Nødhjælp over mobilen: En undersøgelse af effekten af sproglige virkemidler i nødhjælpsorganisationers sms-marketing på forbrugeres donationsadfærd

Maj Erdmann Svendstorp

Student thesis: Master thesis


HUMANITARIAN RELIEF ON THE CELLPHONE. A study of the effect of verbal means in relief agencies’ SMS-marketing on consumers’ donation behavior. The world has never before seen as many crises at the same time as today. The high number of natural disasters and long wars has caused great distress and has resulted in more than 51 million refugees worldwide. Naturally, the immense number of distressed has put pressure on relief agencies’ budgets and has brought into focus the need to identify opportunities to improve profit performance. One method for the relief agencies to raise money is SMS-marketing. With few expenses relief agencies can reach a large number of people in a short amount of time by sending out a short text by SMS, which encourages the receiver to make a donation by sending a SMS-code (e.g. “HELP”) to a four digit number. Several Danish relief agencies increasingly use SMS-marketing, because it has proved to be an effective method to raise money. The number of donations to the Danish relief agency Folkekirkens Nødhjælp (DanChurchAid) by SMS has for example increased from 2,834 in 2011 to 12,183 in 2013. However, the relief agencies’ use of SMS-marketing is still at an initial stage. According to the manager of dialogue communication at Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, SMS-marketing is a relatively new communication channel, and Folkekirkens Nødhjælp do not have profound knowledge on how to phrase the marketing communication to this communication channel in order to encourage consumers’ donation behavior most effectively. Consequently, this thesis seeks to answer how use of verbal means in relief agencies’ SMS-marketing can increase the number of consumers’ economic donations. According to the Fogg behavior model, consumers donate when donation behavior is somehow triggered and when they are motivated and have the ability to donate. SMS-marketing can function as a trigger for donation behavior, and the use of marketing communication can affect the level of persuasiveness of the trigger. This thesis therefore studies the effect of the verbal means ‘message evidence’ and ‘the degree of personal communication’ in SMS-marketing. Message evidence can either be narrative – of storytelling nature – or statistical – of factual nature, and the degree of personal communication can either be personal or impersonal. The effect of these verbal means used in other communication channels than SMS are described by using existing literature and research. Moreover, theories of how humans process information cognitively and affectively are used to understand how consumers process information and how the use of verbal means can support the processing. Furthermore, existing literature and research are used to identify and describe factors, which influence consumers’ motivation and ability to donate as well as their ability to receive marketing communication and donate by SMS. This knowledge is used to gain an understanding of how consumers process information in a SMS and used to formulate texts for the thesis’ study. The existing literature and research are also used in the remaining part of the thesis in order to relate the thesis’ results to the prior knowledge. Four quantitative studies and two qualitative studies !! ! 3! were used to answer the problem statement. In collaboration with Folkekirkens Nødhjælp the quantitative studies were carried out by sending different composed texts by SMS to more than 6,000 consumers, who had signed up for Folkekirkens Nødhjælp’s SMS-marketing, in order to test statistically which of the verbal means was most effective to increase the number of economic donations. On the basis of an analysis of the data, the statistic message evidence seems most effective to encourage donation behavior. Furthermore, it appears that the effect of the degree of personal communication was dependent on its combination with the message evidence. The narrative message evidence was most effective in combination with the personal communication, and the statistical message evidence was most effective in combination with the impersonal communication. To gain an understanding of why these verbal means and the combination thereof were most effective, two qualitative focus groups were carried out. In conclusion the applicability of the results are discussed.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages96