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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mobile Marketing vs. SMS Marketing – Don’t jump the gun

Mobile Marketing vs. SMS Marketing - Don't jump the gun

Lately, I noticed that there has been a boom in an alternative social platform that attracts the teenage crowd. This platform has evolved in Asia and is growing extremely popular in that market. It is said that this messaging app may be the next big thing in marketing. Marketing has been evolving and it has always been on a look out for newer, better platform to reach people. Of course, technology has been a great enablers for marketing because we have aggregators medium to reach people. What is aggregators medium, you may ask? Well, blogs enable normal, ordinary people to publish. This democratization of information allows people to simply follow who and what they like on the internet. With this, people are aggregated in their area of interests making the job of a marketers much easier to target the people that they want. But as newer mediums get created, older medium gets neglected. A platform such as mobile marketing is deem to be replacing SMS marketing. By mobile marketing I mean marketing via the smartphone channel. Frankly, I think that is a very short term thinking of marketers. I think that SMS marketing and mobile marketing are not rivals but rather they serve different niche of people.

If you have attended a marketing class before, recall how demographic such as the baby boomers made such a huge difference in the way companies market to them. These natural segmentation of generation shows how at different stage of a person’s life, they will consumer their information differently. In the 90’s we have products that targets specifically the baby boomers. Now, we have products that caters to the Generation Y. So why can’t marketing platforms be segmented that way. If you think about how people get information, the Generation Y get information from various online platforms. This includes a variety of devices such as mobile phones, tablet, PC etc. Mobile marketing is great to target the tech savvy crowd. However, there are older generations that are not tech savvy and probably are still using feature phones. This segment of consumer are best marketed by using platforms that they are comfortable with, that is SMS marketing.

Mobile marketing vs. SMS Marketing. Which will win with feature phone

Mobile marketing vs. SMS Marketing. Which will win with feature phone?


That being said, if you are a marketer that is working on the developing market, you might need to think twice in your marketing strategy. In 2012, 89.7% of the global population aged 30 live in developing and emerging markets. However, this does not mean that mobile marketing is well suited for the emerging and developing markets.

Allow me to raise another point of consideration. In Indonesia for instance, the economy is booming with raising middle class income and young population joining the workforce thereby gaining more disposable income than before. Companies are eager to capture the market share of this population. But infrastructure is a big concern for Indonesia market. In the urban areas, most young workforce are switching to smartphones and spend more time in that medium than other platforms. However, in rural areas, mobile phone is a rare possession. Even the younger population with higher disposable income are using feature phone more than smartphones. Internet connection in rural areas are not well developed. With all these factors in play, SMS marketing may be a better option to target the rural population.

It is pertinent to consider the behaviour of each segments before jumping into the conclusion on the new technology. Macro forces are important consideration for marketing. Age demographic, geographical, infrastructural forces affects consumer behaviour and therefore must be fully considered before plotting the next marketing strategy.


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