SMS advertising is certainly not limited to North America, says mobile marketing company owner Casey McConnell, whose headquarters for Qittle.com is located in Aspen, Colorado. Research about mobile phone use in the U.K., for instance, indicates that 60 percent of young adults (between the ages of 18 and 34) use text messaging regularly as a mode of communication with a store, brand or business.
For example, a British television channel that has programming of interest to teenagers uses text marketing to promote viewing. In one successful two-week campaign, the station put a promo code and number (which appeared hourly on the screen during weekday afternoons). Opt-in participants were entered into daily draws for prizes.
In Italy, Dunkin’ Donuts (one of the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain, with some 8,800 outlets worldwide in 31 countries), wanted to accomplish two objectives when it ran its mobile marketing campaign. The first was to inform potential customers about the new stores just opened in Rome and the second was to hire local employees for those outlets.
Both goals were reached, with a twenty percent increase in sales throughout the SMS marketing campaign itself as well as increased brand awareness. The latter was crucial–Dunkin’ Donuts may be a household name in the United States, but its Italian equivalent certainly was not.
In addition, nearly all customers who responded to the text messages purchased other products during their shop visits and half of all respondents opted in to receive further SMS messages from the company.
The ad campaign mixed billboards, radio and print media, targeting students in general. Incentives offered included product coupons for free coffee and specially priced baked goods. All customers were also automatically entered into a draw for a free scooter. This choice of prize (scooters being an extremely popular mode of transport in Rome) worked well with the consumer base being targeted, and likely promoted viral word-of-mouth communication of the SMS marketing campaign.