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6 Disadvantages of Mobile Marketing

In today’s world, mobile usage and apps have seamlessly integrated into every aspect of our daily lives. Often the first thing we reach for in the morning and the last thing we place down at night, mobile devices hold a very significant role in our world. And, if business owners are wanting their brand to get in front of customers, this means they need to be on their customers’ mobile devices.

With mobile usage continuing to soar, mobile marketing has become a key aspect of any business’s marketing strategy. Mobile marketing can be a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with customers. However, businesses should be aware of the different disadvantages that mobile marketing methods come with. By understanding the different drawbacks of mobile marketing, businesses can develop methods of combating them.

We previously wrote about the many advantages of mobile marketing. However, in this article, we’ll look at some of the drawbacks of this marketing strategy.

1. Privacy and Data Usage Concerns

Collecting data from users is beneficial and necessary to create targeted and personalized ads. Data collection allows marketers to provide customers with a better user experience. However, the use of personal data and privacy has become a concern for many mobile internet users. With major data leaks over the past few years, users are increasingly more aware of data security and their privacy rights. 

Two-thirds of global consumers feel that tech companies have too much control over their data. Also, 85% of consumer adults want to do more to make privacy more secure when online. This means businesses have a responsibility to keep users’ data safe and be transparent in the way they are using the data they collect. It’s also best practice to ask users for consent before collecting any personal data. By prioritizing transparency around data collection and usage, brands can build trust with their customers and strengthen their relationships. 

If you are targeting an audience that values privacy and security, you may have limited reach using only mobile marketing. Data suggests, despite what many people think, n terms of security, mobile threats seem to be more prevalent than those on desktops. If people feel safer using a PC or placing an order in person or over the phone, businesses using only mobile marketing will not be able to reach their target market.


2. Spam Issues

With high open and click-through rates compared to other marketing strategies, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers and overdo mobile marketing. Which can quickly turn it into spammy messaging. Spam messaging is not attractive to mobile users. It is unsolicited and unwanted. This can turn customers off of a brand’s messaging, potentially losing them forever. Spamming customers is something that can easily happen with any digital marketing strategy. 

However, it may seem even more bothersome on mobile. This is an issue that does not appear as often with traditional marketing strategies. Read our article on mobile marketing vs traditional marketing to learn more about the differences.

Companies will want to make sure they are providing relevant information to their target audience, and not sending messages just to send them. They will also want to be intentional about the timing of their messages, too many messages at once can be harmful. Another way to avoid being labeled as spam is to have clear opt-in and opt-out options so users have control over the messaging they receive.


3. Limited Creative Scope

Desktop screens have a lot of legroom for marketers to work with when crafting messaging to users. However, with much smaller screens, mobile devices pose a unique creative challenge of scaling down messaging. Mobile users are also less likely to stick around to read long content as they are often on the go and have shorter attention spans. 

Marketing on mobile devices should be short and to the point. Businesses have a smaller window to leave a lasting impression and will need to be strategic in the way they craft their mobile marketing messaging to catch the eye of customers. Interactive and visually appealing elements may help with a limited creative scope. 


4. High Cost of Designing Apps

There are many arguments out there for why a business would want to launch an app. Nevertheless, it can be an expensive investment, especially for newer businesses, to develop and maintain a mobile app. On average a simple app design can cost around $15,000 to $30,000, and costs only go up from there. Sometimes companies will also want to develop separate apps for the different mobile operating systems.

Businesses will want to take careful consideration on if developing a mobile app is a smart investment for them. Other alternatives to creating an app would be to have a responsive web design to ensure consistent user experiences across devices.


5. Intrusiveness

Constant pop-up ads and push notifications can be perceived as intrusive by users, disrupting their mobile experience and causing frustration. Mobile devices are highly personal spaces. If marketers fail to tread carefully, their brand’s messaging may come across as intrusive rather than welcomed by the user. This is especially true as SMS marketing is becoming a popular mobile marketing trend.

Providing users with control over their mobile marketing experience is paramount. Businesses should offer options and preferences for engagement, allowing users to customize their interactions. As well, focusing on methods that enhance rather than disrupt the user experience can foster a more positive perception of a brand’s marketing efforts.

Here are some ways to make your strategies less intrusive:

  • Targeted Messaging- Make sure your messaging is relevant to the recipient. This means understanding your customers’ preferences, interests, and behaviors. Then, target your messages accordingly. 
  • Consent and Opt-In Mechanisms– Be sure you have obtained consent before sending any marketing messages. This could be through an opt-in mechanism where customers actively agree to receive marketing messages. An easy and clear opt-out or unsubscribe option should also be provided in each message.
  • Frequency Control– Strike a balance between keeping your brand top of mind and bombarding customers with messages. Consider sending messages based on triggers or actions taken by the user, instead of on a rigid schedule.
  • Quality over Quantity– Focus on sending high-quality, valuable content rather than sending messages frequently. 
  • Respect Time Zones and Do Not Disturb Periods– Consider the time zones of your customers and avoid sending messages during typical do not disturb periods. Even the most interested customer might be annoyed if they receive a marketing message in the middle of the night. Similarly, avoid sending messages during holidays or major events when the recipient is likely to be busy.

6. Ad-Blocking

Due to the increased use of ad-blockers on Android and iOS devices, mobile marketing now faces new challenges. This technology allows users to restrict the visibility of ads, which in effect limits marketing efforts. Ad-blocking makes it more difficult for businesses to reach their target audience effectively. 

To combat this issue, brands will need to diversify their mobile marketing strategies. Rather than focusing on traditional display ads, companies can invest in creating compelling and engaging content. Other methods to pursue can include leveraging influencer collaborations and implementing native advertising techniques. By diversifying efforts, brands will connect with users more organically while evading the issue of ad blocking.



Mobile marketing methods can be a great return on investment for businesses. By meeting customers where they are – on their phones – and being mindful of the various challenges we’ve discussed that come with marketing on mobile devices, brands can engage and connect with their target audience in meaningful ways. Navigating the mobile marketing landscape will need strategic and creative thinking. If done effectively, businesses can build strong and engaging customer relationships.


Also read:

Mobile Marketing vs Social Media Marketing: Understanding the Key Differences Between the Two

Mobile Marketing vs Mobile Advertising: Definitions, Examples, and Applications


Courtney Kovacs
Team Writer: Courtney Kovacs is a Texas based writer who enjoys writing about various topics such as entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellness, and faith.

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Team Writer: Courtney Kovacs is a Texas based writer who enjoys writing about various topics such as entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellness, and faith.

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