Don’t Overlook SMS


Mobile advertising/marketing companies are being snapped up right now on the anticipation that rich-media WAP pages are going to be big on handsets, but it’s good to remember the things that are already big on handsets…like SMS. “SMS is no underdog. It has huge adoption now, is very versatile and useful and is going to persist, even if the handsets and networks catch up to the hype being created around WAP and clients. It’s not like the industry is slamming text messaging, most just ignore it for the razzle-dazzle of newer technology. But some are realizing where the real volume is. Maybe more importantly, SMS has the highest overall usage rates in the US (37 percent) compared to WAP (14 percent) or rich clients (6 percent),” writes Zaw Thet, CEO of 4INFO, in <a href="


Zaw Thet

James, thanks for the repost here and your insights.

Raddedas, I must respectfully disagree with some of your comments here. While the mobile marketing space is very saturated, the mobile advertising space (at least in SMS) is not. There are not a lot of companies out there trying to help companies acquire new users via SMS. To your point (which I agree with), there is a big interest in companies that can do more than just SMS marketing campaigns: search and advertising being the biggest two features that come to mind.


I couldn't disagree more with raddedas comments. SMS will always be a dominate force in mobile marketing. Simple solutions are sometimes the most effective. As more and more advertising seeps into the mobile world, people will naturally "tune out" and I think that we will find that SMS solutions will be still be providing advertisers with higher response rates than anything else.

Smaller players will always have a place in the industry as long as they position themselves correctly. Even if all the big brands and agencies have in-house sms programs.


I think they're ignoring SMS dedicated players because the SMS space is saturated, and anyone who wants one has their own platform (it's not rocket science after all). Equally, any client who wants an SMS campaign has one – no-one is claiming they don't work or don't make money, they're just commoditised. They are also quite limited so it's natural for ad agencies to want to move on to the next stage – what can they give the user of value, beyond a few characters of text?

Increasingly, all the SMS shops who do only SMS and aren't bought up will be cut out of the bulk of the market as the big advertising players bring their SMS operations in-house and look to push the medium further. That's why there is interest in the companies which can do more than SMS – because that requires a lot more skill which is much harder to grow in-house quickly. I suspect Zaw is well aware of that trend.

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