In recent years, the US has witnessed an explosion in the use of mobile text messaging. So much so, that it’s created a new medium for advertisers to reach and targeted consumers in ways like never before. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, text messaging usage has increased by over 120% in the last two years alone. Many point to the success of shows like American Idol as one of the main reasons for the growth. Now, major brands are using mobile to stay connected to consumers at virtually anytime or anywhere.
The major attraction to mobile marketing is its ability capture consumer response quickly and at times when there is a better chance for a positive reaction. For example, a restaurant can use mobile marketing to distribute coupons to hungry consumers just as they are deciding what to eat.for lunch. Since these people are more than likely not at their desks, a mobile campaign is a much more effective method because chances are great they will have their cell phone with them.
Another advantage of mobile marketing compared to other types of marketing is the high response rate. First Partner Research & Marketing found that mobile campaigns have an average response rate of 12% – some four times greater than direct marketing or over 10 times greater than a typical bulk email response rate.
Savvy marketers are even incorporating SMS into traditional print ads. If you think about it, a good magazine ad will create a desire to buy the product but the consumer has no immediate means to act on that impulse. By adding a text code in the ad, consumers can simply text requests for information, contest entries or coupons in a few seconds.
Adoption of text messaging will continue to grow as TV, radio, and the Internet converge on the mobile phone, and it’s only a matter of time before ads will help pay your cell phone bill. In fact, several companies have already launched ad supported services, such as UK-based Blyk.com. Blyk.com promises subscribers free phone calls in exchange for agreeing to receive text ads.
The mobile phone is the only marketing tool that is always with the consumer. In fact, according to the US census there are over 300 million people living in the US and over 233 million cell phone users. That’s a huge percentage of consumers and marketers are starting to realize how to take advantage of it. Mobile marketing is only just beginning and now is the time to join the bandwagon if you haven’t done so already.