information when evaluating individual attitudes towards sponsored search ads. Read Less