A Framework for Ethical Mobile Marketing

A Framework for Ethical Mobile Marketing

Saurabh Mittal (School of Business Studies, Sharda University, Greater Noida, India) and Vikas Kumar (Chaudhary Bansi Lal University, Bhiwani, Haryana, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJT.2020010103
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Abstract

High user involvement with mobile phones presents a lot of opportunities for marketers for sending their promotional campaigns. Campaign relevance, product fit, security, content quality, and timing play important roles in the success of these mobile marketing campaigns. While chasing gets success, marketers also need to ensure that the campaigns remain ethical in the content and delivery, and do not result in irritation or negative sentiments. Right information, privacy, permission-based marketing, avoiding disturbance, and relevance of the product are the issues that need attention from marketers. Ethical issues, which are critical to the mobile marketing strategy, have been outlined in this paper, along with their possible impact. A comprehensive review of the marketing ethics has been done, including the industry standards and mapping of both the marketing and mobile-marketing ethics. A mobile marketing framework has been presented to take care of the ethical challenges, considering both the technological and managerial perspectives.
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1. Introduction

Dynamic technological developments have a significant impact on the business processes and the penetration of Internet and Mobile Communication have opened-up new channels for marketers (Kumar & Vidhyalakshmi, 2012). Present day marketers need to remain ready to adopt new advertising media like mobile phones, websites and the social networks. With highest level of penetration and high localisation features, mobile phone offers an array of trending marketing opportunities. It offers a high rate of personalisation, better segmentation, interactivity with the users, and an economical way to reach large target audiences at the right time and target locations (e.g. Anckar & D’Incau, 2002; Facchetti et al., 2005). Portability, enhanced computing powers, location and profile specific targeting, bigger screens of smartphones have further made this marketing more lucrative. Started with the SMS based marketing, e-mails and mobile apps have developed their strong position in the era of Smartphones

Mobile marketing may be defined as the distribution of any kind of message or promotion through mobile phones, that adds value to the customer and enhances revenue for the firm (Kalakota & Robinson, 2002). Mobile marketing is much more interactive than traditional ways of marketing because the receiver of the message can interact by subscribing to the company web pages or sending the company a message (Patat, 2011). As per the Internetworldstats, 55% of the world population is now connected to internet with a growth of more than 1066% during the year 2000-2018 (Internetworldstats, 2018). In November 2018, mobile devices excluding tablets accounted for 48.2% of web page views worldwide, where more than 61% of webpage views in Asia were generated via mobile (Statista 2018). People now prefer to access the information using mobile devices rather than traditional forms like printed newspapers and magazines. The technological and market conditions changes have great impact on the customer reactions to the product/services and marketing campaigns. Marketers need to adjust their strategy continuously as per the customer needs and response.

Many researches have examined the consumer responses to SMS marketing as well as the mobile internet based text-based banner advertisements (Haghirian et al., 2005; Tsang et al., 2004; Okazaki, 2004). These studies were focused on examining the perceived value of mobile marketing and the impact of the message content characteristics like entertainment value, informativeness, credibility and frequency of exposure and consumer’s attitude towards privacy and impact of age (Haghirian et al., 2005; Tsang et al., 2004). Most of these studies have suggested that mobile marketing campaigns elicit negative effects like irritation, blocking, opt-out and sometimes uninstalling the apps. These activities create big concerns and worries to the managers as these may destroy the brand image and reputation. This may lead to dissatisfaction among the loyal customers giving rise to loss of sales return purchases, sanctions and punishment by their customers (Román & Ruiz, 2005; Ingram et al., 2005). Thus, the mobile-marketing campaign of a company, may be treated as unethical by the customers leading to a negative marketing. Moreover, the customers are spending more time on mobile phones, making them more vulnerable to unethical practices by marketers.

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