Mobile devices have now become standard for many people with more of them owning smartphones and tablets than ever before. Some experts predict that mobile use will overtake laptop and computer use in the near future.

Savvy marketers are focusing on how they can appeal to these mobile consumers, which gives rise to the increase in mobile marketing.

It is also an affordable method of advertising for smaller businesses. However, the issue of privacy must be dealt with, and mobile marketing presents some unique challenges.

More Information Available

Location is not the only information companies are using from mobile devices even though that data in itself is crucial to many marketing strategies. Companies can also discover much detailed information about groups of people and even individuals.

Wireless carriers are collecting that information and selling it to marketers. One of the issues to be faced is if the information is obtained with the customer’s permission.

For instance, many marketers are using data about the places a user visits to determine other information and form a more effective marketing campaign. The marketer can send a timely text message about a great deal while the user is within a close distance to the store. The issue is whether the consumer gave permission to have the location tracked or not.

Opting Out

One of the regulations many mobile marketers have to adhere to is the responsibility they have to provide a way for users to opt out of many of these marketing tactics.

For example, apps must tell a person what information will be collected and receive permission before the user downloads it. Marketers must also provide clear instructions on how users can opt out of receiving text messages.

In the article, “Text Marketing and the Protection of Privacy”, it says that new legislation is in process to further protect consumers from having location data collected without expressing consent.

How Businesses Can Protect Themselves

Businesses need not shy away from using mobile marketing. It has proven to be a very effective strategy for increasing customer sales.

However, they must maintain the customer’s privacy and protect it at all costs. The easiest way to do this is by being upfront with the consumer about what data is being collected and why.

Businesses should always be honest about their intentions.

This can be achieved by including clear messages to users on how they can opt out of the service and how often they can expect to receive messages or notifications. They must also alert consumers to any added carrier costs because of the messages.

In addition, companies must be honest if they intend to sell the information to third parties.

This is perhaps the most controversial area in mobile marketing and the area of most concern to consumers. However, the majority of marketers are more interested in the data for themselves rather than in selling it to others.

Mobile marketing is an effective form of advertising when done correctly. It benefits both the business and the consumer. Marketers must remember that their customers’ privacy comes first and make sure to respect that in all of their marketing efforts.

 

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and marketing.