Saturday, December 1, 2012

12/01/2012 11:41:00 AM
SMS Marketing

With advances in mobile technology, more and more marketers are exploring new avenues in which to promote their brand. But while over the years flip phones have given way to smartphones, one mobile technology has remained a stalwart and relatively unchanged method for effective advertising: short message service (texting). Indeed, with over two trillion texts being sent every year, this method of communication doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

And that’s why it’s important for mobile marketers to take full advantage of the visibility text offers. In fact, it’s surprising how many organizations haven’t utilized SMS in their marketing plans. For example, a recent Hip-cricket survey of mobile users yielded one telling fact:
  • 80% of respondents said they had not been marketed to by their favorite brands.
So while it’s important to understand that the SMS advertising market is still wide open, it’s equally important to understand where the trends in SMS marketing are headed. After all, having a firm understanding of the future of SMS marketing allows for effective long-term planning that can only be good for brand awareness.



Pull messaging

To those not in the know, pull messaging is when the consumer sends the SMS text to the marketer. And it is the future of SMS marketing. This is due to the rise of the smartphone and the ever-increasing number of mobile applications developed for these devices. The popularity of sweepstakes and voting activity is also a powerful factor in the market. In many instances the marketer plays a completely passive role as mobile users vote for their favorite singing contestant or entering a mobilebased contest.

Pull messaging - TextBuyIt


As far as apps are concerned, there are many popular examples of pull marketing. Amazon.com, for example, has a mobile application called TextBuyIt that allows users to text a keyword to the home site and receive a list of product matches in return. Users can then text a confirmation of purchase for a specific product and an Amazon rep will then call them in order to complete the transaction. This SMS service app is popular among those who wish to compare and contrast store prices of products with those on Amazon.com.

It’s this shift in direction from marketer-consumer to consumer-marketer that advertisers can expect to be the status quo in SMS marketing for the foreseeable future.

Push messaging

Push messaging

Push messaging is when the marketer sends the SMS text to the consumer, and for the last few years this was the advertising standard. However, as more and more advertisers began saturating the SMS market with unwanted texts – such as Timberland’s failed SMS blitzkrieg – the situation became untenable. And with the current rise in mobile apps and social media expect push messaging to take a firm backseat to pull messaging in the future.

Of course there will still be a place for push messaging in the future, as it is still the most efficient way for marketers to get the word out. Appointment reminders are just one example of push messaging that will have a place at the SMS table in the future.

No matter how marketers look at the future of SMS, one fact is undeniable: the trend is moving quickly towards customer-based applications rather than direct marketing campaigns. Mobile advertisers with an eye for SMS would do well to consider this fact and plan accordingly.

Brent Messenger is the Chief Marketing Officer at TextMarks, an industry leading SMS Marketing and Communications platform.