Last week I wrote about plane crash survivors who were saved with SMS. Though public safety workers in British Columbia initially couldn’t find them, one of the victims was able to text-message information about their whereabouts, leading to rescue. But there’s been another dramatic SMS rescue: An Irish air traffic controller texted landing instructions to a pilot after the plane’s electrical power, communications, and radar failed – averting disaster and possibly the deaths of five people on board.

The Irish Times reports that the pilot had used his cellular phone to try calling air traffic control in Cork, but soon lost voice contact. The controller, however, then texted the pilot – using SMS messages to tell him he had a radar signal on the aircraft and to guide the plane in.

“The controller should be commended for his actions,” said air accident investigator John Hughes, who called the event a “serious incident.”

Talk about the ubiquitous-ness of SMS. Under high pressure, the air traffic controller (1) knew that texting often works in situations when voice calling won’t, and (2) quickly switched to SMS communications with the pilot, telling him what he needed to know to safely land. I’d say this shows that for denizens who use SMS, texting has become second nature.

And that’s why marketers really should pay attention to stories like these. The majority of consumers are texting like never before, meaning that SMS should be leveraged to reach them. The airplane incidents I’ve noted prove this, but marketers new to the technology might still be wary.

Luckily, here at mobileStorm we have blogs that explain even the most confusing aspects of text-messaging, and white papers that explain the basics of SMS marketing or that spell out why SMS is so important for savvy marketers. I won’t guarantee that you’ll be able to land a plane, but you just might save yourselves from being out-marketed by the competition.

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