Mobilizing the brand experience: The adoption and use of mobile media in building consumer relationships in China

Zhao, Jing (2011) Mobilizing the brand experience: The adoption and use of mobile media in building consumer relationships in China. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This research examines why and how brand owners in China adopt and use mobile media in marketing campaigns to deliver co-creation brand experiences and build consumer relationships. China represents an interesting case to study as it has leapfrogged into the age of consumer society and mobile media adoption. As the largest mobile market globally, it has experienced the intensity of mobile technology diffusion; and with it the rise of mobile consumer culture and participatory culture. Further, the rising individualism and the socio-cultural heritage in collectivism serve as a structuring tension in how mobile media is leveraged in marketing to cater to consumers' desires for individuality and social interaction.

First, through expert interviews guided by the technology-organization-environment (TOE) framework (Tornatzky & Fleischer, 1990) as well as integrating innovation diffusion theory (E. Rogers, 2003), this research attempts to fill the gap of theoretical application in mobile marketing adoption at the firm level in China, and unravel the adoption factors of mobile marketing by brand owners in China. In total, 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with key industry informants from mobile agencies, traditional agencies, venture capital firms, mobile content and service providers, mobile portals, and marketing management at brand owners.

Second, based on case studies in China, this research investigates the use of mobile marketing to facilitate innovative co-creation of brand experience to cater to both individualistic as well as collective tendencies and desires amongst Chinese consumers. Through multiple case studies of the campaigns conducted by Nokia, Clean & Clear, and The North Face, and informed by in-depth interviews and document analysis, this research analyses the role of mobile media in marketing campaigns along three dimensions: the role of mobile media in content generation and consumption, the centrality of mobile media as text, tools or platforms; and the interactive environment. Specifically, the cases are organized along the spectrum from user-generated content to corporate-generated content, mobile media's role from being supplementary to it being central, and from a virtual environment to a hybrid environment. Overall, these cases demonstrate how brand owners adapt mobile media as text, tools, platforms, and environments to deliver co-creation brand experiences exploiting both individualistic as well as collective tendencies and desires amongst Chinese consumers.

This research contributes to the literature on firm adoption of mobile marketing, and the role of the mobile media in facilitating co-creation experiences for Chinese consumers. It develops a model of the technological, organizational and environmental factors influencing mobile marketing adoption by firms, and provides a model explaining the role of mobile media in facilitating brand experience co-creation. The findings also demonstrate that mobile media can be leveraged to facilitate co-creation brand experience to generate added value; and meanwhile cater to both the rising individualism and the deep-seated collectivism of Chinese consumers.

Empirically, it assists industry practitioners in understanding the adoption of mobile marketing in China, especially those on the supply side in order to improve their offerings and propositions. It also assists brand owners and agencies in designing their mobile marketing strategies to build consumer relationships in China.

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ID Code: 48174
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Cunningham, Stuart, Drennan, Judy, & Keane, Michael
Keywords: mobile media, mobile marketing, adoption, innovation, consumer relationship, user-generated content, co-creation, hybrid spaces, China, cross-disciplinary research
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 Jan 2012 06:29
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 04:03

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