Yesterday I received a very poorly targeted piece of mobile marketing, a text message from a company called H&R (whom I have never heard of…but do feel free to enlighten me if you have) saying ‘now that the kids are back to school it is time to think about YOU.  We have plenty of packages for YOU time at H&R, call xxx’ etc. etc.  You get the general idea.

So why was this so poorly targeted, I am after all very keen on ME time.  What H&R had neglected to notice is that I do not have any children…I may have a requirement for me time, but this has not been as a result of a hectic summer holidays with the kids at home (the closest I get to kids in my household, my boyfriend, has in fact been very well behaved throughout the summer holidays).

Mobile marketing, which is widely credited as beginning in 2000, is not distinct from many other forms of marketing in the fact that it can often fall foul to poorly targeted marketing.  But this is somewhere that social media marketing in particular (and arguably mobile marketing as well) must get it right – because it is encroaching on people’s personal domains.  Facebook profiles, in particular, are often very personal arenas – they are places where we socialise with our friends, share pictures of nights out, post updates on our day to day activities.  They are certainly NOT places where we want to be spammed with inappropriate and irrelevant content. 

Perhaps this is where Facebook’s profile targets advertising (e.g. advertising targeted at your interest) comes into its own.  Initially people were wary, but would you not rather receive an advert for something that is relevant to you than targeting men with feminine hygiene products, for example. 

Companies should also be bearing this in mind when targeting consumers through social networking sites with their own profile pages and news feeds.  The golden rules being:

  • Make sure information is correctly targeted
  • Ensure that information you are supplying is both relevant and interesting to your audience
  • Make sure it is accessible (e.g. can users easily identify what you company does and how it might be relevant to them)