The purpose of Marketing is simple: get your message to a customer, with as little cost as possible, and motivate them to purchase your product. As an engineer / scientist, I thought some of the gizmos such as free pens, the little footballs, the shirts and coffee cups were all neat gestures, and nice subtle advertising. The most useful thing that I ever picked up at a tradeshow was the retractable telephone cord.

But these products cost things. What about the marketing team that comes up with free, or renewable forms of advertising?

I caught a brief blurb the other day that large companies, such as McDonalds, Budweiser, and others are collecting cell phone information to create databases, ready to use with cellular Short Message Service (SMS). How can they collect this information? By offering free downloading of various cell phone games, perhaps offering real-time messaging of sports scores, or offering cell phone ring tones. No one reads the fine-print anymore concerning promotions. Some of that fine print is so small that older folk cannot even read it.

It will not take long for companies to turn this database of phone numbers into an advertising campaign. And they should legally be able to -- they provided the source ringtone and paid the fees for you to download it. I am concerned, however, that the precious wireless bandwidth will be consumed with this advertising that phone service quality and performance will suffer. I also want to find ways so that my phone doesn't become saturated with this garbage -- something that my emailbox desires relief from.

I also hope that various cell phone companies continue to sell dumb cell phones. I just want to make phone calls on mine. Doesn't even need to feature a color display -- my ears cannot appreciate 32-bit colors.

And don't get me started on camera phones.....


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"I also hope that various cell phone companies continue to sell dumb cell phones. I just want to make phone calls on mine. Doesn't even need to feature a color display -- my ears cannot appreciate 32-bit colors."

Well said. I've selected my current phone based on size only, I don't use any of the "features" everyone advertises with (camera, GPRS, iMode, PC synchronisation with Outlook, etc. etc.).
I want a phone you idiots, not a PDA/phone/digicam/game console combo.

I don't think this is going to happen, and I'll tell you why. SMS messages cost money to the reciever (or at least cost messages towards a limit). All other forms of spam, while they may cost some miniscule amount of bandwidth on the recieving end(granted, it adds up, but not enough for the consumer to notice), are payed for mostly by the sender. Junk mail, for example, costs paper and postage. Spam costs bandwidth. Telemarketting may cost long distance.

Clearly, though, there are some areas marketing does not touch. For one, when was the last time you recieved a junk fax? You haven't, because it is illegal. Junk faxes cost you paper and ink. Also illegal is telemarketing to cell phones. Again, this is because it costs the reciever minutes.

It may not be illegal now, assuming the company gets a fne-print waver, to send spam text messages, but it will be. If these companies try this, I can almost guarentee the public outcry will be enormous, and these things will be banned. The precedents have been set.

It's already happening though not on any large scale.
At the moment it's about as bad as commercials sent to companies over the fax or direct mail advertising to random people (mailbox stuffing).

And even if it's illegal in your area, it isn't illegal everywhere (and email spam is also illegal yet that doesn't stop the spammers).

telemarketeers calling you at home every night (and yes, I get on average about 10 such annoying cold calls a week and that's just the ones that catch me at home) also cost the advertiser money, yet that doesn't stop them.
The existence of do-not-call lists also doesn't deter them from using those lists as known-good sources (rather than as numbers not to call).

Just to note benna: I do commonly receive spam faxes about stock quotes, cheap printer ink, and office supplies.

With that said, I agree SMS Spam isn't going to take off.

It already has: I got 2 spam messages on my phone in a week. :(

I'm with jwenting; I just want to talk to people on a phone. It would be nice to have a flip phone with a display on the outside with callerID, etc. but other than that, I just wanna talk! I don't want to take pictures, listen to "Yesterday", solve puzzles or find out what the temperature was in Bora Bora yesterday. I have a phone I'd like to replace, but the companies just don't make simple phones anymore, and I'd be forced to pay several hundred dollars for features I neither want nor would use.

But make no mistake, this is about MONEY, and money drives not only mobile phone design, but also advertising. The people spending the money want all these "cool" things and that's why it's so hard. Motorola (or Nokia, et. al.) doesn't care that they won't get my couple hundred dollars for a basic phone; they know there are multitudes who will drop bigger bucks for a camera/game/PDA/eggbeater phone.

Same thing for SMS spam, the public outcry needed to stop it from taking hold probably won't happen, and the ONLY thing that will keep it from catching on will be if the advertisers don't make money. See, the public tends to do a lot of outcrying in these types of situations, but the advertisers have hotshots making big bucks to lobby congress, and THAT'S who gets laws changed. Unless the public outcry is extremely huge, as it took 30 years to become for telemarketing, look for your fancy schmancy phone to get swamped with messages as soon as somebody figures a way to turn it into cash.

Let me tell you about my phone. It's sleek, stylish. About 10 cms tall, black and grey. All the basic buttons. Simple features. Just 2 games, snake and a shooter that I can't get the hang of. Black and white. It follows the rule os K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It's Nokia, made in the '90s I got it around 1997. It's good. It's mine. I'll never ever trade up to anything else, as if I want a camera, I'll buy a digicam. It'll be cheaper anyhow. In short:

I'm not am idiot!!

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