Victor Aloi is Marketing Manager of InvolveMobile, a mobile marketing software provider. In this article, the executive describes five common mistakes in mobile marketing.
1. Non-compliance with anti spam legislation
One of the biggest issues when running mobile marketing campaigns is compliance. In the US the CAN-SPAM Act 2003 and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 regulates the sending of commercial text messages. Failure to comply with these Acts in the US, and similar Acts internationally, has resulted in severe financial penalties for offenders.
In 2008 US boots and clothing company Timberland and its ecommerce partner were forced to pay $7 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought against them for an unsolicited mobile marketing campaign that operated between 2003 and 2008. Timberland denied any wrongful conduct and blamed responsibility for securing opt-in consents on the mobile marketing company, Airit2me. The cash is being distributed to consumers who received the unsolicited texts.
These examples demonstrate the importance of compliance with anti spam legislation and that companies cannot hide behind third party companies when securing the right opt-in consents for marketing messages. Complying with the legislation means you'll avoid hefty fines, public dissent and a damaged brand. To ensure you comply with legislation it's important your text marketing provider understands the legislation and compliance issues.
2. Failing to target your customer
Devising the perfect message is only useful when you're sending that message to the right people. Many companies make the mistake with SMS marketing of treating it more like a mass market medium due to its wide reach and low cost than the highly targeted medium it is.
Text marketing campaigns allow you to use specific demographic and behavioral information in your database to target messages to specific consumer groups at specific times. Targeting makes your message highly relevant to consumers, and as a result is far more likely to be successful.
In a example Delta Airlines targeted frequent travelers by inviting them to text in the name of a worldwide destination to a mobile short code to receive tips for insight into local business practices in the selected location. This enabled Delta to send relevant and engaging content as well as target those travelers with the right marketing messages, encouraging consumers to research and manage flight options on the Delta mobile internet site.
Ensure you use the power of mobile marketing to its full potential by creating highly targeted and relevant content for your consumers.
3. Using SMS as a push focused selling tool
Mobile marketing can be a great way to interact with consumers but if your communication with them is more like a push focused sales pitch you're unlikely to maintain an engaged audience. Many companies make the mistake of bombarding consumers with marketing messages that add no value to the consumer's life. These constant messages about irrelevant new products or pushing the old same services become a point of annoyance and distrust quickly and can erode not only your ability to use the SMS medium in the future but also your long term relationship with customers and your brand.
Think about how you can provide value to your customers through your mobile marketing campaign – tell them about a special offer for SMS subscribers only, let them in on targeted new product information before anyone else or provide them with a free product or sample to get them in store.
In a recent mobile marketing promotion 7-Eleven offered consumers a free drink in store by texting a keyword to a mobile short code. 7-Eleven added to its mobile marketing database inviting consumers to opt in to receive future messages and customers benefited by receiving a free product.
If consumers feel like they are benefiting from the text marketing relationship they'll accept and embrace it, if not your efforts will do more to damage your brand than promote it.
4. Using Mobile Marketing in isolation
While mobile marketing campaignscan still be effective when used on their own, they're best used as part of a multi-channel approach which may include a wide range of other marketing mediums including online, email, television, print, radio, and outdoor. Many companies new to mobile marketing don't integrate mobile marketing effectively into their marketing plan and more importantly, how it integrates with their database. These companies fail to see the real benefits mobile marketing can bring when used collaboratively.
There are multitudes of ways you can make mobile marketing an essential component of your integrated marketing plan. Use short codes in your call to action on TV or an outdoor billboard to add an element of interactivity to a mass market campaign, encourage consumers to opt in to receive SMS reminders via your website or promote new products in your online store to your subscriber list via SMS – the possibilities for integration are almost endless. It also helps to look for multi-channel marketing technology, like InvolveMobile, which can deliver an integrated database that can link mobile with email, online and other consumer touch points.
Lingerie giant Victoria's Secret integrated mobile marketing with outdoor advertising to successfully promote a new store opening in Chicago. The campaign used outdoor billboards to promote a mobile short code – when consumers texted in they could opt in to receive news, alerts and special offers to use in store.
5. Using SMS marketing as a one way communication tool
Mobile marketing is a great two way communication tool, however many companies fail to realise the power of two way communication and instead use the channel as a dry one way communication channel akin to print advertising.
Use mobile marketing campaigns to bring alive your interaction with customers in creative new ways. Make your messages action oriented by letting your customer in on relevant real time information about an event or product they're interested in or ask them to do something – whether it be interacting directly via text by asking them to text in ideas or competition answers or by directing them in store, to your website or some other relevant event. If your consumers are talking to you they're more likely to be engaged and receptive to your marketing messages.
Victor Aloi is Marketing Manager of InvolveMobile a Mobile Marketing Software provider.
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