Saturday, November 22, 2008

Is Mobile Marketing the Next Big Thing?


Cell phones are such an intimate part of our lives that it is hard to believe that consumers will accept marketing delivered straight to their cell phone. Many people have rid themselves of home phones and land lines so as to escape that annoying telemarketer calling right as dinner is placed on the table or even worse, calling at 9 pm! Will the national do not call registry contain more cell phone numbers than land lines at some point in time? Is mobile marketing an idea that looks unstoppable on paper but once applied will fail like the Nazis on D day?

Let’s take the facts. Mobile internet usage is on the rise and over 100 million unique mobile subscribers have been logged in 2008 (Mobile Internet, 2008). It can be argued that mobile marketing will be the most efficient and effective way to talk to today’s consumer. Text messages are read on a significantly frequent basis and this medium can prove to be a personal and instant link between you and the consumer. However, not everything is bright as many consumers think that mobile marketing is a serious invasion of privacy and wouldn’t compromise. Further, SPAM could get out of hand as it did with email and this could be disastrous.

So, what are we to do? Marketers are obligated to serve as an advocate of their consumer by protecting their privacy and they must act in their brand’s best interest and explore every possible means of communicating with their target market. Many organizations stand to benefit from mobile marketing provided they act responsibly. eHarmony, Facebook, Kroger and many others have the opportunity to talk to consumers in a way that previously was unknown. Pinpointing a consumer’s location and sending messages with relevant information may be very beneficial to both the consumer and the company.

However, if companies are going to engage in this form of marketing they should ensure they set controls to protect everyone involved. Safeguarding personal information is always a must and asking consumers to opt in will help in ensuring your message is received and accepted with open “ears.” On a personal note I think that mobile marketing will be accepted in the very near future. Just as I have stated in earlier posts; people are consistently resistant to change and this may just take some extra time to absorb into the non-believers mind.

References

Mobile Internet Usage Continues to Climb (2008, November 19). Nielsen Company. Retrieved November 23, 2008 from http://www.mmaglobal.com/?q=node/7646.

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