New Mobile Tech Becomes MainstreamWhen I was at the Digital Music Forum in Hollywood, one attendee posed this question, which was posted (ironically, via SMS) on the giant screen next to one panel: Since mobile phones are all going to be Internet- and email-capable anyway, is there any point in creating messages/campaigns specifically for SMS?

The answer of course is yes.

First, not all consumers want phones that do much more than voice and SMS, and maybe take photographs. And price points make such \”simple\” phones accessible to the most people, so these methods of communication will reach the largest demographic.

Second, text messages have a different function than email – they\’re a short alert that reaches the consumer \”wherever, whenever,\” ideal for time-sensitive news. That\’s different from the comprehensive information that email offers, such as details of a new product or links to a brand\’s web site. Both types of messages, then, are equally valuable in a multi-channel campaign.

Third, as new mobile technologies such as locations-based services, maps/directions, and weather reports become more mainstream, text-messaging will continue to grow by leaps as well. eMarketer last week reported that global mobile ad spending will grow to $19.1 billion in 2012, up from $2.7 billion in 2007 – and text-messaging (SMS, MMS) will make up $14.2 million of that $19.1 billion. In other words, texting will account for than three-quarters of all mobile ad spend.

Consumers are paying for the latest mobile tech – for example, Telephia says they paid about $9.23 per month for location-based services, and $3.82 for weather reports. Text-message marketing can further leverage these, whether it\’s a coffee shop offering a special latte to a nearby customer, or a tire company touting a snow tire sale to the recipient of a cold-weather report.

SMS, then, is becoming more relevant, rather than less, as more advanced mobile technology comes into the mainstream.

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