Taking it personally – the problem with mobile marketing

Marketing to mobile can generate some good responses. With the current economic situation, mobile offers new opportunities to reach customers and reduced marketing costs. The results from mobile marketing can also be very effective, with response rates over 8% being generally measured.

However, anyone looking to run a mobile campaign needs to seriously address the way it is run, who they are contacting and the offer is.

Mobile phones are devices that most of us have with us most of the time. There is a strong sense of identity attached to our mobiles – the type of handset (‘I have an iphone’ etc), wallpaper or ringtone is as much a part of our identity as the clothes we wear. What’s more, it’s the device that we contact our family, friends and loved ones on.

Whatever the marketing campaign, be it SMS, mobile sites or Bluetooth proximity marketing, sensitivity to the mobile user is paramount. Imagine if you are waiting for an SMS from your partner and a marketing text arrives on your phone? It’s going to annoy the user and put the brand in a very poor light.

A recent discussion amongst technological savvy mobile users about mobile marketing generated many responses like these:

‘Its like the people in the street who try to thrust leaflets on us, except its just about possible to dodge them.’

‘I have received two text messages from businesses I was walking past, both offering immediate discounts. I can think of no other way to more effectively ensure that I will never do business with either establishment again.’

‘If anyone sent a message to my cellphone or other device just because I walked past their store, billboard, advertising poster, etc., they would lose my business forever.’

It is unlikely that a billboard, direct mail or TV ad could cause as much offence, purely from attempting to contact potential customers.

You may think therefore, that mobile marketing is likely to upset customers too much or it is too fraught with problems to run a campaign. However, the highly personal feelings about mobile can be used to great effectiveness. There are many examples of mobile marketing campaigns that have generated an excellent response.

The key is to ensure that it is permission based, highly targeted and offers a real benefit to the customer or potential customers.

Gaining permission often requires more than a simple ‘soft opt in’. It is important and beneficial to get a clear consent from a customer to send them marketing information to their phone. That consent should also be recent. If they opted in 12 months ago then you would need to get their permission again.

Well targeted campaigns means sending the right type of content on the right day at the right time.

The benefit comes from giving your users a clear offer – discounts, free products or mobile content are all examples of offers that work well.

So, mobile marketing has it’s benefits, but working with experienced professionals to deliver campaigns can ensure that you are effective in what you do.

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