When Casey McConnell, founder and CEO of mobile marketing company Qittle.com, was asked about mobile marketing methods other than text messages, he said that he is not currently focusing on voice, video streams or other applications.
His stance comes from both the immediacy factor (the fewer steps the better type of marketing) and the universality of text messaging: all mobile phone users can receive and respond to SMS messages. McConnell elaborates by saying: “A business that has my contact info and permission is better off sending me a SMS message rather than assuming I have a smart phone and pushing me to a mobile website or an app.”
The numbers back McConnell up.
When MobiLens released information for the first quarter of 2010, it showed text messaging as the top form of mobile content. In fact, text messaging was ahead of web, apps and even games, and its use continues to climb.
Number crunching shows that in an average month nearly 64 percent of the 234 million Americans with mobile phones (from the ages of 13 years and up) used text messaging. That’s twice as many who used browsers or made use of applications available on their smart phones.
As McConnell said, users simply may not own smart phones. It’s also possible they may not be sophisticated enough yet to be able to make use of all the functions on their mobile phones. The high popularity of text messaging might also relate to cost. Typically, says McConnell, “we quote that most (85 percent) mobile users have unlimited text plans, which makes it free for them to receive text messages.”
In other words, if your mobile marketing campaign excludes SMS messages, you stand to lose a substantial pool of potential customers. On the other hand, if you ensure that all mobile advertising can be accessed by text messaging, you’ve covered this major base of text-only consumers and can then bring in voice, video, and other methods of interactive communication.