Without question, mobile communication has massive marketing potential. My big beef with mobile marketing, however, is its potential to become just another medium for SPAM, even with opt-in messages (since users often have no control over their frequency).
But according to an article in PC World, two U.S. senators are trying to alleviate my fears with the m-SPAM Act, which would give the FCC and the FTC more authority to fight cell phone SPAM and prevent companies from texting customers listed on a national do-not-call list. According to Olympia Snowe, a Republican Senator from Maine:
“Mobile spam invades both a consumer’s cell phone and monthly bill. There is also increasing concern that mobile spam will become more than just an annoyance — the viruses and malicious spyware that are often attached to traditional spam will most likely be more prevalent on wireless devices through m-spam.”
While it’s nice to see that legislators recognize the problems associated with cell phone SPAM, I’m not sure a do-not-call list is the solution. For one, the federal government’s first do-not-call list to stop telemarketers didn’t seem to work. (I still get calls, as do many people I know that are listed.) And second, rather than trying to stop mobile marketing all together, how about coming up with a creative solution that requires marketers to be responsible? If senators are forward-thinking enough to realize that mobile SPAM could be problematic, I would think they could also see that mobile marketing could aid the economy by boosting business if it’s done responsibly. Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the bill and important for marketers to keep an eye on it.