Thursday, January 23, 2014

The recent expansion and upsurge in mobile marketing has brought with it much success but also a new frontier of challenges, specifically in regards to consumer privacy and protection.

While mobile advertising has carved a new path to the consumer via data collection and location-based information, those new inroads need to be carefully patrolled so as not to compromise ethical standards and confidentiality.

However, in order for consumers to optimize their use of apps and mobile websites, they must relinquish, to a degree, their private information as some apps and websites require access to their GPS coordinates and directory information. While this serves the convenience of the customer, it also puts a greater responsibility on companies to be transparent about their use of personal data.

As for mobile text marketing, this medium in which companies use to deliver special offers and information to the consumer have a new set of rules that were set by the FCC on October 16, 2013. While a customer is asked to OPT-IN to receive text marketing messages, a stronger consent is now required in the form of a written and signed agreement along with an added disclosure.

Additional Requirements When Getting Consent:

  • Provide a clear description of the Text Marketing program; A general opt-in request will not do
  • Provide the name of the sender
  • Provide OPT-OUT instructions
  • Indicate a general number of messages that will be sent
  • Disclose potential additional carrier costs
  • Provide “Help” instructions

The government has considered introducing legislation to protect data privacy for mobile users. At the local level, some progress has been made, with Senator Al Franken endorsing the Location Privacy Protection Act in 2011. The proposed bill, which would require companies to obtain explicit consent before collection or sharing mobile data, has passed through the Senate, but the issue is yet to land on the table in Congress.

In California, the government has partnered with major players including Apple, Google and Facebook in a bid to improve communication between app developers and consumers regarding mobile marketing privacy.

Moreover, for companies looking to include text message marketing as part of their advertising strategy, they can rest assured that mobile text marketing companies like CallFire will be on top of the latest laws and trends to make sure its customers have the tools to maintain the ultimate transparency. However, it is up to the sender to adhere to these rules and conduct themselves in the most responsible manner.

While staying within the new government guidelines, companies that use mobile text message marketing have the opportunity to create personal, strong and lasting relationships with its customers.