SMS isn’t Dead. Ever Heard of Geo-Fencing?

windows mobile

lba emarketer Short Messaging Services (SMS) may seem a little passé with the onslaught of smart phones and mobile applications… but it’s far from dead.

SMS, or “Short Message Service,” is the most widely used data application in the world, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers… SMS is perfectly geared towards mobile marketing applications given its highly personal nature, nearly 100% open rate, ability for highly targeted content based on numerous metrics and its inherent reach in terms of two way communication with consumers.

A fantastic paper, The mobileStorm 2010 Mid Year Mobile Marketing Report is available that has a wealth of information on the mobile market – including platforms, applications, social media engagement, ecommerce and much, much more.

One of the discussions in this whitepaper is Location-Based Services (LBS) & Advertising (LBA). Recent polls suggest that consumers are very open to location based advertising. Facebook Places and Foursquare are becoming popular applications for businesses to connect with consumers… but an advancement in SMS technologies called ‘geo-fencing’ may prove very popular as well!

With the introduction and wide availability of user-location data, it’s increasingly being used to enhance SMS campaigns in terms of relevancy. A concept known as “geo-fencing” involves setting a digital perimeter around a given location, such as a retail store or restaurant, and then SMS messages can be dispatched to users entering that perimeter. Opted-in subscribers of a deli’s mobile program could automatically receive a time-sensitive coupon anytime they come within a mile of the restaurant, for example, providing instant value to the user and driving instant sales for the deli.

Proximity marketing is also on the horizon. Proximity marketing would allow businesses with Bluetooth or SMS-CB (Short Message Service – Cell Broadcast) will allow businesses to ‘push’ advertisements when a consumer arrives within reach of the transmission region. Since this technology often doesn’t require permission, it’s questionable whether or not proximity marketing will become popular.


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