Saturday, July 16, 2005

A lesson in how not to do mobile marketing

People just love their mobile phones for all kinds of reasons. They are intimate objects of desire. They allow us to be connected to the outside world, they're incredibly convenient so we have them with us all the time and we can also control whether or not we take or make a call or text.

So if you have permission to market to someone using their mobile phone, it makes sense to treat that permission and relationship with at least as much, if not more care than a relationship via direct mail piece or personal selling in a shop.

Whatever you send to someone to their phone, with or without permission, has to be relevant, entertain, inform or add value and preferably at least 2 of these.

So why is it, 5 years in to this whole mobile marketing game that marketers are still getting it fundamentally wrong? Case in point below.

I received this message on 14 July 2005 at 11.04 am.

From: MyOffers [no reply path so this was done on the cheap]

Message: H&M Re-Opening Party2day 12pm! 1st 200 customers receive £10 off when spending £30 or more. Churchill Sq, Brighton. 1 discount pp. Unsub @ MyOffers

That's 147 characters in total.

So why am I so frustrated with this one?

1. I don't live anywhere near Brighton. My postcode is Croydon although the location is actually London Zone 3 so not central, but certainly not Brighton.

2. I'm working, so receiving a message midweek, 56 minutes before the party starts does not allow me any planning to get to the shop and join in or get the discount so it leaves me feeling left out and a loser

3. There's no reply path so I can't unsubscribe from the message (check your legals MyOffers) nor can I engage in a two-way conversation. Mobile marketing is a two-way street, not a one way dead end.

4. "1 discount pp" - the average punter will not understand "pp" to mean "per person" and why is it only the first 200 customers anyway?

5. Since there's space left, why use 'Party2day' and not party 2day. That's just lazy. And the concept of 'party' certainly is not conveyed in this message. In fact, it just conveys 'advert'.

I could go on but I'll stop at this point. IMHO, this message is not relevant, didn't entertain me, it kind of informed me of something I was maybe vaguely interested in but it certainly didn't add value to my day or my brand experience of H&M.

H&M, or your agency, you can do better. If you'd like to know how you can do better, then please get in touch, I'd be delighted to help you.

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  1. Anonymous4:15 pm BST

    I'm glad you raised the point… Isn’t it really marketing 101 or dare I say permission based marketing 101... Relevancy and context... Why do people loose sight of the obvious...? Keep raising the points… They will listen eventually…

    L. John Yarusi

  2. Anonymous4:54 pm GMT

    Just had a similar message. Does this mean that I have to pay to receive this one?

  3. No, you shouldn't have paid to receive the message. If you find that you have been charged by mistake, then you need to complain at and there you'll find details of how to complain and what to do next.
    Hope this helps.


Keep it clean please. Spam will be removed. And thank you for taking the trouble to read and comment. I appreciate it.