Mobile Marketing Platform

Why is SMS still No1






A) Why SMS is still No 1 when it comes to mobile marketing and services

1) Popularity/reach
The mobile phone is the most pervasive media on the planet, with about five billion subscribers (according to The International Telecommunication Union) – equivalent to 70 percent of the world’s population. Every single one of those handsets is capable of sending and receiving an SMS message, whatever the country or mobile network. And 80 percent of mobile phone subscribers use SMS regularly.

2) Staying power
Use of SMS hasn’t been dented by the popularity of other mobile media, including mobile Web, email, applications, IM, multimedia messaging or mobile social networking such as Facebook or Twitter. For the majority of consumers, text is far more widely available and more affordable and almost all mobile users know how to use SMS – it will be a long time before that can be said of other mobile media. For the foreseeable future it will remain the second most used mobile application after voice calling.

How US mobile subscribers use their cell phones


Jan 2010

Apr 2010


Sent text message to another phone




Used browser




Used downloaded apps




Played games




social networking




Listened to music




Numbers from: comScore, June 2010

Via: mobiThinking

3) Accepted for mobile marketing
SMS has long since been an accepted channel for free and paid-for mobile services – such as news alerts. Increasingly consumers have also proved willing subscribers to opt-in services where they receive mobile marketing messages either direct from the brand or via agents, such as their mobile phone operator – as long as the message is relevant and the incentive pitched correctly.
The mobile operators and other commercial outfits that spotted this trend in the 1990s have reaped the rewards. Forward looking operators include Turkey’s Turkcell and Vodafone Romania – the latter boasts a list of five million people (almost 50 percent of its total customer base) who have specifically opted-in to receive advertising messages from third party advertisers via their mobile operator.

4) Permanence
SMS doesn’t require both parties to be available at the same time. The marketing message can still be sent even when the recipient’s phone is switched off or there is no network signal. It will be delivered when the phone becomes available and sits in the inbox to be read when the recipient is free – and remains there until the message is deleted.

5) Versatility
There’s much more to SMS than 160 characters of text. As messages can include binary data, marketers can also send – or receive – digital content such as ringtones, pictures, logos, wallpapers, animations and money-off coupons/vouchers. SMS often underpins many mobile services – it’s an excellent platform for exchanging information between applications. It is, for example, central to many of the m-wallet services that help to bank the unbanked [LINK] in developing nations.

6) Two-way communication
Media companies, particularly, encourage viewers/readers to send in feedback, tips for stories, pictures and join in promotions using SMS. Marketing campaigns will often encourage customers to send in picture messages.
One concern with pictures is that multi-media messages are charged at a higher rate than text messages, and often will not be included inclusive text price plans. This should not put marketers off, as it is possible in some countries for marketers to pre-pay data fees, so it is free to send in a picture (it is also possible arrange zero-rated short codes or free access to certain mobile sites).
In December 2009 the BBC’s radio 1 ran a picture-messaging day in the UK, with the help of the MDA, and as the event helped to promote picture messaging, the mobile operators were happy to forego data charges. In 24 hours the radio station received 42,000 picture messages.

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