Your analysis on SMS as the new direct marketing (e-volve September 26) bothered me. There are clear arguments to support on- and offline marketing, but people seem stuck in an either/or mindset, when the two aren’t actually mutually exclusive. And there are simple ways of combining the tangibility of traditional direct marketing with the brand insight that online marketing can offer.
SMS is more limited than either paper-based marketing or a good Web page, and while there appear to be advantages to marketing through this medium (ease of response, personal service) it doesn’t change the fact that the collation of consumer data is rarely faultless and an unwanted text is very intrusive. It is an invasion of personal space too because, unlike tangible direct marketing, SMS doesn’t identify itself and the option of engaging with it is taken away.
The idea of “permission” doesn’t cover it either: just because someone has half-heartedly ticked or neglected to untick a box doesn’t mean they want brands to get up close and personal.