A Correlational Analysis of vanity and College-Aged Generation Y Consumers' Perceptions of Short Message Service Apparel Advertising

A Correlational Analysis of vanity and College-Aged Generation Y Consumers' Perceptions of Short Message Service Apparel Advertising

Author: 
Winifred Wong
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
College-aged Generation Y (persons between 18 and 24 years old) consumers grew up with communication technology advancements and they are the early adopters of mobile technology. Shopping for apparel is a popular activity among college-aged consumers. A recent marketing trend is sending Short Message Service (SMS) apparel advertising messages to college-aged Generation Y consumers. Many college-aged consumers are reluctant to view commercial messages on their mobile phones. The failure of SMS apparel advertising to capture target consumers’ attention is a problem for clothing providers and apparel advertisers. Vanity traits are psychological predispositions that lead to fashion trend information-seeking behavior. This quantitative study investigated the relationship between vanity traits and perceived SMS apparel advertising for college-aged Generation Y consumers. A correlational design was appropriate for the study to expose non-causal relationships between vanity traits and perceived SMS apparel advertising values. The participants in the Internet-based survey were 291 college-aged Generation Y consumers from the United States. The findings of the study indicated that there are strong correlations between multiple vanity traits and perceived SMS apparel advertising values. Symbols of success vanity traits were strong predictors of the perceived SMS apparel advertising information usefulness, especially among males and minorities. The study has produced results that may contribute to the body of mobile marketing knowledge and practices. Recommendations presented in this study provide marketing organizations with plausible solutions to address present challenges of SMS advertising through the predictive relationship between consumer vanity trait and perceived SMS advertising values for college-aged Generation Y consumers.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to the friendship and memory of Dr. Elizabeth L. Pearman who had supported me through the doctoral journey. I shall always be appreciative of her good teaching. Her words of encouragement had supported me in my determination to find and realize my potential, and to complete this dissertation.
Acknowledgements: 
I am grateful to many individuals who provided me help and support. I am indebted to Dr. Timothy Malone, my committee chair and mentor, who taught me in a marketing class early in the doctoral program. I have been receiving nothing but his gracious response, practical guidance, and encouragement. I would like to thank Dr. Josephine Hauer and Dr. Eugene Jablonski who served as committee members. They exemplified the quality of research and asked me tough questions, which enabled me to become a stronger doctoral learner. To the instructors who taught me in this doctoral program at University of Phoenix, I am appreciative of their scholarly comments and feedback. My special thanks to Dr. Kathleen Barclay, Dr. Janice Spangenburg, Dr. Todd Weber, and Dr. Michael Vandermark. I thank Dr. Marc Baldwin and Dr. Gordon for their speedy, exceptional editing services provided to me. The completion of this dissertation was not possible without warm support and encouragement from Kim Corkin, Robert and Mary Gillette, Kristen Highfield, Georgia Jackson-Thompson, and Harvey and Priscilla Zinszer. Word cannot express my gratitude to my colleagues Tina Gillette, Sarah Harrold, Jennifer Janek, Renee Mayo, Lucinda Montoya, Sean O’Donnell, and Jonathon Raabe who provided me inspiration for this research study, and later offered their input to the pilot study. I am thankful for the time and effort of the 323 participants who accepted my invitation graciously and completed the survey successfully.