Entry By Jason Brick
The thing that makes new media marketing so challenging is that by the time news get written down, it's likely to be out of date. It's such a fast-changing industry. That doesn't excuse marketing professionals or small business owners from keeping track of what's happening -- it just makes it a challenge.
Just the Stats as of 2012
- 5.1 billion humans worldwide actively use text messaging, including people in areas with no land line telephones or electricity.
- Over 500 billion text messages are sent each month -- about 200,000 per second.
- In the developed world, people are more likely to own a cell phone than a bank account.
- Market research puts the average consumer attention span at 7 seconds -- making short forms like text ideal for engaging with potential customers.
- The redemption rate for text and mobile coupons this year is 10 times that of traditional print coupons.
- Mobile marketing is the fastest growing marketing media, expected to account for over 15 percent of the market by 2014.
Bottom Line: Text is bigger than ever, but a lot of people are doing it. There's huge opportunity to grow your business, but only if you stand out from the crowd.
The Year of the Smart Phone
This year's Super Bowl demonstrated that social and mobile media have become a major part of the culture. Research shows that 9 out of 10 mobile searches end in an action, such as visiting a shop or placing a phone call, and over half of mobile ads result in customer contact. Smart phone and mobile device usage is growing even faster than text, and is expected to increase as mobile prices continue to fall.
Bottom Line: Your text campaign needs to include items that take advantage of mobile capability, and your website should include mobile-optimized options for potential customers on the go.
On the Campaign Trail
Obama's 2008 text campaigning was a newsworthy attempt to court a younger, hipper constituency. This year, every candidate has a mobile platform supporting their political platform. This includes official text campaigns from the candidates, as well as extensive mobile networks for political groups and support organizations nationwide. We can only expect the mobile campaign to escalate as Election Day grows ever nearer.
Bottom Line: Even the technologically conservative political establishment has embraced text marketing. If you're not, you're far behind the marketing curve.
Arab Spring, Part II
Last year, social media and text communication were an integral part of the civil unrest and positive change in the Middle East. As those countries begin to establish new ways of living in the aftermath of conflict, text and mobile media have become invaluable tools. For example, Muslim Aid raised over 100,000 pounds via a text campaign to help with humanitarian aid for Syria.
On the home front, text message campaigns form the backbone of political demonstration from both the left's Occupy and the right's Tea Party movements, and with the FEC's recent decision, Presidential fundraising.
Bottom Line: Text communication can mobilize thousands -- even millions -- to act. If your message is 1 percent as good, it should mobilize 10 or more people a day to come into your business.