Is mobile marketing worthwhile?

Is mobile marketing worthwhile?


I see, and receive mobile marketing messages, should I invest for my business, or is it a fad?

Mobile is the closest you can get to the consumer. There is no other device that is as personal – it’s always on you, consider how ‘naked’ we feel if we leave it at home. As marketers and business owners seek to understand and influence a consumer’s path to purchase, mobile devices have the potential to be the key enabler.

In a recent study that analysed the media mix for 30 iconic marketers, the results indicated that the greatest contributor to performance was aligning the media mix for today’s consumer media habits.

90% of SMSes are read

Considering Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socialising on their cell phones – twice the time they spend eating, and that 75% of the globe has a mobile phone – mobile marketing is not a fad and a marketing tool set to stay because of its proximity to consumers, and the contact success rate – 90% of SMSes are read as opposed to 40% of emails.

Get an SMS strategy going

So to get started, how much should you invest?

  • Good companies make sure they are investing some capital, roughly 10%, in potentially powerful areas. Marketers must do the same, and set their expectations.
  • Identify the right partner, programme and messaging for your objectives.
  • Use the initial period to see what works for you. If you expect an instant return you can’t test for longer-term results.
  • Finding the right SMS provider for your business is vital.

Supplement expertise

This simply requires the right resources. It doesn’t mean hiring new people or outsourcing, but making sure somebody is up-to-speed on new technologies has an innovative approach to marketing and can embrace change.

Testing, learning and adapting

You can’t expect to have a positive ROI from the off. It’s ok to be wrong in the beginning. However, there needs to be a clear plan of what will be tested, how it will be measured, and subsequent actions.

Consistently applying a test, learn, improve model will ensure SMS campaigns get smarter and deliver better results.

A recent headline stated: “Mobile to overtake fixed internet access by 2014”, so cell phones aren’t going away. It’s clear that the ability for entrepreneurs to tap into one of the most important and heavily used devices should yield tremendous returns.

While I suspect that most recognise the opportunity, the challenge comes down to time, resources, and priorities.

Charles Stretch
Charles Stretch is the managing director of SMSPortal. Established in 2002, it has grown to be SA’s largest bulk SMS provider sending 100 million SMS a month (the total market is 230 million SMS). Contact for more information.