The age of mobile phones is upon us. Wherever we go, all we see is a sea of people wrapped up in their own private world as they talk unendingly into their little gadget. A gadget most people would find impossible to live without today. A gadget that has become an extension of our very bodies. It stands to reason that this is where every marketer wants to be. This is as close to the customer as you can get. The year 2007 is considered to be the year when mobile marketing will really get going and this prediction has been made by analysts all over the world. They feel that soon companies will exploit the potential of marketing in this area quite similar to the way they did with the Internet when it came into being.
Mobile marketing has many advantages and benefits in the sense that this is one piece of electronic equipment that is with the user practically all the time. Most people are totally dependent on their mobiles and every message or SMS sent is guaranteed to be read unlike in an email or with direct mailing. This will allow companies to keep track of a particular customer’s preferences and they can target their marketing accordingly. On the flip side, a badly executed campaign or propaganda could cause the sender to lose clients as it could be misinterpreted as an intrusion into the user’s private space.
One wonders then as to which companies would ideally qualify for this type of marketing, big companies or small ones. Basically this technique can be adopted by companies of any size. But there are several points that need to be kept in mind before jumping into the fray. Firstly the technology involved is that of wireless application protocol or WAP and short messaging service or SMS. Basically it means that this is a smaller version of a web browser and phones that are WAP enabled can access basic versions of web pages.
To get customers to disclose their mobile numbers they must opt for receiving messages for you to be able to comply with distance selling regulations and privacy regulations. The easiest or simplest way to get the numbers is to ask for the numbers whenever possible in your daily business dealings. Run up a competition to attract customers to disclose their numbers or have some other option which will tempt the customer. Your messages should be targeted properly and it can be used to let customers know about new products, offers, events that you feel may be of some interest to them.
Your phone company will give you an idea of the expenses involved in using this kind of marketing. The cost of each text message would vary from network to network. Your message should have a call to action option in each message like ‘come over today’ or ‘call now’ as well as an option to opt out of it and all this must be contained within 160 characters which is what is available to you.