One of the advantages of mobile phones is that you can target customers immediately and provide more relevant content, the downside is that mobile marketing isn’t as regulated say as email or print. We just read about the case with AT&T and mobile cramming in a lawsuit from 2016, where about 88M was awarded to customers who were charged by third party vendors for services. According to the FCC, mobile cramming is the modern version of what can best be described as a long-time scam where customers are charged for a service unaware. T-Mobile was also hit with a lawsuit in 2014, and Jesta digital were also served lawsuits about mobile cramming on consumers devices. When something like this happens, it undercuts consumer trusts with a brand as consumers expect that a company will do right by them and truly have their best interest first. Cases like this make consumers wary about “the man” and large corporations as AT&T pockets roughly 35% of the mobile cramming charges from customers. Once the trust is shaken it makes it hard to regain customer loyalty and one bad case can ruin a company, such as United, Uber, and Harvey Wienstein company. Although these are not cases of mobile marketing issues these highlight where one bad incident (or many) can ruin a brand. Many of these faced fines and retribution back to customers who were impacted that often in such large sums end up causing a company to buckle under the financial payouts.
I think that the best way a company can ensure they maintain customer trust is to get a double opt in and explicitly tell a consumer what they can expect to hear about and how frequently. That way if a consumer decides to complain later down the road a company can say well we said X upfront and the customer decided to stay opted in. Companies also need to make sure to provide an easy way to unsubscribe from mobile messaging such as SMS, or push notifications to foster a sense of trust with consumers, so that they know they can leave at any time.
Garris, M., & Mishra, K. E. (2015). A beginners guide to mobile marketing. New York, NY: Business Expert Press.
Mobile Cramming. (2017, September 26). Retrieved August 11, 2018, from https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/mobile-technology/mobile-cramming
The 10 Biggest Business Scandals of 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2018, from http://fortune.com/2017/12/31/biggest-corporate-scandals-misconduct-2017-pr/