SMS in the mobile marketing mix and the impact of the smartphone. | DMA

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SMS in the mobile marketing mix and the impact of the smartphone.

SMS and the Mobile Marketing Mix

We turn to our phones for fun, entertainment and utility. But research from Textlocal reveals that SMS is the mobile phone’s primary use – all 2,000 respondents to our recent Mobile Customer Experience Report consumer survey placed text above email, social, web, apps, music, gaming and even voice calls in their mobile usage priorities.

More people in the UK use their phones to text than to make calls these days. That said, we believe there is still work to be done to educate businesses to communicate with their customers in this way.

Customers prefer to receive promotions by text message rather than mobile web according to research by the Direct Marketing Association* and many businesses are aware of mobile messaging, but there are still some who are yet to tap into the full potential of how powerful it can be as a business driver.

Mobile can play an integral role in the marketing mix by instigating, supporting and referencing other supporting communication channels to your customer. SMS messages can take the form of offers and promotions, alerts, reminders and requests for information from your customer. ‘Exclusives’ can be delivered to your customer or you can direct them to other channels such as your website, store or social media channels to find out more.

We know that, whether businesses have a mobile strategy or not, there will always be a place for opt-in SMS within the marketing mix as response rates and ROI are undeniably superior to any other channel alone – 97.5% of SMS messages are read within 5 seconds of being received** and response rates for mobile are four times higher than other direct marketing mediums***.

SMS and the Featurephone vs. the Smartphone

As the market for smartphones continues to grow at a rapid pace, and there are sure to be many people with the latest smartphone device on their Christmas list this year, you could be forgiven for thinking that SMS is declining and the future of all mobile communications is online, however there is still an undeniable number of featurephone users in the UK who have no interest or desire to change their handset.

There are 29.8m non-smartphone users in the UK. Looking at this featurephone and legacy phone opportunity, it represents 11.2m opted in users; that’s 40% of the mobile market in the UK. And the only sure fire way to reach them is through SMS.

After 23 years since the first text message was ever sent, it still has an important role to play; as a driver for action, response or as a delivery mechanism. Mobile messaging is based on permission and trust, allowing any businesses to grow opt-in lists of customer data and intelligence and to send targeted communications directly into the palms of customers’ hands.

This trust, simplicity and convenience has stood the test of time against the development of technology and the advancement of the smartphone, providing a personalised, interactive and dynamic communication channel that is accessible to all mobile users. What could be simpler?

*econsulting.com (2012)

**Ofcom (2011)

***Mobile Data Association (2011)

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