SMS Is a ‘Global Phenomenon’

In a new report entitled “Global Digital Communication: Texting, Social Networking Popular Worldwide”, Pew Research indicates “text messaging is a global phenomenon—across the 21 countries surveyed, a median of 75 percent of cell phone owners say they text.” 

In looking specifically at the U.S., 67 percent of cell phone owners regularly send text messages, according to the report. This usage level is unmatched by any other mobile data activity. As I have said many times before in my posts and emphasized in my presentation on mobile marketing at last month’s IAEE Expo! Expo!, scale should be one of the key drivers of your mobile marketing strategy.

SMS/text messaging offers a variety of different marketing opportunities. I have discussed several examples of SMS initiatives by show organizers and exhibitors in previous posts. Most recently, I focused on the SMS/MMS alerts program executed by CTIA Enterprise & Applications.

If you are just getting started with SMS or already have a program and want to explore other SMS uses, take a look at what other shows are doing. There is no substitute for seeing these programs in action.

As we start the New Year, and you take a fresh look at your mobile marketing strategy, it is worthwhile to reiterate some of the benefits of SMS in addition to scale:

(1) SMS is a great way to build a database for remarketing.
(2) SMS provides an incremental call to action.
(3) SMS enables tracking of adjacent media.
(4) SMS is easy to execute.
(5) SMS is low cost.

One final comment: Follow opt-in and other execution best practices here, and make sure you are in compliance with relevant industry regulations.



Cristopher Levy is managing partner of Encore Media Partners. Encore is an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency covering traditional, digital and mobile platforms, which specializes in local, national and global trade and consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences. Reach him at