Rohit Dadwal
Oct 25, 2011

Why ask permission?

Mobile marketers may find that asking for permission and working with consumers can drastically improve their resultsAs children, we were taught the importance of seeking permission. We’ve been ...

Why ask permission?

Mobile marketers may find that asking for permission and working with consumers can drastically improve their results

As children, we were taught the importance of seeking permission. We’ve been told that seeking permission is not only the polite thing to do; it is in fact, the right thing to do. Growing up, we discovered that asking for permission increases the chance of things going our way. We also understand that others should treat us the same way.

Apply the same theory to mobile marketing. After understanding our consumers, asking them for permission is the next step. Permission-based mobile marketing is about getting permission from your target audiences before sending them marketing messages on mobile devices. This form of marketing aims to lessen the intrusiveness of mobile advertising as compared to traditional methods of broadcast marketing, making consumers more comfortable with the marketing messages they receive. It enables brands to move from broadcasting messages to a group of consumers in their databases to engaging a deeper conversation with customers who are loyal to the brands. The mobile channel is the best medium for permission marketing because it allows brands to finally fulfill customer relationship management's promise of one-to-one marketing; dealing with each person as an individual.

Being one of the first few brands to run campaigns on Mobinil's new permission-based marketing program named Mobinil Ads, Adidas wanted to target early adopters, attracting them to its new flagship Adidas Originals store in Cairo by emphasizing its brand values of originality and innovation.

Using interactive dialogue, Adidas Originals invited targeted consumers to discover more about their brand and what it could offer. Consumers who gave an instant reply received a follow-up multimedia message encouraging them to visit the new Cairo store and claim a limited edition Adidas Originals gift. The campaign started on a Wednesday of that week so that it could encourage message recipients to visit the store over the coming weekend. Messages were sent only to members who explicitly shared that they had an interest in fashion and sports when they registered for Mobinil Ads.

By the end of the campaign, Adidas achieved a 35% response rate. It was clear that Adidas was connecting with a receptive, highly targeted audience, both men and women most of them aged between 15 – 24, delivering increased ROI.

Research done recently by Alcatel-Lucent with 2,223 mobile youth in 11 countries revealed a strong inclination towards permission-based mobile marketing. Results showed that three in five youth would have an increased likelihood of purchasing products and services from preferred brands using a permission-based mobile marketing service; four in five youth noted the importance of mobile ads to be based on their interests, likings and preferences; four in five youth considered it really important to gain consent before sending advertising messages on mobiles.

Both of these demonstrate the potential of permission-based mobile marketing. Brands can use permission-based marketing to build and foster close relationships with their consumers, making their consumers more receptive towards brand engagement. When executed correctly, permission-based mobile marketing can also garner a high level of opt-in rates and good returns. Without having to deal with unsolicited messaging, brand marketers can now focus on marketing to the right people thereby increasing productivity, efficiency and in return, saving advertising costs.


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