.

How To Use The

Central Route To

Persuasion Theory To

Influence Readers

(Hypothesis) Advertising in trade books or among trade book advertisements will affect college readers’ decisions to purchase other products, which also require a (central) high level of perceptual involvement.

A Marketing Research Study

 

Michael James Eza

 

 

Marketing Research 428, Section 01

Professor Branko Carvarkapa

May 6, 2008

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page and Hypothesis
  2. Abstract
  3. Background
  4. Objectives
  5. Methodology
  6. Survey Design
  7. Tabulation and Data Analysis
  8. Data and Results
  9. Research Reporting
  10. Time and Costs
  11. Limitations
  12. References
  13. Appendix 1 (Survey)
  14. Appendix 2 (Excellence Expo Power

Point)

 

Abstract

 

This Study explains how the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Arens, Arens, & Weigold 2008) can be used to help perpetuate book sales through the use of advertising centrally perceived items in trade books. This study examined a group, which were predominately college students from Eastern Connecticut State University. The group studied indicated a surprisingly large response in favor of coupon advertisements in trade books. This study also found which types of centrally related products would be best to advertise in trade books.

 

   Background 

Recently the publishing industry and specifically trade books has been on the rise. The total literary marketplace for trade books is reported to be at $9.002 billion annual revenue and this reflects a growth of $500 million in just two short years (2005-2007) (Norris, Agostino, Simba & Johnoson, 2007). There is a large and growing market for books in the United States and college students are expected to be among those who read the most. This growing market presents both booksellers and advertisers with unique opportunities to market to readers through books and book markets.

Using trade books advertisements can be an inexpensive and effective way to affect readers and more specifically, high involvement purchase decisions. Currently, most high involvement products such as cars, apartments or even college textbooks do not use marketing in trade books as a means to advertise to college students.

This study’s results indicate that:

    1. By advertising in trade books marketers can effectively deliver more information with less money to a receptive audience.
    2. Advertising in trade books with a coupon is the most effective way to attract a reader’s attention.
    3. Readers expect to see specific types of advertisements for specific genres of books.
    4. Readers currently receive their advertisements from one of four sources those being; internet, radio, television and print.

Literary Marketing Research Tool The Elaboration Likelihood Model

Literary Marketing Research Tool The Elaboration Likelihood Model

 

 

The Elaboration Likelihood Model1(Arens, Arens, & Weigold 2008) suggests that a consumer would use the central route to persuasion when purchasing a book, due to the fact that the consumer is likely to have a high level of involvement with a book, also they would be more concerned with its content and focus on its “central” (product-related) aspects rather than its “peripheral” (non-product related) aspects. Consumers should be more apt to review or buy high involvement products with information retrieved from or surrounding books, specifically trade books*.

*Trade books include the areas of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and reference and they share the highest volume of purchases among consumers within the literary marketplace such as bookstores.

Objectives

  1. To determine whether an advertisement regarding a central route decision would influence awareness, knowledge and liking, if placed in a book as either a product placement, print ad or insert.
  2. To determine the types of central route decisions college students most often make (e.g. car, phone, apartment, textbooks).
  3. To determine whether more college students would buy a trade book because it could save them money on another more costly item such as college textbooks or a new computer (e.g. would coupons in books sell books?).
  4. To review the current media (e.g. Radio, TV, Outdoors, Print, Book Clubs) most used to persuade college students about central route decisions.
  5. To locate the most popular outlets for purchasing trade books among college students.
  6. To determine whether ad or product placement within a trade book would affect a purchase decision.
  7. To determine the most popular types of trade books among college students.
  8. To determine whether current methods of central route persuasion would cost more or less than advertising in books using a payoff table.
  9. To determine the relationship between book genres and central route persuasion genres. (e.g. would a romance novel sell a vacation package? Would sci-fi sell electronics?)

Methodology

This was a basic descriptive study, which used programmatic research to conduct a pilot study upon college students of Eastern Connecticut State University. This survey was done using a convenient sample, which was conducted in a similar fashion to a Mall Intercept Survey. 150 students were asked to fill out paper surveys on the first floor of Webb Hall at ECSU. A twenty-five dollar VisaTM gift card giveaway was used as an incentive for completing the survey; the information used for the giveaway and the survey were kept completely separate in order to protect the anonymity of the respondents.

 

 

Survey Design

The survey consisted of six parts, which totaled sixteen questions with forty-four separate response areas. 150 people were surveyed on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon between 12-3pm April 8th and 9th 2008. The survey questions were all ordinal except one nominal question that was used to screen respondents. The questions were all multiple-choice questions except two, which was fill-in-the-blank. There is a copy of the survey attached as appendix 1.

The survey as mentioned included six parts, which were used to determine:

    1. If the respondent had bought a trade book with-in the past year (Part 1 Screening Question).
    2. If a reader would like, be aware of, or acknowledge an advertisement in a trade book (Part 2, Questions 1-3).
    3. Basic descriptive data such as what media most affected readers, where they shopped and what their favorite books were (Part 3, Questions 4 & 7-9).
    4. Whether a coupon would influence a reader and the value that coupon would have to present to influence a reader (Part 4, Questions 5 & 6)
    5. What type of advertisements a reader would expect in a book (Part 5, Question 10).
    6. Basic demographic questions, which both readers and non-readers filled in. These questions asked respondents to specify age, household income, level of education, geography and if they choose their email for the purposes of obtaining the survey results. (Part 6, Demographic Questions)

 

The original survey objectives were:

  • Gather enough information to validate the research theory.
  • Answer Objectives 1-7, and 9 of the Marketing Research Proposal
  • Survey 200 respondents in two locations.
  • Receive answers from at least 65 qualified respondents
  • Provide information, which will allow for future predictions of the value of using advertising of high involvement items (e.g. car, apartment, textbooks) in trade books.

Resources:

  • The Survey will be self-administered.
  • The Locations are The East Brook Mall and ECSU’s Webb Hall.
  • Print outs of the survey are provided.
  • A raffle will be used as a survey incentive.

Constraints:

  • One month to complete surveying.

Tabulation and Data

Analysis

 

The data was tabulated using a computer software program known as SPSS, which is a statistical tool, used to manage data. These tabulations were then analyzed by reviewing frequency tables and cross-tabulations. The data collected from these results were coded into forty-four separate response areas. 150 surveys were coded by hand from paper surveys. Every respondent was instructed to fill in the demographic questions however only those who answered yes to the screening question were instructed to answer Questions 1-10 of the survey.

Data and Results

 

The data correlates with the objectives and hypothesis respectively. The hypothesis is Advertising in trade books or among trade book advertisements will affect college readers decisions to purchase other products, which also require a (central) high level of perceptual involvement. To determine this five different questions were asked after the screening question, which determined advertisement awareness liking and acknowledgement as well as how a coupon would affect readers’ decisions.

The study objectives frame these goals.

  • Survey Question 1, 2 and 3, answered objective 1.

Question 1 found that 35.7 % of readers would be either somewhat or very likely to read an advertisement in a trade book. (Awareness)

Question 2 found that 28.6% of readers would be either somewhat or very likely to want to know the sponsorship of an advertisement in a trade book. (Knowledge)

Question three found that 38.8% of readers would be either somewhat or very likely to see what value a company presents in an advertisement in a trade book. (Liking)

This amount of appreciation and desire for advertisements is enough on its own to warrant using a trade book to sell an expensive centrally perceived item such as a textbook. Interestingly less readers wanted to be aware of the add sponsor, this indicates that although over a third of the audience would be perceptive to the advertisement only a little over one quarter of them will actually know what to buy.

  • Survey Question 4 answered objective two however these results are not specific unto college students as graduates and pre-college responses are also included.

Question 4 found that the purchase decisions that apply for these readers are textbooks 75.3%, cell phone 63.2%, vacation 58.3%, plane tickets 56.8%, electronics over $150 54.2%, apartment 49.5%, Software over $200 37.9%, house/condo/land 37.5%, boat 15.5%, engagement ring/wedding band 14.6%.

Those surveyed were in fact mostly college students or pre-college, which explains why so many answered that textbooks apply to them as a purchase decision. Vacation and electronics were both two of the most popular purchase decisions for this question as well as for the last question in which respondents filled in their answers for which advertisements they would expect to see in certain genres.

  • Survey Questions 5 and 6 answered objective three.

Question 5 found that 78.6% of all readers would be either somewhat of very likely to purchase a book with a coupon in it.

Question 6 found that 86.7% would be either somewhat or very likely to purchase that same book mentioned in Question 5 if the coupon value was twice the retail value of the book.

This is a clear indication that advertising in trade books with coupons would create more sales for both the book and the advertiser. Furthermore the nearly ten point increase in the likely hood of buying a book based on its coupon’s retail value suggests that using advertisements, which promote centrally perceived products (which are generally more expensive than peripherally perceived items) would be the most effective marketing strategy when advertising in trade books.

  • Survey Question 7 answered objective four.

Question 7 found that the most popular mediums these readers receive their advertisements are television 60.2%, print 20.4%, internet 16.3%, and radio 3.1%.

Most readers get their advertisements from television and surprisingly nearly as many readers get their advertisements from print as Internet. Direct mail and other were options on the survey, but no one selected them.

  • Survey Question 8 answered objective five.

Of readers who purchase books, when purchasing their books, find that either their most favorite or sometimes favorite places to shop for books are bookstores 90.4%, used book stores 74.5%, internet 72.6%, book sales 61.1% , super market 27.7% , book club 22.1% and direct mail 17.9%.

  • Objective six is answered in that readers will certainly be affected by trade book advertisements. It is clear as well that if a coupon is included in an advertisement in a trade book nearly all of those who read the book will be aware of it and some of them will have bought the book because of the coupon. This group does not currently consider books a popular form of advertising although respondents most favorite or sometimes most favorite place to shop for books is at a book store. This is an opportunity for publishers, which has not been exploited and readers seem to want advertising in their books.
  • Survey Question 9 answered objective seven.

Question 9 found that the most popular trade books among these readers are Current Events 60.0% and Action Adventure 60.0% Historical 47.9% , Fantasy 44.8%, Young Adult 41.7%, How To 41.1%, Science Fiction 38.9%, Reference 36.8%, Romance 35.4%, Feminism 26.3%. Readers indicated these as their most or sometimes favorite book genres.

  • Objective eight will not be answered in this study.
  • Survey Question 10 answered objective nine.

Question 10 asked readers to specify the type of advertisements they would expect to see for different genres using fill-in-the-blank, however this area being fill-in-the-blank had a lower response rate than the rest of the questions, additionally the responses were wide and varied, that being the case only the most popular responses are listed here. In the Science fiction category 44.0% of 50 respondents indicated Software/computers/electronics 26% indicated other science fiction works and 14% indicated video games. In the Fantasy category 44 people responded and of those 36.4% indicated related merchandise, 18.2% indicated video games, 13.6% indicated vacation, and 11.2% indicated electronics. In the Classic (Pre 1930) book category 31 responded and of those 45.2% indicated Other Books and there were no other significant results for this category. In the romance category 41 responded and of them 41.5% indicated other romance works, there were no other significant results for this category.

 Research Reporting

 

This research was presented at the 8th annual Excellence Expo at ECSU and won second place for the Marketing Plans category among nearly thirty other competitors of ten other groups. Additionally this was the only presentation completed individually. This data has been compiled in the form of a power point proposal and a written report. Both this report and the power point proposal have been e-mailed to all those who have requested feedback and this work is also being submitted to Dr. Branko Carvarkapa as a Marketing Research Study for the class of Marketing Research BUS 428 Spring 2008 as a final project.

This research is the beginning of a new concept in advertising that being; central advertising in trade books, because of this there are further studies, which should be conducted to further validate these findings. Research needs to be conducted on; the minimum value a coupon would need to offer to a consumer in order for them to be more likely to buy either the book or the product advertised. There also needs to be a study, which includes the entire population to determine whether the data here is reflecting a true opinion of society or just of one social group. Finally, a dramatic response in favor of advertising in books suggests that publishers are unaware of this concept, since there are so few advertisements in books right now and almost none are for expensive central items like a car, thus book publishers should be the ones to conduct this research as it would most benefit them.

Time and Costs

 

This research took about three months to complete and a timetable and cost analysis is located below.

Time Table

  • 2/13/08 Research proposal due.
  • 2/20/08 Revisions to proposal completed.
  • 2/27/08 Sample questions to be reviewed.
  • 3/05/08 Draft of questionnaire due.
  • 3/26/08 Sampling plan due.
  • 4/09/08 Data entry and analysis.
  • 4/16/08 Body of research; writing, recommendations and conclusions due.
  • 4/28/08 8th Annual Excellence Expo Power Point Presentation.
  • 5/07/08 Research study due.

Cost Analysis

The questionnaire and time of the research were the most costly products of this project. The complete amount of time to be spent on the project was around forty-sixty hours. As an estimate the time cost were around $2,400 and an initial fee of $250 could have been charged for the proposal and the questionnaire analysis costs were $2,000. Materials for this study cost around $500, those being a $25 VisaTM gift card, over 600 copies, staples, raffle tickets, gas, pens, and clipboards.

The total cost estimate of this research was $5,650. No costs were billed as this was a study required for the completion of Marketing Research at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Limitations

The results of this study are consistent with the expectations of the research, however this was a convenient sample and not random.

In all 150 respondents were surveyed and of those 98 were readers.

Those readers who participated in this survey were 88.3% within the 17-24 age, age range and were 94.7% in the below 34 year old age range. Those who were older than 34 were under represented.

Readers education’s were 94.7% at or under the within college level.

 

Those readers with household income levels above $100,000 per year may have been under represented as 88.9% fell below income level of $100,000.

 

Readers were generally (85.1%) within forty mile of the survey location that being Willimantic CT, in ECSU’s Webb Hall.

 

References

Arens, C., Arens, W. F., Weigold,M, F. (2008) Advertising Essentials. (11th ed) New York: Mcgraw Hill Irwin. 150-151.

Norris, M.,Agostino D., and the editors of Simba Information with Stuart Johnson. (2007) Bussiness of Consume Book Publishing. Database on Trade Book Marketing. Stamford: Simba Information. 18

Appendix 1 (Survey)

Survey1

Thank you for choosing to participate in a Marketing Research Study.

This survey consists of ten bubble-in questions, which are related to the following hypothesis;

Trade book advertising will affect readers’ decisions to purchase other “central” (product related) items such as cars, apartments or college textbooks.

The final page of the survey consists of a few brief demographic questions. Anyone who participates n this survey is eligible for the $25 Visa Gift Card give-away. To be entered into the raffle please ask your surveyor for a raffle ticket upon handing in the survey, they will ask you to put your phone number on the stub they keep for the drawing so that you can be contacted about your prize.

This survey is targeting a specific group of people; trade book readers. For the purposes of this study a trade book reader is anyone who has read a book of prose, poetry or creative non-fiction in the past year.

Please circle your answer.

Screening Question 1

Have you read a trade book (book of poetry, prose or creative non-fiction) in the past 12 months? YES NO

 

IF YOU ANSWERED YES PLEASE CONTINUE TO THE NEXT PAGE. (PAGE 2 OF 4)

IF YOU ANSWERED NO PLEASE CONTINUE TO THE LAST PAGE (PAGE 4 OF 4)

Please Circle or Bubble-in or write-in your response.

Objective I

Question 1 (Awareness)

How likely would you be to read an advertisement in a book about a car apartment or textbook?

Very Likely Somewhat Likely Neutral Somewhat Unlikely Not Likely

 

Question 2 (Knowledge)

Would you want to know the sponsorship of an advertisement placed in a novel you are currently reading?

Very Likely Somewhat Likely Neutral Somewhat Unlikely Not Likely

 

Question 3 (Liking)

Would you be interested in seeing what value a company presents if you saw their advertisement in a novel you are reading .

Very Likely Somewhat Likely Neutral Somewhat Unlikely Not Likely

Objective 2

Question 4

Please determine the purchase decisions that apply to you based on these selections;

Apartment

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

Textbooks

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

House/Condo/Land

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

Boat

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

 

Engagement/ Wedding Ring

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

Vacation

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

 

Plane Tickets

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

Cell Phone

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

Electronics over $150

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

Software over $150

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

One time Entertainment Purchases over $200

Apply Neutral Does Not Apply

 

Objective III

Question 5

Would you be more likely to purchase a book with a coupon in it?

Very likely to purchase; More likely to purchase; Neutral; Less Likely to purchase; Very Unlikely To Purchase

Question 6

If the coupon mentioned in question 5 was valued at twice as much as the selling price of the book would you be either;

Most Likely To Purchase Somewhat Likely Neutral Somewhat Unlikely Less Likely To Purchase

Objective IV

Question 7

What is the most popular medium you receive your advertisements from?

Radio Television Print Internet Direct Mail Other

 

 

Objective V

Question 8

Out of these what are your most favorite places to buy books?

Bookstore

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

 

Used Bookstore

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

 

Book Sale

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

Book Club

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

Supermarket

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

Direct Mail

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

Internet

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Never

Objective VII

Question 9

What are your favorite types of trade books?

Science Fiction

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Fantasay

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Romance

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Historical

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Current Events

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Young Adult

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

How To

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

 

Reference

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Action/Adventure

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Feminism

Most Favorite Sometimes Neutral Rarely Least Favorite

Objective IX

Question 10

What types of advertising would you expect to see in a

Science Fiction

Fantasy

Classic (Pre 1930)

Romance

Please Bubble-in or Circle your response.

Demographic Questions

What is your age?

17-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75-84

What is your current education level?

Pre-College College Bachelor Grad-Student Master Doctoral Program Doctor

What is your household income?

<$20,000 <$50,000 <$75,000 <$100,000 <120,000 <$150,000 >$150,000

How many miles do you live from here?(For those who live on campus please indicate your permanent residence)

0-10mi. 11-20mi. 21-30mi. 31-40mi. 41-50mi. 51-60mi. 60+mi.

If you would like to receive the results of this survey please indicate your e-mail here.

 

Appendix 2 (Excellence Expo Power Point)

How To Influence Readers Using The Central Route To Persuasion.

A Marketing Research Study

By Michael James Eza

 

Presentation Outline

  • Introduction; Key Terms & Hypothesis
  • Methodology; Research, Design, Practice
  • Study Objectives; Research & Questionnaire
  • Main Topics; Industry, Theory, Applications
  • Questionnaire; Market, Questions, Design
  • Conclusions; Results, Uses, Future Studies

Introduction; Key Terms

  • Basic Marketing Research
  • Trade Books
  • Central Route to Perception
  • Mall Intercept Survey
  • Reliability
  • Validity

Introduction; Hypothesis

  • Trade book advertising will affect readers’ decisions to purchase other “central” (product related) items.
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model(Arens, Arens, & Weigold 2008)

Methodology; Research

  • Books
  • Databases
  • Articles
  • Previous Studies
  • Peer and Classroom Review

Methodology; Design

  • Topic Selection and Research
  • Hypothesis
  • Marketing Research Proposal
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Survey Size and Collection Method
  • Data Analysis

 

Methodology; Practice

  • Timelines and Resources
  • Objectives and Goals
  • Expected Results
  • Purpose of Findings

Research Study Objectives

  • I.To determine whether an advertisement regarding a central route decision would influence awareness, knowledge and liking, if placed in a book as either a product placement, print ad or insert.

 

Research Study Objectives
(Continued)

  • II. To determine the types of central route decisions college students most often make (e.g. car, phone, apartment, textbooks).
  • III. To determine whether more college students would buy a trade book because it could save them money on another more costly item such as college textbooks or a new computer (e.g. would coupons in books sell books?).

 

 

Research Study Objectives
(Continued)

 

  • IV.To review the current media (e.g. Radio, TV, Outdoors, Print, Book Clubs) most used to persuade college students about central route decisions.
  • V.To locate the most popular outlets for purchasing trade books among college students.
  • VI. To determine whether ad or product placement within a trade book would affect a purchase decision.

 

 

Research Study Objectives
(Continued)

  • VII. To determine the most popular types of trade books among college students.
  • IX. To determine the relationship between book genres and central route persuasion genres. (e.g. would a romance novel sell a vacation package? Would sci-fi sell electronics?)

 

Questionnaire Objectives

  • a) Gather enough information to validate the research theory.
  • b) Answer Objectives 1-7, and 9 of the Marketing Research Proposal
  • c) Survey 200 respondents in two locations.
  • d) Receive answers from at least 65 qualified respondents
  • e) Provide information, which will allow for future predictions of the value of using advertising of high involvement items (e.g. car, apartment, textbooks) in trade books.

 

The Elaboration Likelihood Model

Applications

  • Booksellers & Retail Stores
  • Local Advertising Agencies
  • Central Product Sellers
  • The School of Marketing Research
  • Consumers

Questionnaire
Target Market

  • Trade Book Readers
  • ECSU Students and Faculty
  • 150 people at ECSU were surveyed
  • 98 of these students qualified
  • This represents around 2% of the ECSU campus body

Questionnaire
Design

  • Four Questionnaire Subject Areas
  • 1) Qualifying Question
  • 2) Hypothesis Related Questions
  • 3) Respondent Preferences
  • 4) Demographics
  • Contacting Respondents

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective I
  • 35.7% of respondents said they would be either somewhat or very likely to read and advertisement
  • 28.6% wanted to know the sponsorship.
  • 38.8% were interested in the value of which the company presenting the ad presented.

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective II
  • Aparments; 49.5%
  • Textbooks ;75.3%
  • House/Condo/Land; 37.5%
  • Boat; 15.5%
  • Engagement/Wedding Ring; 14.6%
  • Vacation; 58.3%
  • Plane Tickets; 56.8%

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective II Continued
  • Cell Phone; 63.2%
  • Electronics over $150; 54.2%
  • Software over $150; 30.5%
  • One Time Entertainment Purchase over $200; 37.9%

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective III
  • 78.6% of Readers said that they would be either somewhat or very likely to purchase a book with a coupon in it.
  • 86.7% of the Readers, however, said they would be either somewhat or very likely to purchase a book with a coupon in it if that coupon was worth double the retail value of the book.

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective IV
  • Radio 3.1%
  • Television 60.2%
  • Print 20.4%
  • Internet 16.3%

 

 

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective V
  • Bookstore 90.4%
  • Used-bookstore 74.5%
  • Book Sale 61.1%
  • Book Club 22.1%
  • Supermarket 27.7%
  • Direct Mail 17.9%
  • Internet 72.6%

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective VII
  • Science Fiction 39.8%
  • Fantasy 44.8%
  • Romance 35.4%
  • Historical 47.9%
  • Current Events 60.0%
  • Young Adult 41.7%
  • How To 41.1%
  • Reference 36.8%
  • Action 60.0%
  • Feminism 26.3%

 

 

Conclusions
Results and Findings

  • Objective IX
  • Readers expect to see specific types of advertising in specific types of books
  • Science Fiction, 44% expect Software or Video Games
  • Fantasy, 36.4% expect to see Related Merchandise
  • Classic, 45.2% expect to see other books
  • Romance 41.5% expect to see other romance works