Is BT txt scheme bound to fail?

BT Cellnet’s decision to sell advertisers access to its customers through text messaging (MW September 27) is in many ways a knee-jerk reaction by the telecoms dinosaur to try to generate some extra revenue by exploiting its users even further. That’s assuming it fails to take the necessary steps to give the customer priority consideration with this facility, as has happened in the past with examples such as the poorly launched WAP service.

The key principles to make this a success are the need to apply good, traditional database marketing methodology with an overlay of customer profiling and segmentation analysis – such that users derive added value from the outset and advertisers find the right people for their messages first time.

The danger is that BT Cellnet will jump into this with one eye off the ball and so take some short-term financial gain, but at the expense of disenfranchising its customers longer term and potentially lowering the perceived value of SMS for the whole industry.

Omer Shaikh

Digital communications director

TBWA/GGT Direct

London W1D

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