Predicting the future of the mobile market is like going to PetSmart and trying to select a goldfish that won’t die in the 20 min it takes you to drive it home and put it in a fish bowl. There is no doubt that the mobile market is fertile grounds for new means of communicating with consumers.
The question is, in an industry that is changing so rapidly, what are we going to plant? The Mobile Marketing Association reported that 40% of major brands have launched text messaging or multimedia messaging campaigns, and that number is expected to hit 89% by 2008. Text messaging seems to be marketers’ current method for attempting to reach mobile consumers. But is this really an effective means of marketing? These tactics remind me of the spam messages we used to have to fight through every time we opened up our email and the popup that used to charge our screens with every link we clicked.
Look at how accepting the public is to those pushy forms of communication. Now we have spam filters to sort out unsolicited messages and pop up blockers to keep us from getting attacked by those little windows while we surf the net. Consumers don’t need or want to be bombarded by another form of unsolicited marketing messages. I believe that text messages can be a very successful way of reaching consumers, but the way we go about it needs a desperate makeover.
What we really need to do is apply what Seth Godin labels permission marketing. Essentially, give the consumer an incentive to be marketed to. Get the consumer involved in the process. For example: If your product is camping equipment, allow the consumer to sign up to receive updates on the weather and water conditions at local campgrounds. Along with these updates, information about your newest line of backpacks would be received more acceptingly than a message that pops up randomly in all caps saying CAMPING SALE!!! Using a permission marketing approach to the mobile marketing will no doubt be more effective than any mass texting/bluejacking approach you can scheme up.