Mobile is the next frontier for marketing. Not all mobile marketing is spam, of course, but many current campaigns feature exactly that — unwanted, unsolicited SMS text messages.
The potential of mobile marketing is far more powerful — location-specific, time-based, highly personalized messaging. It has the potential to offer real utility to consumers. But the current state seems more geared to interrupt than create value.
Spam is far broader than it’s legal distinction. Just because marketers can doesn’t mean they should. As marketers think about reaching consumers through their mobile devices, they should pay attention to this perspective from Seth Godin:
“Spam is unanticipated, impersonal, irrelevant junk I don’t want to get. Not only that, it costs them less to send it than it takes me to figure out what it is and deal with it. That doesn’t scale. In fact, it destroys the medium … Maybe I’m getting cranky, but the relentless march of marketers into our lives is really getting to me.
In case you missed the first part of our show, the future of marketing is based on permission. It’s based on sending messages to people who want to get them, who choose to get them, who would miss you if you didn’t send them.It’s not easy and it’s not cheap to earn permission, but so what? This is my attention, not yours, and if you want to use it for a while, please earn the privilege.”
A brand that has earned that privilege in another medium is Betabrand. Betabrand sends out a weekly email. Most corporate email newsletters are considered spam, with open rates averaging in the low single digits. At a panel a couple weeks ago, I heard founder Chris Lindland share that his email open rates averaged at 45%. Their audience would miss the emails if they weren’t there.
As mobile marketing matures, that’s the level of permission marketing I hope that more brands follow.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)