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Why not? Almost everyone with purchasing power has a mobile phone that is on him/her 24/7 and unlike email (where there are spam filters, or can be reviewed by PAs) mobile users usually check all their messages.
Typically all brands want in on this new medium that seems ideal at face value, here are the top 10 reasons for mobile marketing:
- Telecom companies have the profile of most (if not all) their subscribers
- Most telecom companies can track the location of their users (allowing for location based advertising)
- Mobile phones are personal (used by one person only)
- Mobile phones are an interactive medium (allowing users to request more information and purchase products directly)
- It costs very little money to send mass messages to mobile phones
- Mobile phones are multimedia enabled (allowing for audio visual communications)
- Mobile phones have low quality screens (allowing for low cost production unlike TVCs)
- Mobile phones allow for viral distribution of advertising messages
- Mobile advertising is considered hip and innovative for brands
- Mobile phones allow advertisers to alert their audience instantly (with zero media lead time) 24/7
But why should consumers accept it? If I paid to buy a phone line and pay for usage, what gives companies the right to send me spam SMS, and why should I accept them?
I’m not an expert with mobile marketing but have been working in the telecom advertising field for a while, so here are a few thoughts on why I would accept receiving ads (otherwise I would simply change mobile provider, or harass customer service with complaints).
- I would be glad to receive ads provided the advertisers subsidize my phone bill – By charging a small fee to advertisers telecom companies can make profit while at the same time subsidize phone bills i.e. customers can get 20cents off their phone bill for every advertisement they receive by SMS or MMS, this would make advertisers want to send more relevant targeted messages to ensure ROI
- I would not mind receiving ads that are un-interruptive, i.e. product placement in mobile games or downloaded content
- Sometimes I want to receive specific ads, including Bluetooth messaging that I may request in certain locations or visit sites on the mobile internet through services like qode
- Receiving SMS ads from your service providers are always accepted usually because users feel that these are notifications from the network owners – these typically include SMS messages informing users of certain offers or discounts on call rates, content, or data services
- People interested in specific services/brands can subscribe to mobile content feeds which can be based on SMS, MMS, or location based services allowing users to receive messages informing them of interesting shops/restaurants/bars in their vicinity
- I don’t mind viewing ads that do not alert me as incoming SMS/MMS messages for example operators can have a certain section on their mobile portal labeled as “latest offers”
- If I like certain brands I would download their content (video, music, or images) to my mobile phone myself
Yes mobile advertising has a lot of potential but can result in very negative brand equity if it’s perceived as spam. Brands should definitely utilize this medium, but they should do so smartly and looking at it from a ‘what’s in it for the customer’ perspective more than any other medium because they are literally stepping into people’s personal space and ethically they cannot do so unprompted.