The word change has been used a lot in the past year, and we have supported the idea of change as necessary and desirable.
However, the economic circumstances we find ourselves in will demand change of a more personal kind – change in the way we think and behave, and change in the way we operate our businesses.
To bathe our economic misery in the light of facts, consider the report of the United States Department of Commerce from the second week of 2009 –
- Retail sales dropped 2.7% in December of 2008, following a drop of 2.1% in November, marking the worst holiday shopping season in 40 years.
- December marked the sixth consecutive month that retail sales had fallen.
- Consumer retail spending accounts for about two-thirds of the United States’ economy, which means that reduced consumer spending is both a cause and a symptom of the ongoing recession.
Few economists think that the recession, declining home values, the tight credit crisis, and job losses are going to end anytime soon.
Our own experience tells us that things are different and have to be confronted with hard decisions, harder work, and new approaches.
If you are reading this it is likely you have already decided that text message marketing is one of the new approaches. We’d like to reinforce that feeling.
Mobile Marketing Is an Increasingly Important Part of the Marketing Mix
- There are 260 million mobile phone subscribers nationwide.
- In a 2008 survey 29% of moms said that the cell phone was their most important tech gadget, vastly surpassing their second choice, the internet at 29%.
- Text message marketing is based on permission – the people who receive your messages “opt in,” and therefore view your messages as less intrusive and more desirable.
- Mobile marketing is a highly measurable approach for ROI purposes
- It is easily observed that young people are particularly enamored of text messaging and are particularly receptive to text message marketing. Among 18 to 34 year-olds surveyed this year, just 22% had never sent a text message, down from the 38% the prior year.
- Nielsen reports in 2008 that text messaging has increased by 450% from two years before, and that the trend will continue up.
- M:Metrics forecasts that by 2011 global mobile marketing expenditures will surpass $16 billion.
This blog will continue to provide compelling data from new research as it arrives, and other pages on this site make the case for mobile marketing in other terms, but the core message for all of us is that text messaging behavior is becoming an intrinsic part of consumer behavior regardless of the state of the economy.
The Future of Mobile Marketing Is Coming Quickly
By now we all know that the latest mobile phone applications run on what it called 3G or third generation networks. These networks are significantly faster than earlier networks, and allow web browsing, email with attachments, and other data intensive applications like GPS.
But, faster networks that carry more data and more services are coming.
LTE is the common name now used for next generation 4G mobile networks, and LTE is in advanced testing with all major carriers. Rollout of this next generation technology is expected for 2010, and will allow carriers to deliver an ever increasing number of advanced services to the latest versions of smartphones, like the iPhone and the Blackberry. While smartphones made up only 11% of the total mobile market in 2008, this is the fastest growing segment with current growth of 100% in the U.S. and forecasted growth in excess of 50%.
So, there will be plenty of consumers with smartphones who will be able to receive compelling multimedia – not merely text – from you in 2010 and beyond.
By building and perfecting your approach to today’s simple text marketing, you are preparing your business to compete in the coming environment of multimedia messages made possible by 4G networks and smartphones. Building mobile lists and programs in 2009 puts you in the right competitive position to take the next step.
Change is real. The way it was two years ago – we aren’t ever going back there. The landscape on the other end of this dark economic tunnel is different from the landscape we knew going in. There will be adjustments to be made. But with the right planning and the right choices now, you’ll be set to go when you come out the other end of this dark tunnel. Text message marketing – and the mobile multimedia marketing that will follow it – are two of the tools that will have you set to go.
Blogs coming in the next weeks will focus on how to come up with effective text marketing programs, and how to build a list of mobile phone users who are willing to receive text from you.