Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 10, 2004 4:18 PM

Marketing To Mobile Phones With SMS

I spent the better part of the morning hearing two great speakers present the case for the power of SMS mobile marketing. For those not in the know, SMS stands for "Short Message Service" and is typically the way to send text messages through a mobile device (why everybody is not running around with a Blackberry is beyond me). It's how we got to sentences like: "c u in a bit, k?" because SMS has a 160-character maximum per message.

SMS is also becoming a marketing monster. Today's presentation was presented by the Montreal Relationship Marketing Association which is an affiliate of the Canadian Marketing Association.

Impact Mobile's Gary Schwartz and LIPSO Systems' Vivianne Gravel both explained, demoed and cautioned the crowd about the power, potential and pitfalls.

Key learnings included:
- SMS' ability to initialize a relationship any time, anywhere
- How SMS can act like a "marketing glue" as it moves customers through mediums (i.e. from print to point-of-sale)
- The simplicity of the technology
- How we're moving from mobile phones into mobile remote controls
- SMS is growing faster here in Canada than it did in Europe with over 2 million messages per day

Although users must opt-in and the use must have a two-way communication to really lift, SMS - like all mobile services - has a ways to go. Phone carriers have only recently become unified in this space and there is a lot of education to be done. That being said, if you can keep the Spam levels under control, the permission level high, and add in some statistical research that supports the usage and power, SMS can be a new, fresh and engaging way to connect people to a brand that they're already passionate about. An interesting new (and sensitive) touch point for marketers. How much of this would you like on your mobile device?

By Mitch Joel


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