By Matthew Dodd, Managing Director, On Device Research
For decades, marketing managers have routinely used purchase intention as a proxy for predicting sales. This notion is a cornerstone of many theoretical models of consumer behaviour. For example, Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) wrote, "…if one wants to know whether or not an individual will perform a given behaviour, the simplest and probably most efficient thing one can do is to ask the individual whether he intends to perform that behaviour."
Unfortunately, empirical investigations of the link between respondents' stated intentions and their ultimate behaviour does not yield such clear-cut conclusions. While many studies find a significant positive relationship between intent and behaviour, the strength of this relationship seems to vary quite a bit.
So why do these correlations vary so much? The theory of planned behaviour states that intentions should only predict behaviour if intentions are measured just prior to the performance of the behaviour, and if the behaviour is under the individual's sole volitional control (source: Ajzen 1985).
Given our close bonded relationship with our smartphone and its ability to deliver across multiple need states, can mobile advertising be the marketer’s ideal media for delivering purchase intent and store footfall during this key window of opportunity?
This is something we at On Device Research wanted to assess; we have the ability to measure customer intent and actions utilising our Mobile Brand Impact and Mobile Store Effect solutions. With this in mind we looked at 4 recent studies where we had not only asked consumers about their intentions to visit the store, but also tracked their visitation patterns at the same time. So what did we find?
We were blown away by the near perfect correlation score of 0.988 for the 4 studies we assessed. Clearly these are only 4 examples, but the initial indications are hugely promising for mobile advertising and its ability to effectively target consumers at the proximity of purchase, thus building positive intentions that translate into store visits.