In a market economy, a business may be expected to act in what it believes to be its own best interest. The purpose of marketing is to create a brand image, competitive advantage through reaching the possible customers. The communicating through Cell telephone is much easier and less costly. The direct contact with an individual is extremely powerful, especially when coupled with its immediacy and has the scope therefore for delivering very timely and contextually relevant messages.
A report in BizReport on a study on Mobile Marketing dated October 15, 2007 revealed that most people aren't happy with the thought of being advertised to on their mobile phones. In fact, according to WebVisible and Nielsen//NetRatings' recent survey of 2,000 U.S. Internet users, a massive 92 per cent said they would be irritated by advertising on their mobile phones.
The report also clarifies that almost three-quarters of those surveyed (74 per cent) said they preferred to search for local products and services rather than having ads sent directly to them. This bodes well for the recently announced Google AdSense for Mobile service.
Two-thirds of respondents favoured more targeted ads. Fifty-six per cent of the respondents said they only get ads relevant to them when using the Internet and 53 per cent said the same about television.
Other preferred sources of local information were printed versions of the Yellow Pages (65 per cent), Internet Yellow Pages (50 per cent), newspapers (44 per cent), White Pages (33 per cent), television (29 per cent) and consumer review websites (18 per cent).
Despite the study report, big businesses in any part of the world buy service of call centres and business processing centres. These centres are independent service providers to big business houses. They can provide service to all types of customer interactions, ranging from travel services, financial services, technical support, education, customer care, and online business to customer support and online business to business support.
The services are also good exportable products with the globalisation of business. It is reported that the USA has more than three million call centres to sell services to large companies with millions of customers. These service providers are struggling to cut costs and increase returns, and because of these they may outsource in English-speaking countries up to 1.5 million US-based call centre jobs that are currently being staffed by Americans. Some countries like India, Philippines and China are gradually replacing the Americans. They are working living in their own countries by the virtue of cheaper and easier communication through Global Superhighways. Bangladesh has just started to take its own share of the market by setting up some call centres.
Some nations in Asia are exporters of tele services to the west. India having a large number of well-educated English-speaking youths has been exporting service to the west for about a decade through hundreds of such calling centres catering to office jobs mostly of big American and European companies making the BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) and answering to the calls from customers and others.
In the Philippines, 95 per cent of the population can speak in English though their mother tongue is not English. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in call centres has enabled the country in capturing more than 30 per cent of world market share of BPO in contact/call centre services.
This business is now expanding to some other areas of services like MBPO (Medical Business Process Outsourcing), RPO (Research Process Outsourcing), EPO (Engineering Process Outsourcing), ESO (Education Service Outsourcing) etc. These have created job opportunities for qualified specialists in medicine, education and engineering disciplines in Asian countries.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRA) is issuing licenses to call centres. There is a high hope that these call centres will export services to the west and their share of export will be in top of the export list. License Guidelines of Telecommunication Regulatory Authority for Call Centre/Hosted Call Centrer, Hosted Call Centre Service Provider (HCCSP) of Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission.
This has created job opportunities for students and this can be one of the best forms of part-time employment today. There are many call centres which employ college and university students on a part-time basis.
The call centres in Bangladesh are working as agents of different service providers as telemarketer for Bangladesh-based local and foreign banks, insurance and telephone companies. Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits to prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face-to-face or Web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call.
Telemarketing calls are often considered an annoyance, especially during the dinner hour, early in the morning, or late in the evening or while in meeting with someone.
Telemarketing is considered as de-marketing. It generates negative image in the mind of irritated customers. It is an attempt or device to reduce or limit demand for consumption of a specific product or service on a permanent or temporary basis.
People are disturbed in their private life due to the calls of telemarketers in any part of the world including Bangladesh. This is considered as civil offence in many countries. Australia and USA have laws to prevent access to private life by the telemarketers.
AMERICAN EXAMPLE: Now-a-days the policy-makers in some countries are making laws and rules to stop unwanted calls of subscribers. The citizens can register their numbers in 'No Call lists'. The law provides for heavy penalties on companies which call individuals on these listings.
The US Congress first passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telephone marketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and pre-recorded messages. Accordingly, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that require anyone making a telephone solicitation call to anybody's home to provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted. In June 2003, the FCC supplemented its original rules and established, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the national Do-Not-Call list.
The TCPA can be enforced in at least three different ways: The individual who receives a call after a name removal request has been given to the caller is granted a private right of action in a local court and may sue for $500 in damages for each violation. In some cases, the courts can levy triple damages. Similar suits may be filed for violations of the TCPA's provisions regarding faxes, autodialers, and artificial or pre-recorded messages. States may initiate civil action against offending companies on behalf of their citizens. Complaints may be filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which has the power to impose penalties against parties in violation of the TCPA.
TELEMARKETING IN BANGLADESH: Some foreign banks, insurance companies and discount card companies in the country have begun aggressive telemarketing. They have engaged call centres. They make calls to cell phones and ask: 'Sir, do you maintain an account with us?' They don't even bother to check their own records before calling someone whether he already has an account with them. This kind of telemarketing irritates the cell phone users. This is, in fact, demarketing.
In this situation, Bangladesh needs to make a 'Do-Not-Call Act' like the USA and Australia or the trade associations of the service providers like banks and discount card sellers should maintain a 'Do-Not-Call list'.