Archive for the ‘SMS’ Category

Conversion to Smartphones Continues

By Chuck Martin, CEO of the Mobile Future Institute, Director of the Center for Media Research at MediaPost, and Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine

The trend of the move to smartphones in the U.S. continues, with penetration now reaching 30%, based on the latest data from comScore. The research firm found that 234 million Americans 13 years or older use mobile phones, with 69.5 million of them owning a smartphone.

This is not a surprise, considering the increasing capabilities of smartphones. We still expect the penetration of these devices in the U.S. to be around 50% by the end of this year. This has many implications for marketers, since the market then will be split with half owning smartphones and half not.

This of course means that half the market can use apps, and half can’t. About all can send and receive text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages, and web access will increase. And then there are the platforms.

The comScore findings, based on a large sample of more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, shows Google’s Android operating system with exactly a third (33%) market share, followed by Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry with 29% and Apple at a quarter (25%) of the market. And the apps-rich Android and Apple environments continue to gain share while RIM’s declines.

The issue for marketers here is that the behaviors of users of phones on different platforms are different, as several studies have shown. Some companies we speak with don’t even know what types of operating systems their best customers are using.

One of the key drivers of the conversion to smartphones is behavioral—the actual activities that people are doing with mobile phones. Mobile phone users are texting (69%), browsing the web (38%), using apps (37%), accessing social networks (27%), playing games (25%), and listening to music (18%), according to the comScore study. And every one of these activities increased from the previous three months. We expect these types of mobile behaviors to continue to increase as more people move to smartphones and more features and capabilities continue to be added by the mobile industry.

The consumers are there, as is the mobile industry. Still missing from the mix are many companies not yet committing the necessary resources to mobile, mobile marketing, and mobile social marketing. Is your business sitting out the mobile revolution?

Integrating Social Media with Mobile Marketing

By Shelly Lipton, Chief GrownUp at GrownUp Marketing

Traditional advertising channels—including print, broadcast, and online display ads—are perfect places for prompting users to text a keyword to an advertiser’s code in order to enter a sweepstakes or receive a discount coupon. This has been the foundation of mobile marketing since its infancy, but today’s savvy marketers are beginning to realize that social networking via channels like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube can spread the word even faster and more effectively.

Mobile marketing—interactive, real-time messages sent to consumers via their mobile devices—has taken its place as the advertising world’s “third screen” (in addition to television and computer monitors), and the promotional potential is unlimited. With mobile’s appealing “act now” incentives, consumers can do most of the legwork by sharing the information with their friends via their social media networks to enable an advertiser’s mobile campaign to go viral.

Here’s a sample scenario of how it might work: A national pizza chain launches a mobile marketing campaign to offer a “buy one, get one free” coupon. The company is already running TV spots and targeted online display ads to drive awareness and interest in the promotion. With the help of its ad agency, a message will be added to the TV spot that says, “Text TWOPIZZAS to code 74642 to receive a two-for-one coupon for a large pizza!” Consumers who see these ads will text the keyword and receive, via their cell phones, a digital coupon that can be redeemed at the local pizza store in their area.

Here’s where social media comes into the mix. If it’s a strong enough offer, a consumer will tell his or her friends on Facebook and Twitter that the local pizza place is offering a great deal. Those friends will tell their friends, and so on. They’ll all end up on the pizza place’s Facebook page, where they can find other share-worthy discount coupons.

According to a March 2010 article in Mobile Marketer, access to Facebook via mobile browsers grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347 percent jump, according to research by comScore. In the same article, comScore’s Director of Industry Analysis Andrew Lipsman was quoted as saying, “I think the key finding is that there appears to be a natural synergy between social media and the mobile platform. That we’ve seen such dramatic growth on Facebook and Twitter via mobile browsers is testament to this fact.”

It’s clear to both experts and observers that mobile marketing and social media are growing up together. Millennial Media’s S.M.A.R.T. Report for April 2010 revealed that social media represents 11 percent of all campaign actions on its network. And according to eMarketer in March 2010, 650 million people globally are using their smartphones for tasks such as e-mail and social networking.

With purchases of goods and services via mobile devices expected to reach $200 billion in 2012 (double what it is today), the linking of mobile marketing and social media is a marriage made on Madison Avenue.

Mobile Marketing: The Most Exciting Channel to Reach Your Audience

By Celene Mesa, Owner of Mesa Mobile Marketing

Does your business need more customers? How about something that is fast, targeted, inexpensive, and elicits immediate response? Then think mobile marketing, the most exciting channel available today to reach your audience.

Mobile marketing is a form of advertising communicated through a cell phone or smartphone that receives SMS (short message service) messages. Each SMS can be up to 160 characters in length and most commonly is referred to as a text (TXT). Text messages are safe and spam free.

Mobile media campaigns are accomplished through a software program that includes a customer database with SMS capabilities. When utilizing mobile media, a short code and keyword are integral parts of the program. The code is a 5- or 6-digit number that is used in lieu of a 10-digit phone number. This makes opting in faster and easier. The keyword is chosen by your business for your campaign and is used in your call to action. SMS are sent to willing participants only because the customer or potential customer must opt in.

Let’s say you own a restaurant named the Sandwich Board, and you want to start a mobile marketing campaign. To get your customers to opt in to your program and join your database, you should place enticing signs everywhere throughout the restaurant: on doors, counters, registers, and receipts; on the floor and hanging from the ceiling; even on employee name tags and buttons. Be creative. Make them eye catching and fun. For example, your sign could say:

“Join our VIP Club and receive timely specials! Text BOARD to 90210 to receive a FREE soda with your order today!”

When your customer sends that text message, the preset mobile media software program immediately sends a bounce back notice to the recipient’s phone, such as this example.

You have now successfully begun to build your opt-in mobile marketing database!

So do mobile marketing campaigns really pay off? They certainly can! For example, the mobile marketing push to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake earlier this year was the most successful SMS campaign to date. Tens of millions of dollars were raised by inviting donors to text HAITI to 90999. Because the request was well advertised, people responded immediately.

A call to action is critical to the success of mobile media. Consider that:

  • 4.1 billion text messages are sent and received every day.
  • 740 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. in the first half of 2009.
  • 97% of all SMS marketing messages are opened; 83% in the first hour.

According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), more than 89% of the major brands plan to market their services via mobile phones. Wireless marketing is expected to be one of the fastest-growing market segments for the next two to three years. And Google agrees. Says Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “The next big wave in marketing is the mobile Internet. Yes, mobile marketing will be a bigger business than the PC Web.”

Opt-in is key and is the primary reason mobile media is already showing much higher ROI than more traditional forms of marketing. If promoted effectively, your opt-in database will grow each day. Keep campaigns simple, and you will be amazed at your ROI and the loyalty of your brand’s following.