As the mobile industry comes of age and becomes more sophisticated, it is widely predicted that more companies will choose to spend a larger percentage of their marketing budget on mobile advertising and applications. At this point, the benefits of SMS become clear; campaigns need to leverage the power and reach of SMS, using it to support their overall marketing strategies, using messaging as the main means of driving customers to the internet.

This view was echoed by some of the world’s biggest brands at the latest MMA (Mobile Marketing Association)Forum in Singapore. Gavin Mehrotra, director of Iinternational media for the Coca-Cola Company, started his presentation stating categorically that: “SMS is the number 1 priority at Coca-Cola in mobile” and that you need it to reach just about every person on the planet. That’s quite a statement from someone working for probably the best-known brand in the world.

Permission and trust
We  also know that SMS gives a campaign the added power to communicate with your target customer and build on the relationship you have with them, based on permission and trust. Adding SMS to a campaign allows consumers to text for more information, so the follow-up is able to become more targeted; we have seen this work in every sector.

In the Arts, we have worked with English National Opera, who used an SMS campaign to increase ticket sales for late availability; an investment of £500 in SMS marketing generated an amazing £8,000 in ticket sales. Papa John’s Pizza uses SMS to market special offers at times that they want to build sales; in fact across all sectors we are experiencing a growth in ROI, as campaigns are measurable in a way they haven’t been until now.

Combine this with the growth in the use of smartphones and it’s clear why campaigns are benefiting from improved targeting with SMS. No longer are you limited to 160 characters of text, the increasing use of smartphones, and the public acceptance of tiny URLs on social media platforms, means that SMS can be used as tool to link to a bigger picture. SMS can now be used as the ‘hook’ needed to direct the reader to where they need to be online, faster than if they were left to their own devices. Links to apps, videos and web pages are easily incorporated into an SMS message, making SMS a vital tool, working hand-in-hand with other mobile marketing tools to achieve greater ROI for every mobile campaign.

At Txtlocal, we work with clients of all shapes and sizes, from English National Opera, Malmaison Hotels and Liverpool University to much smaller, owner-operated brands like Shelley’s Restaurant in Warrington. Any tool which allows a business owner to grow their customer data and intelligence, and then allow you to communicate targeted messages to them directly is powerful, and it’s right there in your hand – the humble mobile phone. But don’t take our word for it – check out what the man from Coca-Cola said.

Darren Daws is managing director of Txtlocal