Consumers are Getting Fed Up with Mobile SPAM

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If you are the proud owner of a cell phone, you have probably experienced some form of SPAM: unwanted text messages or voice mails. As a matter of fact, according to a recent Bloomberg article, the number of SPAM text messages in the U.S. reached 4.5 billion in 2011. Consumer concerns are growing so much that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resurrected a special team just to investigate some 2,600 complaints about mobile texts last year.  Spammers are able to deploy a large volume of text messages or calls and at a very rapid pace.  Last March, AT&T filed a lawsuit stating that 20 million illegal phone calls were made using just 14 phone numbers. 

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), there are two laws which protect consumers from receiving these messages.  The first is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The second is the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act.

The FCC further states that “the CAN-SPAM Act defines commercial messages as those that primarily advertise or promote a commercial product or service. The FTC’s ban does not cover “transactional or relationship” messages — that is, notices to facilitate a transaction you have already agreed to — for example, messages that provide information about your existing account or warranty information about a product you’ve purchased.” 

As mobile marketing continues to grow in popularity, marketers have an obligation to know, respect, and understand the regulatory issues surrounding this medium.

Have a story about mobile SPAM you’d like to share?  We want to hear about it!

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Marketers Must See the Bigger Picture with Mobile

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Mobile marketing is connecting consumers and brands at a very basic level.  With the recent explosion in mobile devices usage, consumers have the ability to search, purchase, and connect any time and any where.  Tablets, smartphones, SMS texting, Bluetooth devices, and apps are rapidly changing consumer behavior, and brands are struggling to keep up. Just think, not long ago “mobile marketing” referred to the magnetic signs applied to your car!

What do consumers want from mobile?  Well, it boils down to convenience.  In an article posted on Mobile Marketer, author Mickey Khan suggests consumers have six wants when using mobile technology:

1)    Ease

2)    Search capabilities

3)    SMS updates and offers direct to their phones

4)    Ability to browse for information

5)    Identical online experience

6)    A rich multi-media experience on tablets

While consumer needs appear simple, mobile marketing is still a relatively new media and there are many considerations for marketers. It is complicated, and should be viewed as a part of an overall integrated marketing strategy – not separately.

In an effort to quickly deploy mobile marketing, some brands have miss-stepped and probably wasted valuable time and money in the process. A recent Forbes article by Ian Lurie noted that creating a separate mobile site is a mistake, and offers a more efficient suggestion.  A mobile-friendly website should leverage the main domain, but utilize what is called “responsive design,” in which the site can resize and modify navigation based on the viewer’s device.   Lurie challenges marketers to completely re-think their existing mobile strategies, stating that while marketers may invest significant resources into a mobile strategy, they often fail to consider how it should tie directly to their brand’s internet strategy.

Emerging media continues to challenge marketers.  Mobile marketing is no different, and requires them to take a step back and view each new platform as it relates to the bigger picture.

Do you have an example of a brand successfully deploying its mobile strategy? If so, we’d love to hear from you!