There is no doubt that mobile marketing is different that marketing designed for other devices and media.  For one thing, mobile phone ownership is nearly ubiquitous in Australia with 87% of Australian’s owning a smart phone (Yellow Social Media Report, 2018).

Additionally, the relationship we have with our phones, is unlike any other device, according to research carried out by IDC the typical smartphone user uses their phone consistently throughout the day actively.  79% of all smart phone users have their phones on them for all but 2 hours of their waking day.  4 out of 5 owners, check their phone within 15 minutes of waking in the morning.

Smart phones are rarely shared – so the opportunity or marketers to obtain and track information on the users is incredible.  The attachments we have to our phones is more than just a utensil – it’s almost an extension of our selves.

However, marketers, when they see these figures, they extrapolate great opportunities to advertise and communicate to their target audiences via their phones – and why not, they are always at hand, actively used day after day.

However, I believe that marketers can do damage to their relationship with customers by using mobile advertising inappropriately.

Take for example the classification of mobile marketing applications developed by Andreas Kaplan[1]

In this classification he makes a distinction between push and pull triggers of communication.

Push triggers are unsought messages sent to consumers- which can be sent to both customers you know and don’t know.

I think that there is a great danger for markers to advertise their products in Push advertising on mobiles.

Without being requested from the consumer – the company does not know if these messages are wanted or If they are even considered a nuisance. 

Mobile phones are a unique device in the digital world of media – it is an extremely personal device which holds most of a person’s personal and important information such as contacts, banking information, photos, social media, text messages; not to mention where they’ve been, who they’ve called, and online purchases they have made.  People don’t hand their phones over to just anyone.  They protect the content with a password.  T is an extremely personal possession; one that they pay to use monthly for calls and bandwidth.

So, for an organisation to send them unsolicited and unwanted messages is worse than ‘Junk Mail” it is almost a violation of their privacy.  A recent example of this is the Australian National Party sending text messages to nearly all Australian’s prior to the upcoming election.

Most of the population do not support this party.  A text message from this Party was unwanted – and the bit question was “how did they get my number?  And what else do they know about me?”.

There are amazing opportunities for marketers to use mobile marketing as a means of building stronger relationships with customers (meaningful moments), but Push marketing, I believe has the opposite effect.

What do you think?

[1] If you love something, let it go mobile: Mobile marketing and mobile social media 4×4

Published by cynthiaburgin

Cynthia Burgin a senior marketer with over 15 years experience in marketing and communicatons in Australia and Asia pacific markets. She has Masters of Business (Marketing) and am studying Digital Marketing and Marketing Analytics at RMIT to refresh my skills after an absence from the Industry.

Join the Conversation


  1. Agree Push notifications are very unsettling. Always feel violated and dislike thinking my mobile number is being used in this unsolicited way.


    1. I know – I get the same thing. Harvey Norman ever 2 months sends me an SMS about a ‘secret sale’. I don’t shop at Harvey Norman – I think I might have bought one or two things there in my entire life. I can see how a regular customer would be delighted to get this message. But as someone who doesn’t like the store or the brand, getting these messages are just spam and it makes me wonder how they got my number and who else has it too.


  2. Great Blog Post Cynthia. I think you are completely correct that unsolicited advertising is annoying, and does the opposite from what the advertisement intended to do, which is get there audience to listen, instead they are often annoyed and resent the brand. I personally don’t like receiving promotional texts, if I receive a text I expect it to be from a friend, family member or work related, anything promotional isn’t important to me so it’s irritating and I always ‘opt out’, I think push strategies are generally ineffective. Sometimes push strategies can be effective, if used in less invasive ways such as through banner ads or billboards, which may grab potential customers attention.


  3. Really interesting and well researched Blog here Cynthia. I tend to agree with the push notifications being extremely invasive with my phone number being used for marketing purposes when I’m not interested at the start


  4. Great article! It’s very tricky, there is such a fine line in mobile marketing between just enough and taking it too far. Mobile phones feel like such a personal space, that having someone intrude truly does feel like an invasion of privacy. I think it is important for the audience to ask for the advertising before it is directed at them, otherwise this will simply become a head ache for everyone. However I also think it’s important for marketers to find engaging and interesting ways to target people through their mobile as people often turn to their device for entertainment and information on what they are interested in. Therefore, if a company can find a way to ‘push’ their marketing onto people that is not overly invasive and feels engaging, it may be welcomed instead of rejected. But as I said earlier, such a fine line.


    1. Agreed! Our phones are so personal – they are almost an extension of ourselves. And I agree – push marketing from a “stranger” or company we have no relationship with feels like a violation of our privacy (I always think, how did they get my number??!!). A random phone call is even worse – it takes me aback whenever I get a call from a call centre trying to sell me something. My phone is for me – not for them!


  5. Hi Cynthia! I totally agree with the opinions in your article, because often times the promotional text messages sent to me does not interest me the slightest, and i personally have never made a decision to visit a store based on these texts


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