A Mobile Marketing campaign can only be effective if it is permission based. Permission based Mobile Marketing is the type of SMS campaign where recipients of the advertising SMS are given the opportunity to decide whether they are willing or not to receive future SMS from the company conducting the campaign. This means that the target market must give your company the permission to send SMS to their phones. With such permission, your SMS will never be viewed as those distracting unsolicited messages called spam by your current and prospective customers. This is critical because when your Mobile Marketing is viewed as spam, it will not likely be read or taken serious and if that is the case, distracted and offended customers will not be loyal to your brand. This post will be an eye opener to those who are currently using or planning to use purchased phone numbers to market their products or services.

If you really desire to build your brand with Mobile Marketing, you need to avoid sending unsolicited messages. I am always very surprised at some companies buying phone numbers to execute their Mobile Marketing campaigns. Apart from offending some recipients with your message, the use of purchased mobile phones is a waste of capital. When you send SMS to purchased phone numbers, chances are that a good percentage of the recipients are not and can never be interested in your product or services. This is due to differences in geographical, demographical and interest group the recipients represent. For instance, a company into sales and distribution of beer buys mobile phone numbers to execute a bulk SMS campaign. As we all know especially in Nigeria that most religious fanatics don’t take anything that contains alcohol not to talk of beer. Imagine the scenario where a religious leader who doesn’t drink receives a message from the company. It is not only offensive, but also a waste of money.

Mobile Marketing is not a new strategy. Many big brands have been using it to grow their businesses and build their brand names. In Nigeria, companies in the mobile communication, banking, consumer goods industries and others take Mobile Marketing as part of their marketing weapons. While banks use this in conjunction with mobile banking, others use mobile marketing to run a promotion. One common characteristic with these companies is that they do not interfere with people rights by sending unsolicited messages to them. Before you start receiving commercial messages from these companies, you must have duly subscribed to receive messages from them. This is exactly what differentiates “big shots” from the small companies.

Recently Guiness Nigeria launched a promo where customers find numbers under the cover of drinks bottles and text the numbers to a short code provided for the promo. When customers text the numbers to the code, they will immediately receive a recharge pin for MTN, Glo or Zain. Customers were really excited to participate in that promo. Trust Nigerians! What really caught my attention as a digital marketer is the statement Guiness Nigeria used to legalize the subscription. At the side of the bottle where a few instructions on how to participate in the promo was given, a statement like this was used at the end. “By texting, you give Guiness Nigeria permission to contact you.” With all the subscriptions during the promo, Guiness Nigeria is fully ready to enjoy Mobile Marketing.

Any company big or small can launch a successful permission based Mobile Marketing to increase sales. The truth is that if it is properly conducted, Mobile Marketing has been proved to be the most effective and profitable marketing techniques compared to traditional ways of advertising such as radio, print and television media because of its ability to reach and command attention from target audience effortlessly and cost effective. All you require to begin the journey of permission based Mobile Marketing is to make it a part of your business plan and channel a percentage of your marketing budget to start.

Apart from acquiring a short code or long code, other options are available. The most important thing is to give your audience the opportunity to subscribe to your marketing messages whichever way.

To start with, if you are not very versatile in the subject of Mobile Marketing and how to get permission easily from your target audience you may choose to involve the services of experts in that field.

Obanimoh Siyaka
Digital Marketing Communication Consultant

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