Marketing and Mobile Social Media

I have just completed a webinar on Mobile marketing and mobile social media.

Not an easy subject to talk on. Talking about mobile marketing campaigns is easy. That is my area of expertise. Social media, fine. Not my greatest area of expertise, but I know enough about it. Mobile social media? Well what is there to say about it? OK, Facebook has 65million of it’s 250million subscribers accessing through their mobile phones. That’s quite interesting. Orange’s Exposure 2 study also showed that many people are accessing social media through their phones.

What about mobile specific social media? Whilst there are many dedicated sites, they are tiny in their usage. The most successful ones are essentially dating sites.
So what about marketing in mobile social media? Hmm. There really isn’t alot to say because it just isn’t happening.

One problem is that social media, is having trouble making money. Facebook has only just turned a profit and that is way out, the largest social networking site out there. Myspace is loosing money, and Twitter has no revenue at all!

When it comes to mobile, the advertising opportunities in social media are limited. Facebook doesn’t have any on it’s mobile site, and again, Twitter doesn’t have any at all. The best way that brands can engage is through customer relationship and reputation management. Southwest Airlines are an excellent example of this. They have a team to look for dissatisfaction and contact those people to resolve the problem. But that is not specifically a mobile issue, that is just brands engaging well with all social media.

So, what is the answer for marketing in mobile social media? I really don’t know!

Latest update on dealing with mobile spam

Following on from my last post, I identified the company who I thought had sent the unsolicited SMS.
Two days after sending them an email, a helpful man who was their marketing director phoned me about it. I pointed out that they had breached two key elements of the PEC regulations: failing to obtain opt in consent, and failing to identify the company in the message. He expressed great concern – he thought the list was bought in by a third party provider. He promised to investigate and get back to me. Two weeks later, I still haven’t heard from him.

In the meantime, however, an interesting coincidence happened. I was speaking at the Telephone Preference Service conference on Business SMS and Mobile Marketing this week. After my talk, someone came and spoke to me from the Claims Management Service, who are part of the Ministry of Justice. She was asking me what the regulations are concerning spam SMS, and how to trace companies who send them. It turns out that they had had complaints about the very spam I have been chasing and blogging about on here. I have now passed all the info that I have on the company to CMS, who have powers to censure claims companies who breach regulations.

I am still complaining to the ICO as well, who can also reprimand or even prosecute the company.

On the trail of the spammers (again)

I finally got the name of the SMS platform/service provider from a helpful account manager at Mblox.
The company, Collstream, quickly replied to my email given me details of the company that appears to have sent the unsolicited SMS. The name of that company is CPN Ltd, who run a website called ‘claimsjustice’ (dot co, do uk) … I’m not putting the URL in here to prevent any benefit from linking to their site.
I have sent them an email pointing out the various ways that I believe they have breached the regulations. As soon as I get a response I will post the details here.

Mobile Spam: the saga continues

This is the latest update on my continued attempts to find the people responsible for some spam text messages.
I finally phoned the company who Mblox (the mobile messaging provider) told me that they had supplied the number used for the spam replies. Apparently the company didn’t get the two emails I sent. Never mind. The guy on the phone was very helpful. He thought it was unlikely that the number/campaign was due to them, as they didn’t rent Jersey Telecom numbers from Mblox. He checked, got back to me and then got their Mblox account manager to contact me. So, in spite of 9 emails between myself and Mblox, they couldn’t give me the correct information about who they supplied the number to!
The account manager was helpful, and phoned me back with details of the company that they had supplied the number to.
An interesting side note was that the Mblox account manager told me that the press department had been aware of someone blogging about this. Yup, that’s me! It’s great that in this day and age with Google Alerts etc, companies can track comments and manage their online reputation. Strange thing is though, that Mblox press people didn’t contact me to tell me that I had been mis informed by their staff. If they had done so then they might have actually looked competent.
I will update this blog soon, with the next installment in trying to track down the spammers.

Dealing with the mobile spammers (part 2)

This is an update to my previous blog on stopping the mobile spammers.

Mblox, the company that had the Jersey Telecom number didn’t reply. I sent them a follow up email a couple of days later, and they responded with this:

Unfortunately, we were unable to identify any messages being sent to the specified number and therefore on this occasion, are unable to help terminate the services you have been receiving.

My advice would be to contact your mobile operator again, and explain that mBlox have been unable to assist. They should be able to provide you with additional information.

They had got it completely wrong. The number I gave them was the REPLY number that pointed to that SMS platform. I emailed back explaining their (rather basic) error.

In their response they sent me an SMS they had received in their system. That message belonged to someone entirely different. Apart from being an embarrassing mistake on Mblox part, it also compromised the privacy of the person concerned…. there was enough information in the message to identify who they were!

Again, a couple more emails pointing out their error, and they finally responded. It turns out, unsurprisingly that the Jersey Telecom number was supplied on by Mblox to another platform provider. They couldn’t give me any contact details for some reason, only their name. The company is called textanywhere – a reasonably busy UK based platform provider. I have emailed them twice now, but had no reply.

I’ll call them shortly … watch this space.