36245 is the code sending me SPAM text messages on my mobile phone. Note that it is a code, anonymous, not a person. I registered my phone with the "do not call" list -- would that apply to text messages as well? I surely hope so.
Reporting the incident with Cingular, the new AT&T, got me no response from the company. They used to be quite attentive to this sort of incident as Cingular. Then again, as I said before, it never was about the logo.
UPDATE: it seems that insisting helps. I was able to take care of blocking SPAM text with a customer care rep at AT&T.
Several months ago I wrote about new mobile operator Blyk in the future (of advertising) is already here. The premise of the service is quite simple -- users will be able to earn airtime in exchange for receiving advertisements on their handsets. It's an opt in function vs. the usual opt out and "where do I find the eject button?" problem.
A recent article by The Economist, The Next Big Thing, highlights that "mobile advertising through text messages is the most focused: if marketers use mobile firms' profiles of their customers cleverly enough, they can tailor their advertisements to match each subscriber's habits."
Tell those spammers, whoever they are, that I'm not interested in promotions of Vista office and ringtones and movie downloads from hot adult sites. As I'm not interested in enhancing anything the dozens of emails SPAM keep offering in my bulk email box every day. If that is targeted I must be confused about who I am.
I predicted back in December that the US market is light years away from this model. The main reason being that in the US we pay for all calls, even the ones we receive -- who wants to pay for ads peddling stuff we don't need? Who likes to be interrupted in a meeting by an intrusive text message we don't want?
If you're serious about using mobiles as a medium, think communication first. Here are 5 ways to interest people and be invited into their lives in an opt in format (for me that is key):
- Use your research and intellectual capital to teach me something I care about -- put great content out there. Find ways to add value by providing value where and how I might be on the look out for useful tips. Nokia introduced a new range of Bluetooth headsets with a mini-site where you can watch video stories of people in the context of their daily lives. You get the story of how it works and why it's useful before you get the technical specs (tip of the hat to Martina at Adverblog).
- Get out from behind your desk and show me you're willing to communicate -- be real, don't put up a show. I really liked what Karl Long of Nokia did during the iPhone roll out. He reached out to Apple fans waiting in line in front of the San Francisco store for their iPhone with an impromptu conversation captured on video by a Nokia N95.
- Tell me something nobody else knows, share the behind-the-scenes of what's going on in your product development -- give me the inside scoop. In the case of Jim Long from NBC, that means being invited to take a peak behind the curtain of the news making business from a Twitter feed.
- Since you are thinking of invading my personal space on my mobile -- be personal with me. A piece of advice -- do not call me a target, I really don't like the image and idea of being the object of a hit of any kind. And don't be generic. Learn from the good advice Charlene Li gives us on advertising in social network sites with her Fecebook flyer test results -- impersonal stuff in media we use as personal tools doesn't work.
- Give me the chance to respond, react, come back to you with feedback -- allow a conversation. The thing I dislike most about code 36245 is that when you reply to sender you get nowhere. And now I'm more than a bit incensed with AT&T, they are the carrier I have a relationship with after all. Note that there is opportunity in that statement. What have you done for me lately? To note that the vision statement from the company's site says, "To be the most highly regarded wireless company in the world, with a driving focus around best-in-class sales and service." What is my outcome? Don't focus on effort, show me, allow me to tell you.
In other words, tell me a story that jives with mine. We know the alternative, we call it SPAM and it goes automatically into our brain's bulk folder where it gets deleted promptly after a flare of annoyance, a dose of distrust and a dash of disapproval.
[Nokia from l'Amour Collection, Italy.]