Marketers Still Cold To SMS Ads

    April 3, 2007

While mobile data use has doubled since 2003, mobile marketing has been slower to grow, according to a new study by Forrester Research. The study found that only 13 percent of interactive marketers relied on text messaging to reach consumers in December 2006.

When marketers were asked what would make them spend more on mobile sites and other emerging media, most of the respondents in the Forrester study said "proof of use".

While mobile phones are widely used, marketers are not embracing sending ads to all of them, according to eMarketer Mobile Analyst John du Pre Gauntt.

"Mobile marketing/advertising draws passionate viewpoints, both pro and con," says Mr. Gauntt, "ranging from those who want it to jumpstart a sluggish mobile content and data market, to those who want to protect mobile from the marketing cacophony that infests every other media platform."

Marketers that do reach out to consumers have interesting results. A Dunkin Donuts-sponsored mobile campaign in Boston used SMS mobile coupons for new latte drinks.
The campaign saw a 4 percent click-through rate and a 21 percent increase in store traffic from customers cashing in their coupons.

An ROI Research study found that consumers are willing to receive promotions similar to the Dunkin Donuts campaign. For those who used e-mail and other emerging technologies, 88 percent of respondents used text messaging, trailing just behind e-mail.

Marketers are talking about mobile marketing, but are talking a conservative approach, according to a survey from the CTIA mobile industry association conference by LogicaCMG Telecoms.

Wayne Irwin of Logica summarized what the survey meant to mobile marketers.

"The most important word here is ‘relevant,’" said Mr. Irwin. "The mobile industry is approaching advertising very cautiously, and is watching consumer adoption very closely to ensure success."

"Done well, if it’s relevant and targeted, mobile advertising can help drive down costs to the consumer while helping grow revenues for the mobile operator."