A Mobile New Year’s Resolution

Usually this time of year it is all I can do to make and try to keep my own resolutions, but this year I’ve decided to be bold and suggest one for all of us in the mobile industry. Take a look and let me know what you think – will you join me?

I resolve in 2009 to help as many people as possible avoid scams and unfortunate paths in mobile marketing.

This resolution sprang forth when a colleague of mine from the internet marketing world asked my opinion of an “SMS” text messaging opportunity. I use the quotation marks purposely. The opportunity he was so hopefully excited about was a text messaging software that allows business owners to send unlimited free text messages from their website to any US cell phone.

Of course to mobile industry insiders it is obvious that this is not really SMS. We all know there is no such thing as free SMS text messages, certainly not in unlimited amounts. To people newly excited by mobile, this might seem like the perfect opportunity. It isn’t. And when the software doesn’t actually send the text messages or the business gets slapped with a CAN-SPAM penalty for sending email spam to cell phones mobile marketing will be the fall guy.

I resolve to help people learn that this kind of opportunity is an unfortunate path at best (it is possible that the people who created this software don’t know they’ve built a non-commercially viable platform) or at worst, a scam (they do and they don’t care).

So, what can we do to help people from getting drawn into “opportunities” like this and simultaneously save mobile marketing a black eye?