Is SMS Still the Right Mobile Marketing Medium?
I know you've probably read a lot on the subject of whether SMS is dying or not, with the likes of RIM's Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Apple's iMessage, apps like WhatsApp, and other IM solutions being hailed as the next king in line...
So the question that arises is, is SMS still worth considering as a medium to be used in your mobile marketing campaign efforts? Or is it getting outdated / overcome? Is there a better way to reach your customers?
Well, the fact of the matter is that, looking at where things stand in the mobile world today, SMS is still king. And it's main strength is the simple point that it is universal. There is no other replacement out there that offers the unique feature that it works on virtually every handset in the world (apart from voice calls, obviously) right now.
This means that SMS is a technology that, for example, allows you to overcome cultural barriers and differences, because everybody uses it. For example, there are certain countries where RIM has 50%+ penetration, and the majority of the population use BBM. But even with these impressive figures, you have a simple problem: If you choose that as your medium for a mobile marketing campaign, your message will NOT get across to everyone!
Of course, we should never forget that you are attempting to reach a specific audience and this is different from business to business, and it might very well be the case that for a very specific audience SMS, is not the ideal choice of medium (as an example it might be better to approach an older audience on their mobiles with pre-recorded voice messaging or automated interactive voice calls - IVR).
But it's exactly this universal reach that SMS provides, which is why, as much as I love playing with new technologies and preparing innovative & fun campaigns on new mediums (Proximity Marketing w/ Bluetooth & WiFi, Near-Field Communications, Mobile Web, In-App advertising, etc.), I always recommend never to leaveSMS marketing out of your mobile marketing mix!
On other mediums universality is relatively simplecompared to mobile. For example, you pay for an ad on a national TV channel, everyone watching that channel in the country will see your ad.
On mobile, it's a whole different story and there's no simple solution. But choosing SMS as your marketing medium is definitely - in this day and age - a step in the right direction...