From my experience with text message marketing I would classify it as spam. I might use Optus as my network carrier but when Optus sends me promotional material for movies or other stuff I get annoyed. First, because it was probably hidden somewhere in my contract that I consent to this being sent to me and I don’t like the fact that they’ve managed to slip that by me. Secondly, because my phone is a private space. It’s like those people on the street that talk at you to try and get you to “donatemoney to a cause, or people who knock on your door to try get you to join a religion or switch electricity providers. I hate them all.

So in a paper written relatively early in the mobile era (Retite et al. 2005) it’s stated that mobile advertising (text message advertising) has a positive effect on brand attitudes. This might be because people we’re not as connected to their phones as they are now and a little text message here and there wouldn’t offend them. But more recent literature has stated that this belief that it’s okay to send people promotional material via SMS needs to be re-examined. We now are much more attached to our phones, they are almost an extension of our being, and being sent SMS’s that aren’t from people we know are invasive and can in fact decrease brand attitudes (Kaan, 2014).

The more recent paper links the relevance and intrusiveness of the message to how it will affect brand attitudes. Relevance is key, and the feelings of intrusiveness can be diminished by increasing relevance. How relevant can a blanket spam message from your service provider be though? Maybe they don’t care because they know if they keep it to a minimum my brand attitude isn’t going to reach the tipping point where I leave them for someone else. This relevance intrusiveness brand attitude balance is something anyone engaging in text message marketing is going to have to consider.

Do you feel like you space has been invaded when you receive promotional material in SMS?

Varnali, K. (2014). SMS advertising: How message relevance is linked to the attitude toward the brand?. Journal Of Marketing Communications, 20(5), 339-351.

Rettie, R., Grandcolas, U., & Deakins, B. (2005). Text message advertising: Response rates and branding effects. Journal Of Targeting, Measurement & Analysis For Marketing, 13(4), 304-312.


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