Consumers Seek Control Over SMS Marketing

Consumers Seek Control Over SMS MarketingThere’s been numerous studies, surveys and analysis regarding consumer’s view of SMS marketing and how they respond to messages from advertisers, with most coming to the conclusion that SMS marketing is always welcomed by consumers as long as its worth their while.

A new study put out by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) polled consumers regarding their view of SMS marketing and found that users request much more control, as well as a sense of trust from the brands that are reaching out to them.  These so-called unwritten rules of acceptable engagement via mobile was what the DMA was interested in analyzing.

Gaining a sense of control over what messages are being sent to them, and the overall integrity and trust shown by the brands are the underlying aspects consumers request, with over half of respondents feeling that companies didn’t make the opt-in process clear enough, for example.  In addition, two-thirds of respondents wanted to choose the time of day they received mobile marketing messages, while the majority of respondents didn’t even know who had contacted them.

What consumers worry about the most with regards to SMS marketing is the underlying threat of SMS spam and the mis-conceptions surrounding the practice.  While only one-third of respondents believe that they are increasingly receiving more spam, the report reveals that people are confused about the financial cost of spam. One-third of respondents believe that simply receiving a spam message will result in a charge to their mobile bill, while the same number believe that opening a spam message results in charges.

The report also points to a lack of understanding on dealing with these unwanted messages.  34 percent would complain to their mobile operator, 39 percent wouldn’t complain at all and 51 per cent would complain directly to the company responsible for the message.  With 68 percent of respondents having received unsolicited messages, the report suggests a need for mobile operators to become involved in dealing with spam.

Mark Brill, chair of the DMA Mobile Marketing Council, commented: “Trust and clarity is key to developing an effective mobile marketing strategy. It’s therefore important to be explicit about opting in. Customers who have opted in should be quickly contacted with confirmation of their choices and information on how to opt out. Brands may find that their reputation is quickly damaged if mobile marketing messages are too frequent, sent at the wrong time of day, irrelevant or unclear to the user.”