Help spread the mobile safety message

We’ve been evangelising mobile marketing in these pages for a few years now. Although we have produced thousands of words about the subject, covering many areas of specialisation, we have never lost site of the fact that mobile advertising works so well because consumers love mobile so much. The reason mobile browsers are the most popular way to trawl the web is because consumers love the mobile experience and they trust their mobile interactions. The mobile network operators, wireless application service providers (WASPs) and organisations like WASPA and others have worked tirelessly since the late 1990s to build a mobile ecosystem where trust is the glue that holds it all together. From a lawless place where every mobile service, ring tone and download was offered at any price – across varying customer service levels – South Africa’s mobile content and applications industry is today a model of responsible and successful self-regulation. The result has been that consumers are confident they can interact with mobile services and not get bitten in the process. Innovations like double-opt in, the industry block list and the WASPA Code of Conduct, for example, have ensured that there is a massive audience out there that mobile marketers can reach. Unfortunately, while all this progress is being made locally, out come a plethora of very shady mobile fraudsters, primarily based overseas, who are threatening to once again make consumers very nervous when interacting with mobile. As mobile marketers, we need to get out there and explain to our clients and consumers alike how they can protect themselves against these mobile rouges. Firstly, as in any transaction-based sector, consumers should regularly check their prepaid airtime balances or postpaid statements for anything that seems amiss. Finally; regularly scan your messaging inbox for messages saying you are subscribed to mobile services, monitor your contract cellphone statements or prepaid airtime balance, and proactively check your mobile subscription status with your cellular network. Communicating the above to as many mobile users as possible will help ensure that we all only ever receive the mobile content and applications we actually want. ENDS

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