Friday 24 July 2015

How can we can WhattsApp spam?

I’ve just started to receive emails from an organisation that develops WhattsApp marketing campaigns for data controllers. They’re so keen to explain that it's the latest cost-effective way to drive more business. With 96% open rate and 10 times response rate than emails, WhatsApp marketing appears as the new game changer.  WhatsApp is the best mode for text messaging because: WhatsApp is free, runs on any mobility platform, is used by millions worldwide, and supports text, audio and video.”

The blurb breathlessly continues: “Our WhatsApp marketing campaigns are customized as per your business needs. You can now broadcast your business text message to your targeted customer base wherever they are. Direct and efficient messaging like never before. Whether you want to increase your business or willing to attract new prospects, our WhatsApp marketing plan will help you to do so. Let's develop a professional brand identity with WhatsApp.”

The blurb almost mentions the privacy issue: “Our WhatsApp bulk messaging plans are meant to communicate your business message to highly targeted group who are interested in your business. Our bulk messaging plans are backed with range tools to track and manage your message campaigns.”

But, given the extremely low cost of sending WhattsApp messages, I wonder how long it will be before the less privacy-minded organisations embark on direct and intrusive marketing campaigns that will make me question the utility  of the WhattsApp platform for messaging in general.

Given the wide range of other communication platforms in current use, our WhattsApp chums are going to need to monitor these WhattsApp marketing initiatives pretty carefully, in case they irreparably tarnish WhattsApp’s (current) great image.