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Secrets of Creating an Effective Wireless Promotions Campaign

Sep 13, 2008
Mobile phone marketing, otherwise known as digital marketing, is the modern evolution of direct promotion. Direct promotion has always been favored by businesses as a specialized and focused method of reaching potential consumers and, with the rise of mobile phones, SMS marketing has risen in popularity. Digital marketing is perhaps best defined as the practice of advertising products and services using digital distribution channels to reach customers in a quick, relevant, personalized and economic manner.

The most prevalent example of mobile marketing is SMS marketing, which has expanded very quickly in Europe and Asia. It is thought that several hundred million promotional messages are sent through SMS every month in Europe alone. SMS stands for 'short message service' and is a communication form specific to mobile phones where a short message can be easily sent to any cell phone holder. As well as sending content to customers, advertisers can often encourage customers to join in promotional and brand publicity promotions by encouraging customers to SMS a specific number at an event in order to enter a competition, to receive a gift or to have their text displayed on a multimedia wall at an event. All of these techniques involves the consumer through the medium of SMS and creates brand exposure.

There are a variety of other methods of mobile marketing. One example is sending messages via MMS, which is a multimedia version of SMS, allowing customers to receive messages with color, pictures and video. There is also mobile web marketing, where businesses advertise marketing goals through websites accessed by mobile phones. Promoters often make innovative use of SMS marketing such as location-based services where customers are offered specific advertising and other network-related information and promotional material based on their whereabouts. With the range of techniques and choices available to promoters, it is little surprise that a recent marketing survey found that 89% of major brands planned to advertise their products through mobile marketing by the end of 2008.

SMS marketing is an example of what is known within the industry as "push" marketing. The idea behind push marketing is that that the company has to send (push) the information to the subscriber in order for the information to be received. This is opposite to "pull" marketing, a passive form of advertising, where it is customers who seek out the material from sources such as websites or blogs.

There are numerous advantages to SMS marketing. Primarily, the attraction is that this mode of promotion can be tailored to the customer. This is the ideal in marketing as it means getting the message specifically to the group it's aimed at, rather than squandering money on an broad campaign. The personalization allowed by this type of marketing, which results in a more economical campaign, is one example why a high return on investment is possible with SMS marketing. Another advantage of SMS marketing is the detailed tracking and reporting of subscribers it allows. Through this medium, businesses can track how many users viewed their material and also access specific data about each subscriber such as their name, their age, their demographic and where they're located. This allows a promoter to build up profiles of their subscribers; data which then guides future promotional campaigns and, ideally, their success.

It is noted in the industry that push marketing, of which SMS marketing is a type, can help drive new revenue and brand exposure if it is implemented correctly and appropriately. This is because it makes customers aware of recent events that they may not know to inquire about already and the way a message is written, and even the fact that the material is being sent by a modern, hip medium such as SMS, can say a great deal about a brand and a business.

There are, however, some disadvantages to SMS marketing. Inherently, it needs a mechanism - the cell phone - in order to deliver content. The business, as well, has to make use of specific technology and software in order to deliver the message to customers, which can equal considerable costs. Another downside is the fact that SMS marketing is heavily regulated by the telecommunications industry in response to public disquiet about what data and marketing they get exposed to. Most Western nations have laws in place that compel companies to gain the approval of customers before promotional content is sent to them and must clearly give them with an 'opt out' clause if they request to stop receiving content. If businesses are discovered to be in breach of these laws, network providers can block marketing content by companies.

As mobile technology grows, SMS marketing will surely continue to gather in relevance.
About the Author
About the author: Bob Johnson has 20 years mobile marketing skills. For mobile phone marketing get free information visit on sms marketing
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