No. Surprised? Mobile phone marketing certainly has some important advantages, but many online marketing consultants believe that it is “the next big thing.”
Mobile Marketing Claims
They claim that marketing on handheld devices will become so big, that it will change the way many entrepreneurs originate business. They base these claims on the staggering numbers of handheld purchases throughout the world. Indeed, three mobile phones are purchased for every computer and it is estimated that four out of five people in the world own some sort of handheld mobile device. These kind of numbers pose some interesting marketing opportunities.
The problem, as I see it, lies in the method of promotion. Mobile phone marketing gurus teach business owners to build lists of cell phone numbers. They urge business owners to find customers and prospects to “opt-in” to their marketing campaign, thereby subjecting themselves to text message and recorded voice advertisements. Texting or sending recorded voice messages is considered spam by cellular providers and will get the sender in a lot of trouble if caught. Hence, marketers need to get permission with an “opt-in” procedure. I’m not sure about you, but I cannot think of one reason why I would opt-in to anyone’s junk via text or recorded message.
We consider our phones sacred and personal. Send a junk text to our phone and you’ve invaded our private space – and have probably created an angry customer.
The argument in favor of this method urges that people opt-in to email messages all the time in order to receive a gift or important information. This is true, but our phones are different than email. We consider our phones sacred and personal. Send a junk text to our phone and you’ve invaded our private space – and have probably created an angry customer.
The Real Value in Mobile
Where mobile phone marketing is important for business owners is in search. Most of us have a Google or Yahoo application on our phones to search the Internet – perhaps even a Yelp application. Here’s where business owners need to concentrate their marketing. Being able to search for businesses on a handheld is like having the Yellow Pages in the palm of your hand. Business owners should be sure that their websites are mobile phone compatible. They should concentrate on coming up high in mobile search results, even consider an Adwords campaign specifically for mobile devices.
Indeed, consumers will be increasingly using their handheld devices as mini laptops and business owners can certainly increase sales by keeping up with mobile technology. I wouldn’t advise sending ads via text, though. Rather than gaining sales, you may end up losing customers.