With your permission

If I asked you nicely and gave you deals, discounts and gifts against things you wanted to buy anyway, would you allow me to share my marketing message with you? That is the premise that permission-based mobile marketing works on. It is marketing that has a buy-in from the target audience. It is not just about transactions, but about building a dialog between the consumer and the brand.

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) recently came out with a white paper detailing case studies from around the world on permission-based mobile marketing. Supplied by the MMA Task Force, of which Blyk was a part, the case studies illustrate what I have long held—if you get a consumer buy-in with customised and targeted marketing, instead of blind mass-dissemination, you have a consumer for life.

The basic premise of permission-based mobile marketing is simple—it is about value exchange. It is a tacit agreement between the consumer and the brand. In exchange for their contact information and personal preferences, consumers expect the brand to respect their privacy even as it offers them value in tangibles like coupons, offers, deals, samples, or intangibles like apps and content.

It is essentially a four-step process. You start with giving the consumers the chance (and, of course, a compelling reason) to opt in. When they do, we can create a database of their preferences, which are then shared with the brands. The preference profiles are kept updated so that the engagement remains relevant for the both, the consumer and the brand.

For the brand, the benefit is the potential of a long-term relationship and compelling engagement with the consumer. And we all know that translates into higher return on investment. For the mobile networks, it is a chance to increase customer satisfaction and stand out among their peers with compelling content.

The study also illustrated that this type of marketing is best suited for a device as personal as the mobile phone. It is a device that offers the best one-to-one platform for interaction, giving the consumer personalized content and services.

Even though it is new in India, permission-based mobile marketing is already beginning to take off. After all, gives Indian consumers what they’ve never had—a break from being treated by marketers as just a huge mass.

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