The Impact of Billboard Advertising on Consumer Buying Behaviour

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The research proposal intends to examine the impact that billboard advertisement exerts on the buying behaviour of the customers.

Reason for Selecting the Topic

The primary reason behind selecting the topic is a personal interest on whether the widely used billboard advertisements target the potential and existing customers effectively and the manner in which they affect the target consumer’s buying behaviour.

Why It Is Important to Study the Topic

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Inc., billboard advertisements are amongst the most impactful and largest out of home media types of advertisement that are of a standard size (1). More so, this type of product promotion is not only the mass medium that is capable of reaching the customers as they go about their daily activities but has remained relevant given that it cannot be skipped or turned off as in the case with radio and television advertisement (Chien 90). However, the impact of this kind of outdoor advertising on the consumer’s buying behaviour has remained to be an understudied topic with limited literature (Chien 90; Saleem, and Abideen 58). It is therefore important to study the topic and establish whether this form of product promotion has a substantial effect on the consumer’s buying behaviour. The main beneficiaries of the findings of this research are business managers given that it will educate them on the consumer’s buying behaviour in relation to this form of outdoor advertising. Additionally, the study will be a great contribution to the body of literature since it will constitute the empirical literature for future studies on the topic.

Research Objectives

To establish the meaning of consumer buying behaviour and advertising.

To examine the features that will enhance consumer patronage in billboard advertising.

To study the effect of billboard advertising on the customer’s buying behaviour.

Research Questions (RQs)

What are consumer buying behaviour and advertising?

What are the features that will enhance customer’s buying behaviour in billboard advertising?

What is the effect of billboard advertising on the buying behaviour of the consumers?

Literature Review (LR)

A thematic structure around each of the RQs

There are several definitions raised by a number of researchers with regards to consumer buying behaviour and advertisement. For instance, Saleem, and Abideen define it as the strategy through which information concerning a service or product is delivered to the consumers (56). On the other hand, Giri describes it as a product or service promotion technique that recognises the unspoken wants and needs of potential and existing customers (3). Furthermore, Taylor et al. terms advertisement as a promotional technique whose primary objective is to avail information about a service’s or product’ buying behaviour or attitude of a customer (21). In this regard, it is important to develop one global definition for each term which can be understood by everyone. After gathering experts to develop one definition, Richards and Catharine defined advertisement as a mediated and paid form of communication, from a source that is identifiable, which is designed to influence the target or consumer to take action at that moment or in the future (74). Similarly, customer buying behaviour attracts a number of definitions from various researchers. Taylor et al. delineate it as a complication analysis tool in the marketing process (22). On the other hand, Rai expresses the consumer buying behaviour as a tendency that is determined by the idea which decides on the impulse buying of service or a product (4). Saleem and Abideen’s collective definition of customer buying behaviour is the reason behind customers acting in specific ways under particular circumstances with regard to purchasing a certain product or a service (57).

Studies indicate that there are two main features that will enhance customer’s buying behaviour in billboard advertising; that is the location of the billboard and the catching billboards. With regard to effective marketing, the geographical locality of this form of poster or ad implies that it is placed properly or rather strategically in accordance with the advertiser’s target market (Chien 88; Taylor et al. 21; Saleem and Abideen 60). According to Chien, the location of the billboard has great influence on the customer’s buying decision for the reasons that it targets the audience which the advertisers intend to relay the message (90). This view is supported by Taylor et al., who argue that any failure to decide on the appropriate location for the billboard will result in the difficulty for the advertisers to convey their information to the target consumers (22). Another factor that largely influences the customer buying behaviour is catching billboards. The majority of the researchers established that it is necessary that the information displayed on the billboards is appealing, understandable, obvious, and relevant if the advertisers really want to pass on their message to the target population (Blasko 20; Saleem and Abideen 62; Chien 88). Saleem and Abideen, state that consumer’s attitudes towards an advertisement are taken as the most effective supposition in marketing research and advertising (60). After a comprehensive study, Blasko, came up with five principles for catchy, successful, and effective billboard advertising which are: uniqueness; understandable, easy, and simple message; product recognition; simple and catching background, and the billboard should include few words (17).

Varying perceptions exist regarding the effect of billboard advertising on the customer’s buying behaviour. Research conducted by Chien revealed that the said form of product promotion impacts the purchasing conduct of the consumer by rousing opinions and thoughts about the services and products offered as well as increasing the understanding about these commodities (86). Chien, also established that by delivering and circulating information to the target population, the billboards offer a platform for a diagrammatic look about the service or the product being offered by the advertisers, a phenomenon that positively influences the consumer buying behaviour (88). In their study, Taylor et al. found out that billboards not only draw the attention of the consumers towards the service or the product in the offer but also communicate appropriate information which has a reasonable impact on the customer buying behaviour (32). Additionally, this form of outdoor advertising increases brand awareness or rather understanding amongst the potential and existing customers besides having a visual influence on these consumers through the size of the advertisement and uniqueness of the message (Taylor et al. 32; Blasko 20; Chien 95).

Comparison of the Studies

When the researchers evaluated the billboard advertising, most of them were in agreement that its rate to influence the consumers is way higher when compared to other media particularly because it not only attracts potential customers but also delivers information affordably which in turn enhances the sales (Taylor et al. 32; Saleem, and Abideen 66; Blasko 20; Chien 95). Results from regression and correlation tests by Taylor et al. and Chien affirm that there exists a strong positive correlation between the billboards advertisements and the customer buying behaviour. Another study by Saleem and Abideen established that the impact of the billboard on customer buying behaviour is mainly dependent on the understandability, clarity, and location of the billboard (65). Studies by Blasko, and Richards, and Catharine reconfirm the results of the previous study which also found out that customers tend to be attracted more to the services and products if the billboards are strategically placed in the appropriate geographic area.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Studies

One major strength of the research articles used is that they are all particularly relevant to the study. Another one is that most articles employed statistical methods of data analysis especially correlation and regression analysis (Taylor et al. 21, and Chien 86). The only limitation is that a few of the studies had considerably small sample sizes which could affect the reliability and representation of their outcome (Devers, and Richard 263; Richards, and Catharine 63).


Research Design

The study intends to use a qualitative design. The choice of this approach is mainly attributed to the nature of the research questions which is to explore the effect of billboard advertisements on the consumer’s buying behaviour that warrants understanding of the context and environment of buying behaviour of the customers as well as the mechanisms and linkages that come with billboard advertising. The complexity of the research also necessitates a qualitative design due to the need to describe the subtlety and complexity of the effect of this kind of product promotion on the customers’ buying behaviour. More importantly, the qualitative research design is the best fit for this research given that it is trivial that measures do not fit the problem well.

Research Methods

The research intends to use primary data collected from the KICL students’ populace. The sampling technique will be a simple random selection. Twenty items will be developed to find out the impact of billboard advertisements on the consumer buying behaviour. They will be measured on a five-point Likert scale that will range from strongly disagree to agree strongly. The reliability of the instrument will be checked through Cronbach’s alpha test. The main source of data collection will be interviews, structured questionnaires, and qualitative survey. The interviews will either be a focused group, face to face, through email or via the call while the survey will be focused group or face to face. The data will be analysed through correlation and regression analysis.

The research methods mentioned above are selected purposefully. The projected sample size for the research will be about 35 participants whereby structured questionnaires, interviews, and focus group surveys are expected to be completed. It is mainly intended to enhance representability of the data and therefore reliability of the outcome. The Simple Random Sampling technique is applied to avoid the bias of the sample used in the study (Devers, and Richard 263). The correlation and regression types of analysis are employed to establish the strength of the relationship between customer buying behaviour and billboard advertising (Devers, and Richard 263). The structured questionnaires, interviews, and surveys are critical for the research in order to obtain sufficient and representative data for analysis. The study setting which will involve only the KICL students is purposely because of the availability of the participants given that the time to carry out data collection will be limited. The only limitations are time, and financial constraint since the researcher will simultaneously engage in the study with other academic work besides huge funds required for the efficiency of sourcing the relevant materials and data collection for the study.


The working timeline for the research will span for a maximum of 4 months in accordance with the feasibility of the project.




Week Activities:

1) Conduct a thorough and continuous literature review aimed at identifying the experts in the field and the gaps in knowledge.

2) Identify the specific aims of the project based on the research literature review results, preliminary data results, plan, and vision.

2nd, 3rd, and 4th-Week

1) Target participants based on how best they suit the project.

2) Carry out thorough research on the identified participants to ensure that they are a good fit with my project.




and 2nd Week

1) Draft a proposed budget to ascertain that the project goals can be met.

2) Seek guidance and advice from sponsor sources and colleagues.

3) Identify potential research’ reviewers.

4) Finalize the proposal budget and a well-defined justification.


and the 4th-Week

1) Begin drafting the proposal.

2) Take time to edit the proposal draft.

3) Employ outside readers to review and provide comments for the proposal.

4) Re-write the draft based on the comments continuously.



1) Carry out the research

2) Write the project based on the draft and results from the data collected.



1) Submit the project to the Budget office

2) Submit the project for compliance review.

3) Wait for feedback and go-ahead from the departments involved.

Ethical Considerations

Given that the research involves the active participation of the study subjects, ethical issues related to respect for privacy, respect for confidentiality and anonymity, beneficence, and informed consent may arise (Bulmer 45). These ethical issues are expected given that human research may be conducted only with ethical approval (Bulmer 45). For informed consent, the participant has to intelligently, voluntarily, and knowingly, in a clear and manifest way give his consent (Bulmer 45). Beneficence may pose a bigger challenge as it is difficult to predict in this research. The principle of beneficence requires the researcher to utilise his or her professional mandate to carry out significant and effective study so as to promote the welfare and better serve the participants (Bulmer 46). Confidentiality and respect for anonymity are closely connected with the rights of beneficence, respect for fidelity and dignity. The researcher has to ensure that the identity of the subjects cannot be liked with the personal responses (Bulmer 46). The investigator has an obligation to uphold the ethical principle of privacy by desisting from releasing any private information of the participants such as records, opinions, attitudes, and beliefs (Bulmer 48). To solve the matters, the researcher should meet with the subjects to seek consent to participate as well as discuss the study. All the participants should also be provided with written consent forms, and only those who are willing to take part in the study would be allowed. The investigator has to also take upon himself the responsibility of addressing all the matters that may be raised by the participants particularly those that might result in ethical issues and indicate well-structured legal procedures to counter these issues (Bulmer 48).

Works Cited

Blasko, Vincent J. "A content analysis of the creative characteristics of outdoor advertising: National vs. regional differences." Proceedings of the Conference of the American Academy of Advertising. Tempe, AZ, (2001): 17-21.

Bulmer, Martin. The ethics of social research. Researching social life, 3, (2011): 45-57.

Chien, Cat. "Billboard Evolution." The Four Peaks Review 1.1 (2011): 86-97.

Devers, Kelly, and Richard Frankel. "Study design in qualitative research--2: Sampling and data collection strategies." Education for health 13.2 (2010): 263.

Giri, Ashok. "Advertising and Consumer Behaviour." Internatıonal Journal of Multifaceted and Multilingual Studies1.4 (2015): 1-9.

Outdoor Advertising Association of America. Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc. N.p., 2018. Web. 10 Mar. 2018.

Rai, Naveen. "Impact of Advertising on Consumer behaviour and attitude with reference to consumer durables." International Journal of Management Research and Business Strategy 2.2 (2013): 2-8.

Richards, Jef, and Catharine Curran. "Oracles on “advertising”: Searching for a definition." Journal of Advertising 31.2 (2012): 63-77.

Saleem, Salman, and Abideen. "Effective advertising and its influence on consumer buying behavior." European Journal of Business and Management 3.3 (2011): 55-67.

Taylor, Charles, George Franke, and Hae-Kyong Bang. "Use and effectiveness of billboards: perspectives from selective-perception theory and retail-gravity models." Journal of Advertising 35.4 (2006): 21-34.

January 19, 2024



Corporations Marketing

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