Small Business Reading Room

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Text Message Advertising

Ok, picture this: you're standing on a subway platform waiting for your train, and hear your phone's messaging ring, you take out your phone and open it up only to be horribly disappointed to find out that it is merely an advertising text message trying to sell you the latest Audi automobile.

Well, these times are officially upon us. The world of marketing never ceases to amaze me with their attitude that they can just completely inundate the consumer at every possible point and in every possible way.

I recently came across an article on CNN that said the companies are starting to use text messaging as a means of advertising. The world of advertising has officially reached a new low.

That Audi story is also completely true. However, this is just one example.

Here's another example. Westfield, a major mall owning company, is doing research into using text messaging advertisements in there malls.

Westfield believes it will help profits for their retailers and at the same time benefit the consumer.

However, the logic just isn't there. Most people go to the mall knowing what stores are in that mall, and knowing which stores they would like to shop at. Even if you don't have a particular item you are looking for and are just there to wander around and perhaps buy something, you still have a set list of stores you like to shop in.

Text messages would just be invasive. Picture a teenage girl shopping in a mall. They could get text messages from tons of different stores most of which she would not be interested in, and besides that, unless the text message is advertising some great sale its completely useless, because most people know what stores are in the mall to begin with.

Another problem here is the fact that text messages cost money. Even to just receive a text message costs money. This probably will not sit well with many people, especially when they go to the mall and are bombarded by text messages from multiple stores.

Well, if I haven't made it obvious already, I do not agree with text message advertising, never have, and never will. I will completely ignore all text advertises I may receive, and I will stop shopping at those retailers.

Somebody please get a National Do Not Text Registry started, and sign me up.

Written By: Frank Molfetta


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