Thursday, August 9, 2007

Consumer Best Practices Guidelines

This Consumer Best Practices Guidelines for Cross-Carrier Mobile Content Services includes the
following guidelines and sections:
• General Conduct
• Advertising and Promotion
• Opt-in
o Standard Rate Programs
o Premium Rate Programs
• Help
• Opt-out
• Subscriptions
• Chat
• Customer Care
o Deactivation and Recycled Number File
o Spending Cap Limits
o Bill Face
• Word of Mouth Marketing
• Content Specific Guidelines
o Alcohol and Tobacco
o General Content
• Effectiveness Date
• Who We Are & Consumer Best Practices Team
• Glossary

Unsolicited Messages
• Wireless subscribers have a right to privacy.
• Content providers must obtain approval from subscribers before sending them commercial SMS
or MMS messages and other content.
• Subscriber approvals pertain only to the specific program the consumer has subscribed to and
should not be used to promote other programs, products, or services, or to otherwise send
information of any kind that is unrelated to that specific program unless the subscriber has opted
in to receive this information.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Code of Conduct for Mobile Marketing

Privacy Advisory Committee members Carat Interactive, Cingular Wireless, Procter & Gamble, PocketChoice, The Weather Channel, and VeriSign developed this Code of Conduct. It was ratified by the board of directors on November 3, 2003.
The Mobile Marketing Association Privacy Advisory Committee realizes the need for a Code of Conduct that is both universal in principle and industry specific in its application. Industries touched by this Code of Conduct are: content providers, carriers, technology providers, advertisers, and brands. This code is intended to provide guidelines by which companies market their products and services to consumers. It is not, however, intended to regulate a wireless carrier's ongoing proprietary communication with its current base of subscribers.
In building this code of conduct, we realize that: 1) mobile device marketing has proven to be the most effective means of consumer interaction; 2) marketing on mobile devices is a personal communication with the consumer that must be handled with care for it to succeed; 3) systematic abuses among a minority of marketers caused consumer backlash against all marketers; 4) that current internet privacy policy and verification initiatives may not be effective with mobile marketing; and 5) that mobile device marketing can be made profitable for both consumers and marketers through a strong Code of Conduct backed by a unified industry.
The Code of Conduct is divided into six categories: choice, control, customization, consideration, constraint and confidentiality.
Consumers must opt-in to all mobile messaging programs. Consumers may opt-in to a program by sending a text message, calling a voice response unit, registering on a website, or through some other legitimate paper-based method; they opt-in for a specific program only. Choice doesn't carry forward unless the consumer is part of a brand loyalty program whose opt-in registration clearly provides for on-going communications. Even then, the consumer's desire to participate must be validated at the beginning of a new messaging program. Segmentation-based marketing (by interests, demographics, etc.) and location-based marketing is prohibited unless the consumer clearly opted-in to receive the campaigns by giving personally identifiable information that is verifiable with their identity.

Consumers must also be allowed to easily terminate -- opt-out -- their participation in an ongoing mobile messaging program through channels identical to those through which they can opt-in to a given program. Programs with multiple message strings must provide an opt-out option for each message.

As mobile messaging campaigns are most effective when appropriately targeted, consumers could be asked to provide demographic, preferences and other information. All "follow on" communications targeted at an existing opt-in universe should be encouraged to use this data to optimize message volumes, redemption rates, and return-on-investment -- plus restrict communications to those categories specifically requested by the consumer.

The consumer must receive and/or be offered something of value to them in return for receiving the communication. Value may be delivered in the form of product and service enhancements, reminders, sweepstakes, contests, information, entertainment, discounts or location-based services.

The marketer, content provider, or aggregator must provide a global "throttling mechanism" capable of managing the number of messages received by an individual consumer. The purpose of the throttle is to effectively manage and limit mobile messaging programs to a reasonable number of programs, defaulted to a maximum of 2 new campaigns per week (One campaign may have one initial opted-in communication followed by several two-way communications initiated by the consumer as part of that one campaign; i.e. a trivia game). Consumers will have the option to override the throttle through an additional Opt-in available through the standard channels.

Align with TRUSTe with specific provisions on not renting, selling or sharing personal information about consumers participating in programs delivered through its platform with other people or nonaffiliated companies except to provide the products and services requested. Aggregated, non-personal, non-individual information might be shared collectively with partners for research purposes only. All customers should be subjected to the terms and conditions of a privacy policy that meets TRUSTe's example.

Mobile marketing works for several reasons

In the digital age, companies that want to stay ahead need the tools to do so. Mobile marketing is one of those tools. This method of advertising allows businesses to connect to those that they need to, effectively. It allows the organization to spend messages to mobile phones to promote a product or a service. It also for them to tell their targeted audience that the store parking lot they just pulled into has something on sale. Or, it allows them to know that today is the last day for the lowest price of the seasons.

Let's face it. We are all working on finding the best way to accomplish all that we need to in the fastest, most convenient way. Mobile marketing allows individuals to receive the information they need to reach their goals, when they need it. It is convenient because it allows for not external needs. They don't have to get online to see the ad. They don't have to have the radio on a specific channel either. They don't have to watch the television commercials to hear it. They get the information on their mobile phone. How many people that you know don't take their phone with them?

Get It To The Right Audience
Mobile marketing is targeted advertising. You don't find yourself pushing a new electronic gadget on the senior citizen that doesn't know how to send an email. Because there is an activation process, the marketing goes to those who it will work for, those who are interested in the products and services available. There are few other mediums that can do that.

Personal Touch
The personal nature of mobile marketing also is effective for this type of advertising. The message is sent directly to them, not to a board range of people. This personal nature is quite effective at making them click and buy.
Mobile marketing is an excellent type of marketing that we can count on seeing more of down the road. Because of how well it works, more and more companies are getting it that this is the marketing of the future. Why waste money, precious advertising dollars on a 'maybe they will see it' type of advertising? Mobile marketing is fast becoming the advertising medium.


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