Considering Mobile/SMS Marketing?

More and more marketers are now using or considering using SMS/mobile marketing as part of their Integrated Marketing Communication plan. Long were the days when people were labeling SMS as ‘Stupid Marketing Strategy”. Many marketers are now diving into SMS marketing as it allows instant access to people whenever they are. If you look at the figures where there are now 1.5 billion mobile users worldwide and this number will grow to 2 billion by 2007. You would have to seriously consider using this source of medium to market to the mass population.

People are now calling, chatting and connecting with people via SMS: listening to music, playing games, paying bills and surfing the web to get the latest information from their mobile phone. Almost anything can be done using mobile phone nowadays. The latest breakthrough in mobile technology will also allow us to watch TV and is reported by Reuters that, research group, Informa forecast 125 million people will be watching mobile TV by 2010. Imagine doing almost every personal thing using just a mobile phone.

According to Forrester; in Europe's most advanced mobile markets, such as the UK and Finland, more than half of direct marketers and their agencies have already adopted SMS for marketing campaigns. For the UK market, Enpocket reports that SMS marketing messages yield an average response rate of 15%. Additionally, 20% of mobile phone owners report that they will show an SMS marketing message to a friend. The Mobile Data Association has recorded a consistent growth in the number of SMS messages sent daily: From 19 million in 2000, to 36 million in 2001, to 48 million in 2002, and 58 million in 2003. In the US, according to Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, the number of SMS messages has grown from 930 million per month in 2002, to 1.2 billion per month in 2003. Recall rates for SMS are over 75% reports Steve Wunker of Brainstorm. SMS also has a Stronger ROI case than other media as well as the ability to integrate with other marketing medium easily. Another factor contributing to the growth of SMS marketing will be the increasing importance of mobile commerce (m-commerce) and payments.

So, you want to adopt SMS marketing now? However, before you do that; here are some things that you should think about before you launch your first mobile marketing effort according to Pamela Parker:
• Capitalize on the impulse. Think about occasions or locations at which you'd like to engage a consumer when they're unlikely to have PC access. Do you want to put a short code on your cereal box and invite consumers to enter a contest? Do you want to invite people to get more information when they see a billboard?
• Make it interactive. There's a good reason why games are popular mobile phone applications -- they're fun. Your marketing should be fun, too. What better way to inform people about your product than to engage them in a trivia quiz? (Warner Brothers and Yahoo! did something like this recently for "Oceans 12".)
• Make it unique to mobile. Elements like ringtones and phone wallpaper are conducive to carrying brand messaging. They fulfill people's need to change their phones' look and sound every once in a while. If they do and express a preference for your brand, so much the better.

If you want to know how other companies are using SMS in their marketing and advertising efforts. PlusOne has some case studies to offer here.
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