In an era where almost everybody owns a mobile device, probably two in fact, and people can do online searches on-the-go, it’s no wonder that mobile digital marketing is all the rage. There has simply been a significant increase in the use of mobile technology worldwide, with estimates of over 6 billion handsets currently in use. The fastest growing area is the Smartphone market, with Smartphone penetration up to 58% in the UK, and recent estimates predicting that that more people will connect to the Internet via their mobile phone than their PC within 5 years.
For businesses, the simple fact is connecting to their customers via mobile is more appealing now than ever before. Mobile devices offer a chance to engage more personally with consumers than other traditional methods. For example, Acision’s own research shows that the average mobile user has their phone close to hand all the time and generally reads 95 per cent of text messages within three minutes of receipt. Compare this to the average of 20% for traditional emails and it’s easy to see why this a great way of reaching people.
The strength of SMS lies in the fact that it is widely regarded as one of the only modes of communication that can reach any mobile devices regardless of location, network and device. Businesses, large and small recognise this and have been using SMS to great effect, but with the advance of smartphones, OTT applications and the thirst by consumers for more ‘rich content’ has meant that there is greater need to find other ways of reaching these consumers with the same reach and reliability of SMS, but with the addition of richer media and content. The question now is whether to push the envelope with MMS as well as the more popular channels such as OTT, Mobile web and email?
What is needed is the ubiquity and simplicity of SMS but with the ability to deliver more sophisticated content. What is needed is SMS’s younger sibling, MMS (Multimedia Message Service). MMS is just as common and pervasive as SMS AND provides the rich content environment that consumers are now demanding.
Created way back in 2003 by a consortium of carriers and mobile service providers, MMS quickly became a standard feature on virtually all the cellular phones sold around the world. MMS traffic worldwide will reach 223 billion messages by the end of 2013, sent by slightly more than 3 billion users 1.
According to Mashable, large brands are putting their faith in text messaging. Brands including Ikea, Kellogg, Starbucks and TV networks have started marketing outreach programs designed for SMS and MMS as the medium can be used for multimedia ads, inclusive of videos. Even airlines are offering mobile ticketing with scanable QR ticket codes delivered via MMS, the major networks are all running mobile loyalty and fan clubs that deliver behind-the-scenes content and interviews to fans, and forward-thinking marketers are even using MMS to receive user generated content like pictures and video.
It is clear that messaging habits worldwide are changing as consumer are sending more messages than ever before across multiple messaging platforms to fulfil their communication needs, but despite this, SMS and MMS continue to play an important role and are seen as the universal messaging platform across all segments. One thing is certain; MMS is a great way to engage with mobile customers, sending them the images and video they crave while giving those users a channel to communicate back to the these businesses with text, images, video and audio. MMS fits perfectly into the life of today’s mobile users, who are creating and sharing their own content and will continue to play a major role in our mobile digital lifestyle.
1. Portio Research’s new ‘Mobile Messaging Futures 2012-2016’ report.