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Opt It is the premiere provider of text messaging for brands and businesses.

Of all of the market research companies available in the world, Nielsen is one of the most respectable and credible. It is Nelsen’s job to stay on top of market trends, and it’s no surprise that they have created a factsheet called the “U.S. Media Universe” that focuses on reporting the key trends in U.S. consumers’ relationships with their favorite media tools. Read on for some facts that will help you understand U.S. consumers and predict their media-related behavior for 2011.

As of January 2011, there are 228 million mobile phone users in the U.S. Of those, 83.2 million have access and use the web on their phones. That’s about 36 percent of total mobile phone users. Sixty six percent of mobile phone users send text messages, according to their study. Nielsen has broken down the amount of texters by age group. The highest amount of texts comes from 13-17 year olds, an age group that sends 3,705 text messages a month! That’s over 44 thousand text messages a year. The remaining age groups usage goes down steadily. Eighteen to 24 year olds send 1,707 a month, 25 to 34 year olds send 758, 35 to 44 year olds send 583, 45-54 year olds send 349, 55 to 64 years olds send 124, and all 65 plus year olds send on average 41 messages a month. The key thing to note is that there is not a single age group that is NOT texting, they all are.

When it comes to gender, women tend to send more texts and talk more on the phone than males. On average, a woman will send 716 texts a month compared to a man’s 555.

How can this information help you? Well, if you are a marketer or business owner, knowing that the total U.S. population is 310 million and that 228 million of them are texting, it’s safe to say that if your target market is between the ages of 13-64, you can reach them by text. Also, if you are targeting various age groups, you can use this information to help allocate your advertising budget based on your understanding of how that group communicates. Obviously, if 13-17 year olds are within your target market, the unparelleled communication tool to get their attention is a text. The same goes for allocating budgets for targeting women versus men.

With consumer spending set to increase in 2011, now is a good time to get your marketing message into the hands of your target consumers via text.

If you were a marketer 50 years ago, you were probably called a “sales person” and not a “marketer” and in actuality, you were most likely a telemarketer. If you were a marketer 25 years ago, you were doubtlessly fascinated by the idea of the Internet and spent your time creating large marketing promotions for TV and radio. If you are a marketer in this day and age, you have a lot more to keep track of. There’s the Internet, TV and video, and yes, the mobile phone.

Some interesting statistics were recently released by eMarketer regarding consumer time with media. The findings are not necessarily shocking, but they do appropriately support the fact that consumer attention is shifting away from not only newspapers, but also away from TV and on to the latest star gadget- the mobile phone.

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A recent study by ABI Research found that 7 trillion messages will be sent worldwide this year. This massive number is a clear indication of a communication channel that marketers simply cannot ignore.

The study found that a large portion of these 7 trillion messages will be sent by the younger generations. Since these youngsters will inevitably replace the older generations, it is clear that text messages will not only remain but also grow as the prevalent form of communication in this and coming years.

Neil Strother, practice director at ABI Research, is quoted as saying that text messages are “the key communication tool of the modern era. It is a great place for marketers to communicate with consumers.” Quite frankly, he could not have said it any better. The great thing is that Opt It Mobile 3.0 is already available and ready to encompass any size marketing program your business would like to create in order to utilize this channel of communication to reach your consumers.

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Now that the holidays have passed and the New Year is coming, families will begin to find ways to escape the cold weather and the winter blues. Some will plan a trip to Florida or Mexico, others will take up a new sport, and still others will try a new hairstyle, just to spice things up.

Many hair salons have tried text message marketing already, and have gained and retained customers because of it. Many of our hair salon business clients have shared their tried and true texting tips and advice, and we thought it would be helpful to pass some successful suggestions along to you:

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You can call it “mobile marketing.” Or perhaps “text message marketing.” Or even simply just “text messages.” But I bet you never thought to call it “health messages.” Regardless of the new terminology, that’s precisely what some text messages have turned into- messages containing information to help you be a healthier person.

Take the federal government for example. The White House launched a free text message campaign for expectant mothers this year called “text4baby”. Via this program, messages are sent out containing information such as health tips, appointment reminders, and recommendations for community resources, all timed to a woman’s due date. These messages continually enforce prevention, reminding pregnant women to make prenatal care a top priority. (Find out more at: .)

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