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Vodafone Kickstart Mobile Marketing in 2013

Back in 2012 I made my predictions for what would be big in 2013.  You can see that post here.  Perhaps one of the most surprising predictions for a lot of people was my guess that we would see a steady increase in Mobile Marketing in 2013.  At the time I didn’t have any inside information on this.  I applied an instinct that text and multimedia messaging would follow the same pattern that e-mails have done.  For years people were so against e-mail marketing regarding everything sent from businesses as ‘SPAM’.  People were very protective over there virtual mail boxes and didn’t want them being stuffed with promotional leaflets.  These days however, people give out their e-mail addresses openly and welcome email promotions and offers.  If it saves them money on a product they like, then most people these days are open to receiving emails.

Better Quality Data Collection

In the early days businesses didn’t have the technology or the know how to specifically target customers with relevant deals that were personal to them.  Which meant customers were getting inundated with emails offering products that meant absolutely nothing to them.  Men would be sent emails on ladies handbags and dresses etc.  Nowadays targeted emails are the norm.  You can guarantee if you are signed in and browsing on Amazon then you will get an email in about 3 days time with similar products to what you were looking at on the site.  Therefore it stands to reason that Mobile will now follow suit.  The technology is there and with smart phones more and more people are checking their emails on their phones, so why not text and multimedia messages?

Vodafone Select

I am a Vodafone customer here in the UK and yesterday I received this message below:

Vodafone select message

That’s right, Vodafone are asking my permission to send me offers and info from the brands that I like, in categories that I am interested in (You can find out more about Vodafone Select here)  I cannot speak for customers of the other networks but I know for a fact that O2 and EE will have very similar offerings in place.  This to me seems to insinuate that between all of them they can pretty much dictate what becomes the norm.  Vodafone has been publicly seen as risk-averse in its time when it comes to targeting its users with ads from third parties, Vodafone Select is a strict “opt-in” programme thus to avoid the ‘Spamming’ tag often tagged to numerous insurance and PPI companies who bombard people with text messages.

What Does This Mean

This could still go two ways.  There is the belief by some that the UK isn’t ready to accept mobile messages as a form of marketing yet and part of me thinks it will be a slow uptake at first.  Hopefully the network providers will be able to put the foundations in place.  With programmes like Vodafone Select in place if they can target their customers in a manner that will benefit them, with offers and benefits tailored to the individual then this could be the next step forward in marketing campaigns for big businesses.  Mobile phones are the perfect device for marketing.  They allow you access to the customer previously never before been experienced.  It is still early days for mobile marketing but down the line Geo Targeting to me is one of the most exciting prospects for the medium.  The full benefits of this will be limited to smart phones but in the early days text messages will still be the key to gauge customer acceptance of this concept.

Thoughts?

For obvious reasons I have opted in to Vodafone Select to see what they come back with.  As soon as I have anything from them, I will update with another post.  So my question is open, have YOU ever had any experiences of targeted mobile marketing?  Have you signed up to any of the major networks marketing programmes and if so have you had anything of value from them?  What are your thoughts on Mobile Marketing?  Is it something you would be open to, if the content was relevant to you.  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading

Dave Furness in Finland

A New Look For 2013

[highlight background_color=”fcff00″ text_color=”000000″]Happy New Year [/highlight]

2013 Update

As you can probably tell if you are a regular visitor davefurness.co.uk got a face lift for Christmas.  I had chopped and changed the old theme from time to time but had to realise that I am no web designer so bit the bullet and upgraded the site to what you see now, a new look for 2013.  There is still some more tweaking to come but these will be little changes which won’t impact the site too much.

This post is also a bit of a test for me as there are lots of features with the new site regarding pictures, slider and loads of other things.  Such as the random pic of me above from a recent trip to Finland.

News

Back to business then, 2013 is looking to be a great year for e-commerce.  It has been a couple of busy news weeks already this year with Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster all having to call in the administrators.  All of these businesses have been around much longer than I have, but I still think a large reason for their sad demise is their inability to move with the times.  They were slow to react to the changing times in retail and it’s relationship with e-commerce.  Plenty of businesses are thriving in the current e-commerce climate, however currently the market is changing very quickly and adapting to these changes in both customers behaviour and market trends.

In other news Play.com is shutting down its retail division and focusing solely on its marketplace offering, and looking to expand this.  After being bought by Rakutan last year they definitely have he backing to give it a good go, but whether they will ever be in a position to challenge the mighty eBay will remain to be seen.  Lets not forget eBay is also having a major facelift to the UK site at the early part of this year so it will be interesting to see how the public take to that.  I know a lot of my fellow e-commerce peers are looking forward to it and think it is just the dynamic injection that eBay needs.

Coming Up

I have an interesting post coming up soon aswell looking at mobile marketing.  If you remember this is something that I flagged in my post on 2013 predictions (which you can find here!) as being something to look out for this year…I think I may have been right, but more about that soon.

I hope you all have a great successful 2013, as always feel free to contact me by pressing this swish button here (Sorry more gadgets)  [button text=”Contact Me!” type=”link” size=”medium” rounded=”true” link=”http://www.davefurness.co.uk/contact-dave-furness” target=”_blank” color=”orange” ] (+1 for nice shiny button)

Bye for now

Dave