With the evolution of the mobile phone, our devices are used less like actual phones and more like social tools, game consoles, still cameras, email systems, text messengers, carriers of entertainment and business data and in some cases used as a miniature laptop. With increasing dependency on our mobile devices, we find a social and cultural shift happening.
James Katz is a professor of communication at Rutgers University and has researched and documented the effects on social relationships and cultural values, by studying patterns and use of these types of technologies such as cell phone usage and social interaction. How as marketers can we take this information and adjust our campaigns?
As marketers, we are following these mobile and social trends. We know that mobile marketing is becoming a key factor in many of our campaigns. We must take into consideration these social components if we are to effectively reach our consumers on a personal level. How much is too much, when executing a mobile marketing campaign? When does it become too personal and when is it time to pull back?
I recently worked on a campaign with Microsoft which utilized SMS messaging, onsite presence, and call-to-action downloads — all from the customer’s cell phones. We wanted to keep the experience mobile and social by becoming an information resource in real time. What we found is that there is a fine line between too many text messages and not enough. Here are a couple things we noticed:
- People respond well to a double opt-in process. A double opt-in is when you send an SMS message that encourages the consumer to be invited to receive messages to their mobile phones twice. This helps with privacy issues and insures that your target is not receiving messages if he or she does not want them or accidentally signed up to receive them.
- Consumers can easily be turned off by an SMS campaign. Make sure that your messages don’t go from informing them to bothering them. There is a fine line between how many messages to send. Make sure you understand and monitor your campaign with strategic planning and tracking. Make sure you gauge your messaging and track opt-ins and opt-outs so you can adjust as it is happening.
With cultural shifts happening due to mobile devices, we find that people are utilizing their cell phones more and more as a social and communication tool, an entertainment device, a search and informational resource, as well as a personal computer. As marketers, we must begin to understand these shifts are happening. The new world of marketing is changing at such a rapid pace. If we don’t keep up, we will be left behind.