How to stand out amidst the information overload: Pros and cons of various communication methods

In the future, we will likely see a large movement in mobile technology as a source of communication for businesses looking to market products, or newspapers reaching out to readers with mobile devices for story updates and breaking news.

 

Currently there is a knowledge gap for members of older generations who do not use cell phones, but soon almost everyone will have a mobile device. The United States is behind in terms of cell phone technology. Japan cell phone companies have excelled in research and producing more durable, capable mobile phones.

 

Mobile devices will likely be a large component of Web 4.0. More Web sites are becoming cell-phone compatible, and most phones allow users Internet access.

 

Marketers will be able to reach consumers almost instantaneously via e-mail news letters, text messaging alerts or social media avenues. But there are pros and cons associated with each. Depending on one’s audience and communications strategy, some tools may be more appropriate than others.

 

The pros and cons are listed below, followed by an overarching pros and cons list for the mobile Web in general.

E-mail news letters:

pros—

-usually there is an opt-in and opt-out

-allows for target audience (people generally choose which newsletters to subscribe to)

-you can attach e-mails to analytics programs and monitor audience behavior.
-you can hire e-mail clients and companies to manage your mailing list (they will update it depending on who subscribes/un-subscribes)

-you can rent lists of similar target audiences and send out an e-mails to expand your contact list

 

cons—

-some people have trouble viewing the graphics depending on e-mail clients
-some heavy graphic images will not translate as well on mobile phones

-knowledge gap of users

-a lot of users subscribe and may just delete the e-mail in their inbox
-managing an e-mail list takes work and time to keep the language and content current and user-appropriate
-security issues: you must protect the personal data of users.

 

Text/SMS alerts:

pros—

-feels more personal to the consumer
-some SMS alerts allow you to reply and offer feedback

-reaches consumer immediately

-opt-in/opt-out options
-you can have data about consumers’ locations, allowing you to market to a geographic-specific consumer base

 

cons—

-limited characters for each message
-intrusive
-limited in timeframe of sending messages
-opt-outs can be more difficult with text messaging—normally you can opt-out by replying to the text with “STOP,” but there is a knowledge gap and not everyone is aware of this option.

 

Social media:

pros—
-humanizes larger companies especially
-social networking sites (SNS) have their own culture—this can be helpful for targeting audiences and relating to consumers on a more personal level
-Groundswell—you can lurk and get value from social networks and easily get feedback from customers
-content posted in the right way on SNS is very spreadable

 

cons—

-learning curve

-more research and time may be needed to understand the language and online culture of social networking members

-perceived barrier to entry—not all generations can understand the uses of social media or relate to the concept
-certain SNS are not mobile-device friendly

 

Mobile Web:

pros—

-always with you, and you are always connected
-content producers are forced to create a cleaner design interface—less clutter and more direct information

-if you can’t afford a computer, you can probably afford a mobile phone and get Internet access

-for the consumer, there is not as much advertising on mobile Web sites

-for the advertiser, limited ad space is a plus because they are not competing with other ads or companies

-GPS function in the phones enable for an easier search about businesses, restaurants or shops in the area.

 

cons—

-some sites aren’t accessible via the mobile Web
-limited audience—not all phones can access the Web and not all customers enable it

-browser platform—it is unsure which browser is going to come out on top
-searching the Web on mobile phones can be tedious with phones that don’t have a full keyboard
-some mobile plans can be expensive to add Internet
-current battery life runs out quickly if you use the mobile Web like you use the Web on your computer.

 

 

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Filed under COM530, Interactive Writing and Design

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