Roosevelt Institute | Cornell University

Economic Impacts of Mobile Marketing

By Stephanie HahmPublished March 10, 2015

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Even with the growing popularity of mobile phones, business marketing strategies have been stagnant, as advertisements are still primarily distributed through billboards, commercials, mail, and e-mail. However, an underutilized but extremely effective approach is using SMS mobile marketing. With data that shows extremely high open rates and the ability to easily evaluate the efficacy of SMS marketing, companies should be quick to realize the potential of this strategy.
Small changes in the tech industry often lead to big impacts. Recently, there have been enormous strides in this field, with the creation of 3D printers and self-driving automobiles. However, we have yet to fully exploit simpler technologies — especially when it comes to utilizing tech for advertising in an efficient, measurable way.

Specifically, an underutilized method of advertising is SMS or mobile message marketing. Mobile traffic has been exponentially increasing, and is becoming the most personable method of communication. Advertisements through billboards and print media are slowly becoming obsolete. These methods of advertisement are also hard to measure in terms of efficiency, and businesses don't seem to know the direct impact of the marketing they are paying for the customers to see. Even emails are having an increasingly lower open rate and response rate, as people move away from desktop and toward their phones.

Mobile marketing on the other hand, especially text messaging potential clients, has already proven to be successful. An experiment conducted by Singlepoint found that the text messaging open rate was 98%, and 90% of texts were read within 3 minutes of their receipt. The power of mobile marketing is tremendous, as it has the potential to become the most direct and surefire way to contact the business' clientele.
SMS-based mobile marketing has its perks when it comes to business impacts.

First of all, it's extremely efficient, with companies using software that sends relevant mobile message advertisements to hundreds of thousands of people at the same time —all while collecting data on potential clientele, based on gender, age group, and other factors.

This type of marketing, and its impact, can easily be measured and evaluated. Previously, advertisements disseminated through the mail would be read, trashed, or lost, and marketers would never really know if their advertisements had any sort of impact. Other marketing tools geared towards reaching the general public, either through billboards or commercials, also did not provide sufficient data about consumer interest or demand. With SMS, businesses will be able to analyze real-time the progress of their mobile marketing strategies. In addition, they will have the opportunity to revise their strategies if they don't see the quick results they are looking for. 

Recently, start-up tech firm Waterfall partnered with PETA to do a mobile marketing campaign powered by Emoji. Using the software provided by Waterfall, PETA was able to create an initiative called "Cruelty Beyond Words." PETA supporters sent a red heart emoji to the organization's number in order to receive updates on how to participate, and better protect animals. PETA was also able to track where the texts came from, and could further tailor follow-up responses to these clients.

Business should look to the up-and-coming mobile marketing model to send personalized marketing strategies to their clients. If we know that SMS marketing works, businesses should be quick to realize that their current strategies are becoming more and more irrelevant in the marketplace.