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Statistics

1.5 Billion cell phone users worldwide. ( 1.3 Billion GSM or 74.9% of total users)
20 Million South African cell phone users (expected to grow to 30 Million by 2008)

500 Billion sms sent worldwide 2004
85.5 Million sms sent in South Africa 2004 (over festive season)

674 Million cell phone sales worldwide 2004 (30% increase over previous year)

Global marketing observations

15% Average response to sms marketing
94% Of messages are read
23% Of messages are forwarded to a friend
50% Better at brand building than TV
130% Better at brand building than radio

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News

SMS MARKETING GETS BETTER RESPONSE THAN DIRECT MAIL

Enpocket has published its third Insight report. The response performance of SMS advertising. The study, which is based on independent ICM telephone survey work with over 5,200 consumers who had seen some of more than 200 campaigns researched by Enpocket between Oct 2001 and Jan 2003, revealed that the average campaign delivers 15% response (of any type), which is more than twice the average other industry re- ports have given for direct mail (sources: Gartner, DMIS.

The report also noted that the best performing response mechanisms are Reply to SMS (8% average), Visit a web site (6%), Visit a store (4%), Buy the advertised product (4%).

The research shows that 94% of messages are read, which helps explain the high levels of response and brand impact that previous Enpocket Insight reports have unveiled. 23% of messages are shown or forwarded to a friend, which indicates that the total impact of activity is significantly higher than even these figures suggest.

For the best performing campaigns, the study reveals outstanding results as follows: 46% response (of any type), 27% Reply to a message, 19% Visit a web site, 15% Visit a store. Most impressively, the best campaigns have resulted in 17% buying the advertised product, which suggests that marketers who tailor communications most effectively to this new personal medium can generate exceptional ROI.

Commenting on the findings, Jonathon Linner, CEO of Enpocket, said: With these results, and the findings of the earlier branding report, SMS advertising has firmly proved that it is a more effective marketing channel than other media. The personal nature of the medium and high attention it commands, coupled with its unparalleled targeting and response capabilities, means marketers can deliver actionable campaigns of greater relevance and impact to their target audiences. Add to this the facts that production and delivery costs are low and that 1 in 4 messages are shown or forwarded to friends, and there is tremendous opportunity for marketers to improve total ROI through use of the medium. (Enpocket is a global mobile media marketing company.)

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SMS MARKETING: WHATS'S THE WRITING ON THE WALL?
Latitha Srinivasan - Financial Express: India - Monday April 19, 2004.


MUMBAI: The focus seems to be on 'mobile marketing services' in the Indian marketplace. Realising the significance of this mode of marketing, marketers are increasingly opting for mobile marketing techniques to connect with their target audience-directly. And with around 33 million subscribers in the country, the concept of mobile marketing is rapidly gaining momentum, observe new media analysts.

For instance, Coca-Cola India is planning to launch an aggressive SMS-based campaign to promote its new launch 'Coke Vanilla' along with its mass media advertising plans within a few days. Recognising the potential of this medium, Coke had in fact initiated a host of SMS-based promotions almost two years ago, informs Coca-Cola India director (marketing) Mumbai Sharda Agarwal.

"The bulk of our SMS activation has revolved around contests and games. To reach out to our prime target audience-the youth- we
have opted for SMS-based promotions and contests. To stay connected with the youth segment, we'll be using this mode of marketing as it is direct and personalised," she adds.

Recently, the cola major integrated its television campaign with SMS-based contests to promote its flagship brand Coca-Cola, says Ms Agarwal.

Yet another company, L'Oreal India kickstarted its mobile marketing activities just a year ago. Says a spokesperson from the company: "We chose this mode of marketing because it is a personalised and interactive medium. We have launched SMS-based promotions with the help of Mobile2win in the last few months. I think this concept will gain momentum in the next few years."

In view of the interactive nature of this mode of marketing, Standard Chartered Bank has been using SMS-based promotions to popularise its products and services in the last few months.

Says Standard Chartered Bank head marketing Sugato Banerjee: "With this concept, you enter into a conversation with a customer. It's an interactive medium as you can send direct and personlised messages. Also, we see it in a different light-if a person can afford a mobile phone, he can surely be our bank's potential customer."

Essentially, this mode of marketing helps a bank to build its database, adds Mr Banerjee. However, he cautions that marketers will have to use it judiciously, otherwise it'll be seen as boring spams. "It should be used precisely. It can never be the main media of marketing, but it'll certainly support mass media ads," he adds.

As for the future of mobile marketing techniques in India, predicts Mr Banerjee: "It's already gone over the roof. It'll soon touch the sky."

But what are the emerging trends in the Indian mobile marketing scene? Increasingly, Indian marketers are now using mobile as an effective marketing tool to connect with their target audience. Says Contest2win CEO Alok Kejriwal: "The mobile screen is something that 33 million Indians (add two million a month) are staring at everyday multiple times-so can the efficacy of this mode be even questioned? We've already conducted 50 wireless campaigns through our company mobile2win."

Further, Mr Kejriwal reasons that brands are recognising that PULL sms (motivating a consumer to respond by reacting to TV, print and hoardings) is a far better mechanic than PUSH (a la spam).

Hungama managing director Neeraj Roy, a virtual marketing company, observes that the new trends in mobile marketing are 'Mobile Adver-Games' and position-based interactive communication. "Interaction can be non-intrusive if it is pull-driven and a consumer can be engaged on the move. There are options for creating 'Mobile Coupons' to attract new consumers," he says.

Hungama has recently designed mobile marketing campaigns for companies like Electrolux, HDFC Bank and Cartoon Network.

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FESTIVE SEASON BEEPS IN WITH 85.5M SMS
Gugulakhe Masango - January 5, 2004


Johannesburg - The cellphone industry recorded 85.5 million short message services (SMS) during the festive season, implying that mobile network operators will continue to generate more revenue as competition for subscribers hots up.

Vodacom registered 51 million SMS during the Christmas period in 2003, compared with 39 million SMS in the previous festive season.

"We will release the New Year's Eve figures [on Monday] and we expect the numbers to show a significant growth," said Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom's group executive of corporate affairs.

Rival MTN Group recorded 24 million SMS and 30 million successful calls over the Christmas and New Year's day. Donovan Smith, MTN's general manager of consumer marketing, said MTN had increased its core SMS infrastructure capacity by about 30 percent in anticipation of call and SMS traffic over the festive season.

Cell C, the country's third cellular operator, reported 10.5 million SMS during the Christmas period into the New Year in its second festive season.

"We have benefited from our new subscribers, which have more than doubled last year," said Fred Coetzer, Cell C's chief operations officer. Cell C last year delivered 3.4 million SMS in its first festive season.

The cellphone industry benefited from the mobile network operators' seasonal campaigns to entice customers to make more calls and SMS and to invite new customers to subscribe.

Vodacom benefited from its Yebo Summer campaign and Cell C from its Red Hot Summer. MTN's SMS were boosted by its popular campaign of trying to virtually paint the country yellow with its Yello Summer adverts.

The increase in the number of SMS sent during the festive season will go a long way for Cell C, which is expected this year to break even financially.

MTN reported R1.82 billion in attributable profit during the six months to September, while Vodacom clocked up R1.37 billion.

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LOVE AFFAIR: CONSUMERS AND THEIR MOBILE PHONES
20 April, 2005

Consumers love their mobile phones - sometimes more than their own lovers.
BBDO Europe and its direct-marketing network, Proximity, surveyed 3,000 mobile phone owners (ages 15-35) in 15 countries. They found that:

53% of respondents have used their mobile phones to respond to a brand promotion
78% leave their phones on and in reach 16-plus hours a day
80% sleep with their phones on
14% admit they've answered their phones while having sex
       (in some countries closer to 20%)
96% screen their calls
63% wouldn't lend their phone to a friend for the day
38% say they'd go back home for a forgotten phone before they'd go back for a forgotten        wallet
45% think a phone says as much about a person as his car.

"Mobile phones offer a unique new opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers on a more personal, intense level," said Valerie Accary, managing director Multinational Clients for BBDO Europe, in a statement.

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