Sux 2 Get Mktg Txt Msgs

I've noticed since AT&T was acquired by Cingular Wireless that I am being Text Spammed on a regular basis. I held out as long as I could, but finally did a blanket opt-out. Wireless device marketing sure has a LONG way to go... and I hope they wake up soon. My thoughts on the subject:

1. IRRELEVANT

"Cingular free msg: Want AOL IMs forwarded to your phone when away from your PC? Reply IM to this msg. Std. msgs rates apply. Send STOP to 3711 to end mktg msgs."

Okay - so I already do this. Don't they know this?

Wireless companies have incredible segmentation opportunities for cell phone users - using behavioral, purchase and geographical data. They've got a great opportunity to leverage this data to create more relevant solicitations in the future.

For example, it's a little risky to send a customer who does not have an account history of downloading or purchasing games or ringtones repeated solicitations for game and ringtone downloads. Instead, why not segment the messages:

Segment 1 - No history of games:
"Cingular Free Help Msg: Have fun playing Tetris, Solitaire & Football games on your phone! Try them FREE now by replying "GAMES" to this msg. To stop game msgs reply "STOP" to this msg."

Segment 2 - Active history of games:"Cingular Free Game Msg: Leigh, we've got Sonic the Hedgehog and 10 other NEW games! Try them FREE by replying "GAMES" now. To stop game msgs reply "STOP" to this msg."

Time to think out of the box. Send relevant and valuable offers. The stuff people look up regularily can be scheduled as a sponsored "push" delivery! How about local movie showtimes, for example? What about restaurant reviews (with $ off offers), or other kinds of valuable offers? How about an online app that lets me create my own personalized ringtone? Just a few thoughts...

2. INTERRUPTIVE

BEEP BEEP -- BEEP BEEP. In the middle of my conversation, dinner or meeting. Cingular is interrupting me again.

A sales person would be stupid to walk up to me, in the middle of a conversation and holler in my ear -- or slap on the back. The wireless companies should realize that they have the capablity to do the same thing to wireless consumers.

It's time to develop new alert mechanisms for marketing messages. Why not allow customers to choose when to view the messages or hear alerts. Change the ringtone for marketing related messages to something pleasant, gentle or low. Why not create high profile special inboxes for customers that hold marketing messages? Why not add loyalty program features(e.g. perhaps you'd get points for each message you read that equate to a discount your phone bill or added minutes)?

By all means - get Cre8ive! But 4 heaven's sake, don't B rude!

3. IMPERSONAL

The lack of personality and creativity in text marketing messages is ridiculous. I've had my service for six years. By now, you think they'd address me by name. Instead, I get a flat, robotic message. How about this instead:

"Hi Leigh: (Insert brief message) We won't text you often, but you may opt-out by sending "STOP" to 3711. ;-) -Your friends at Cingular."

Wireless marketers have limited windows of opportunity - maybe 2-5 messages to get it right before customers opt-out. When customers opt-out, companies loose the right to market to individuals through one (or many) channels - permanently. Seems like a little more care and caution are in order!

2 comments:

monogodo said...

That's odd. I've been with Cingular since 2001, and I've never recieved text messages like the ones you describe.

Anonymous said...

Was the text for the games from a number that started with a 4?

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LEIGH DURST

LEIGH DURST
I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.

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