Technology is advancing at a rapid pace – so much so that once a newer version comes along; the old application is declared obsolete. But newer doesn’t always equate to better. Consider the trend surrounding SMS text marketing. While it has been around for a long time, its full usefulness is just being discovered.
SMS text marketing has become an inexpensive and lucrative way to reach mass audiences. Yet, the early adopters of the relatively new technology are already proclaiming its extinction. But, according to figures from Portio Research, captured in this ZDNet report, mobile phone users sent 7.8 trillion text messages last year alone.
Another research company, Informa (News - Alert), had a slightly lower estimate at 5.9 trillion texts sent worldwide, but still the numbers indicate a viable and robust opportunity for SMS text marketing.
Those waiting around for the release of the next best thing will miss the opportunity to take advantage of consumer acceptance of SMS text marketing right now. Many companies have been convinced that investing resources into SMS is not the way to go. Even with the video capabilities made possible by MMS, SMS’s upgraded sister app, tech firms are still opting for native apps, over-the-top (OTT) applications such WhatsApp, and the utilization of Twitter (News - Alert).
But OTT services can require expensive monthly plans and are more subject to network outages than SMS. SMS text marketing is anything but dead, with figures from Portio estimating growth this year of about 23 percent. That equates to 9.6 trillion text messages that will be exchanged this year. There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests that in developed nations such as the U.S., the popularity of texting is superseding that of voice calls.
While certainly some of the new apps are free, whereas texting does carry a nominal fee, clearly most consumers don’t seem to mind. The ease and quickness of texting have made it a staple in today’s time-starved world. And while tech firms are searching for something new and better, other companies are jumping in, reaping the marketing benefits of SMS text marketing.
Companies competing on a global scale also know that not everyone has smartphone. When considering the global marketplace as a whole, last year twice as many feature-phones sold as compared to app-happy smartphones. According to MobiThinking, a research firm that helps brands go mobile, while there were six billion reported subscriptions for wireless service over the past three years, only 16 percent of the accompanying mobile phones were able to access apps.
Howard Stevens, senior VP for SAP’s Sybase 365 (News - Alert), says that global marketers solely using apps for promotions are ignoring up to 80 percent of potential customers. Besides, it’s impossible to ensure that smartphone users will even download your app.
Edited by Jamie Epstein