Friday, February 27, 2009

Is Mobile Marketing the new Spam?

Absolutely not. At least, not yet.

A long time ago (way back in the 90s) when email marketing began, marketers were told that they now had direct and interactive access to consumers in an environment where consumer-preference and technology would come together to create strong brand-to-consumer bonds.

Did it happen? No.

Email marketing shot itself in the foot with spam. Consumers grew quickly tired of looking at their inbox and reading about enhancing their man-ness.

Now at the dawn of mobile marketing, will mobile marketers learn from that important lesson? It appears so, at least in North America. The Mobile Marketing Association has a well developed
Code of Conduct that, if followed, will prevent mobile from falling into the same pitfalls as email.

AT&T was recently outed for sending unsolicited text messages to previous American Idol voters. This received significant publicity in the US and set the stage for a healthy public debate.

Mobile has the opportunity to create the strong brand-to-consumer bonds that were promised of email. As long as marketers never spam consumers, only message opt-in consumers, and always offer an easy unsubscribe option. Further than that, mobile marketers must offer relevant, engaging and value-driven communications. If these basic guidelines are followed, the future looks good for mobile marketing.

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