While teens in America still out-text adults on their cell phones by a very healthy margin, research shows that adult texters are beginning to catch up – and that’s good news for marketers embracing text marketing. In a CNN article citing a report by Pew Research Center, adults who use mobile phones have increased texting by 7 percent in one year alone, from 65 percent to 72 percent over the past twelve months.
By comparison, nearly 90 percent of teens send and receive SMS messages from their smart phones. They also send and receive a lot more messages than their adult counterparts: as many as 50 messages daily, back and forth, which is five times more than adult texters.
Still ten SMS messages a day, and rising, indicates that adults are becoming more comfortable with smart phone technology and its multitude of uses, and are starting to move beyond using cell phones simply as mobile telephones without cords. Certainly there is a segment of the adult population which has embraced mobile phones, using the technology with all its apps fully, but this specific research seemed to refer a more general segment of the population.
Unfortunately, no indication was given as to the age of those adults surveyed. Like any successful ad campaign, mobile marketing needs to be very specific as to the demographics it targets. Still, it’s a positive overall trend and one that marketers themselves can encourage by providing valuable content to every opt-in member.
Taking this information further, it might be useful for marketers to target adults through some of those texting teens. An example would be a kind of “tell mom and dad” approach. Let’s say the teen has opted in to a great little bistro that uses SMS marketing. That business owner could send a piggy-back message before Valentine’s Day: one for the teen (two meals for one deal) and one for an adult (tell Dad to text *** and he’ll get a special date night with mom!)