MMS: Red-Headed Stepchild Of Mobile Marketing?

MMS: Red-Headed Stepchild Of Mobile MarketingIt took several years, but SMS – ”text messaging” to the layperson – has finally become mainstream here in the U.S. And with wide adoption among consumers have come an increasing number of mobile marketing campaigns. However, marketers seem to focus on two categories:

(1) SMS campaigns, in which consumers sign up to receive text messages (like new product announcements, sales notices, and discounts/coupons) about their favorite brands.
(2) Mobile web, via which marketers can [a] send messages to email accounts that consumers access on their handsets, or [b] place display ads on mobile Web sites.

With category #1, marketers can get information out in real-time, reaching consumers wherever they are. With category #2, marketers can reach consumers with visual or multi-media messages, making for a richer customer experience.

But with MMS (multi-media messaging service), marketers could enjoy the best of both worlds. MMS is the technology that consumers use to ”text” pictures and even video clips to friends and family. (I’m a bit of an MMS addict myself, as certain friends will attest.) It’s basic technology that any SMS-capable phone can already do, so there’s no need to wait for the latest smart phone to ensure that the masses can receive your campaigns easily. It makes ”texting” a richer experience. All this begs the question: Why don’t more marketers use MMS?

Think of all the benefits, including:

  • New product announcement. You can send pix of your latest and greatest offering to your brand’s subscribers, thereby driving demand for that product.
  • Drive customers to other channels. If you send a still shot or sample clip of, say, a Web video, you can then prompt the recipient to visit your mobile or (or even ”regular”) Internet site to see more.
  • Improved mobile coupons. Instead of sending just a text and a numeric or alphanumeric code, you can give customers a coupon that looks like what they cut out of the Sunday paper – making then even more receptive to getting and using your coupons.

I think these are pretty good ideas, if I do say so myself. But I’d like to hear from marketing experts as to why (A) they do or don’t agree; or (B) any experiences they’ve had with MMS.

Looking forward to the conversation!

Eydie Cubarrubia
Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
“I’d rather you text me”


2 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    I agree that this is a good but very unused channel. In Norway there haven't been many successful campaigns but we have some good ones. We have one now for an ice cream company where you send in a picture of yourself and get it posted on a website. The response is good but you usually get a higher response just using text messages. I don't think that mms use will pick up anytime soon, especially when iPhone don't come with mms.

  2. eydie says:

    Did you find your ice cream MMS campaign appealed to a certain demographic?

    Yeah, the lack of MMS is the one bummer of the latest iPhone, at least for me (I'd been thinking I'd get it if the price drop happened, but now am still on the fence). I'm wondering if the iPhone/MMS issue is because they want people to use more of the special iPhone data plan (and thus send pix via mobile email) and thus increase revenue?

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