Mass text marketing has been standard practice for app developers and start-ups for a number of years, and canny small business owners with an eye on the future are also playing around with the possibilities of mobile. It has taken a little longer for big brands to climb on board.
That’s starting to change. Target and American Express are among the powerhouse corporations to have invested heavily in mobile advertising recently. The latter has gone a stage further, partnering with Zumobi to create a rich user experience for smartphones. Their self-described ‘personalized panorama’ draws on customer preferences for dining, travel, sports, electronics and entertainment, combining video and user-generated content to provide a more tailored experience.
In the last two years Samsung has doubled it’s mobile ad spend, and now routinely sends targeted messages to buyers of the latest iPhone offering them $300 to trade it in for a Samsung device. According to the firm’s marketing director, mobile ads cost one-seventh the amount of online ads and are twice as effective.
Those figures are no exaggeration, but it’s not simply a matter of cost-effectiveness. Brands big and small are attracted to the flexibility of mobile. Yes, there are the glitzy, rich media campaigns and sophisticated geo-targeting techniques, but mobile also allows advertisers to reach people via good old-fashioned SMS. Coca Cola, for instance, promotes restaurants offering deals on the beverage, printing limited edition bottle caps with a short code for people to text in order to win a prize.
SMS also holds the key to emerging markets in a way no other technology can compete with. The developing world has 4.5 billion mobile subscribers, and only a quarter of those have home Internet access. Text messages are capable of reaching the remotest corners of the planet, and only require recipients to have a working feature phone. Mobile is the way to go for companies trying to expand into foreign markets.
Small wonder that Merrill Lynch predicts the mobile advertising market in the United States to be worth more than $18 billion by the end of next year. It’s the early adopters who will benefit most. If you’re a small business looking to be ahead of the curve and save money on advertising, mobile is the smart move.
You don’t need a huge budget to succeed. All you need is a vision and a bulk text messaging platform capable of reaching thousands of customers simultaneously. Don’t let the big brands carve up the mobile space for themselves – get involved with mobile marketing now and gain an edge on your competition.