Mobile marketing is multi-channel online marketing technique focused at reaching a specific audience on their smart phone, tablets, or any other related devices through websites, E mail, SMS and MMS, social media or mobile applications. Mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas.
Marketing through cellphones’ SMS (Short Message Service) became increasingly popular in the early 2000s in Europe and some parts of Asia when businesses started to collect mobile phone numbers and send off wanted (or unwanted) content. On average, SMS messages have a 98% open rate, and are read within 3 minutes, making it highly effective at reaching recipients quickly.
Over the past few years SMS marketing has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. This is because unlike email over the public internet, the carriers who police their own networks have set guidelines and best practices for the mobile media industry (including mobile advertising). The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), as well, have established guidelines and are evangelizing the use of the mobile channel for marketers. While this has been fruitful in developed regions such as North America, Western Europe and some other countries, mobile SPAM messages (SMS sent to mobile subscribers without a legitimate and explicit opt-in by the subscriber) remain an issue in many other parts of the world, partly due to the carriers selling their member databases to third parties. In India, however, government’s efforts of creating National Do Not Call Registry have helped cellphone users to stop SMS advertisements by sending a simple SMS or calling 1909.
Mobile marketing approaches through SMS has expanded rapidly in Europe and Asia as a new channel to reach the consumer. SMS initially received negative media coverage in many parts of Europe for being a new form of spam as some advertisers purchased lists and sent unsolicited content to consumer’s phones; however, as guidelines are put in place by the mobile operators, SMS has become the most popular branch of the Mobile Marketing industry with several 100 million advertising SMS sent out every month in Europe alone. This is thanks impart to SMS messages being hardware agnostic—they can be delivered to practically any mobile phone and accessed without a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection. This is important to note since there are over 5 billion unique mobile phone subscribers worldwide in 2017, which is about 66% of the world population.
SMS marketing has both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound marketing focuses on lead generation, and outbound marketing focuses on sending messages for sales, promotions, contests, donations, and appointment and event reminders.
Coming soon – a directory of SMS Ads resources