SMS – 19 Years and Counting

Blimey, has it really been just over 19 years since a Vodafone chap call Neil Papworth sent the first text? His ‘Merry Christmas’ message sent to his colleagues launched a new communication channel that no one predicted would be as popular as it has proved to be.

Bubbles saying sending SMS

Papworth originally thought that texting would be quite a useful way for members of staff to keep in touch and had no inkling that it would grow to be the standard communication workhorse that it is.

So despite having been around for nearly 20 years, the use of mobile marketing as a mainstream activity hasn’t really happened yet. We estimate that just 20 or 30% of UK companies use mobile marketing in any meaningful or consistent way. The view persists that mobile marketing is a bit niche and would only be relevant if your target market was under 35 years old.

Some companies that we speak to say they tried mobile marketing a few years ago and it didn’t work. Usually that means that they sent one bulk SMS campaign with an offer, didn’t get the response they were hoping for, so wrote off mobile marketing as a bad job.

We are seeing some evidence that these attitudes towards mobile marketing are changing. We’re seeing many more enquiries from the type of companies that normally would have given us a wide berth. Every year at about this time we’ve all read optimistic blog posts about how this year is going to be the year of mobile. I think that’s 2012 will be recognised as a year when mobile marketing truly did become a mainstream activity.

So if your company is not yet involved, now is the time to act. Set up a free account, we’ll add some free text credits, give it a test, then contact us on (0117) 205 0202 to chat through how your business could benefit.