Mobile Marketing Won't Work Here
As recently as the last five years, a new form of marketing has begun to take shape, hoping to be the answer to accessing the 65 million Generation Yers who own a cell phone. This new approach is known as mobile marketing.
Essentially, a marketer will gain access to a list of private cell phone numbers, unbeknownst to the owners of the devices, and will send them a text message with advertisement copy. Initially, mobile marketing was seen as a cure-all for delivering new media messages to the hungry minds and eyes of new consumers. However, it was quickly found out to be even more ineffective the traditional television advertisements.
Not only did Generation Y not engage or begin a relationship with the brand, but its members openly rebelled against the invasive spam. In short, Gen Y did not like receiving unsolicited text messages from a third party that was trying to sell goods or service. Much to the dismay and shock of many marketers and companies, Gen Y began using its other new media tools, such as blogs and email, to communicate to the world its disapproval and frustration with the new attempts to attract attention.
The saying, "Bad news is good news," certainly doesn't apply here as the buzz created on the Internet about mobile marketing certainly led to its temporary demise. When it comes to marketing to Generation Y it is very important to pursue efforts that allow for transparency and feedback, immediate feedback. Mobile marketing does not allow for such transparency nor does it allow for relationship-building, in most cases. There is one major exception, however. Those Gen Yers who have opted into receiving text messages from advertisers or content providers who are viewed as acceptable have given marketers an unprecedented opportunity to build and maintain relationships with like never before. The power of mobile marketing, however slim, lies in its ability to relay desired messages for virtually no cost to a vast number of consumers. This is the upside to mobile marketing, cost and time/labor efficiency.
Being skeptical by nature as well as desiring a relationship with those requesting a moment of their time, Generation Y does not respond well to mobile marketing. It is another example of how marketers did not realize the consequences of their actions, however seemingly benign, before committing themselves. As understood by Gen Yers as well as Gen Y consultants, to reach this demographic you must, first, listen and, second, respond.
Mobile marketing is push instead of pull, very traditionally limited and is, simply, the use of a new medium to deliver content. As Generation Y continues to adopt newer technologies, marketers will continue to be one step behind, trying to deliver a message without attempting to develop a serious engagement with their new consumers.