Technology continues to improve the way mankind does business in the 21st century and one of the best tools that have enhanced our living standards is mobile device which continues to astound even the innovators to push beyond limits
Before the turn of the century, analogue fixed wired telephone ruled but all that seem gone with the advent of digital mobile phone. Now, other mobile devices like the android, iPhone and tablet makes the famed George Orwells’ 1984 stone age.
The prediction earlier this year according to the Cisco’s ‘visual networking index’ on global mobile data traffic forecast is that the number of connected mobile devices will exceed total human population.
Over the past two years, connected global mobile data continue to double in growth. In 2011 for example, the traffic grew above Cisco’s prediction of 131 per cent – it grew at 133 per cent. “In 2011, mobile data traffic was 8 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000 (597 petabytes vs. 75 petabytes).”
By 2016, we are told there will be about 1.4 mobile devices per capita, with over 10 billion connected mobile devices worldwide. The world population is projected to reach 7.3 billion by that year.
“By 2012, over 100 million smartphone users will be using over 1 gigabytes-per-month of data. And by 2016, the monthly global smartphone data traffic will pass 10 exabytes-per-months, with the average smartphone generating 2.6 gigabytes-per-month, a 17-fold increase from 2011’s average.”
Businesses find these figures quite attractive bate to invest in new line of operation. In North America, where connectivity is significantly high compared to emerging markets as in Africa, companies and organization now find the mobile platform as medium to reach out to potential and existing clients.
“Specifically, SMS is the most effective channel for marketers because of its simplicity, adoption (or) familiarity, and unbiased reach.
Virtually all phones are SMS capable, which means the channel can reach five billion subscribers worldwide.
The International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry (CTIA) reported U.S. annualized yearly text messaging at 2.12 trillion in June 2011, indicating a huge opportunity for marketers.
And, according to Nielsen Mobile, the average consumer sends 600 messages per month compared to using less than 200 voice minutes,” according to a neustar report recently released.
Interestingly, unlike in Africa where the majority of the populations rely on mobile phones to transact businesses and engage in other forms of social-activities, only about 31.6 per cent of the American households are wireless-only (suggesting that they rely solely on their mobile phones as opposed to fixed-landlines).
In over 95 per cent of post-paid mobile contracts, text messages is built into the contract with about 90 per cent of SMS opened and read, this contrast sharply to less than 40 per cent of all email solicitations.
In essence, text message or SMS with its universal accessibility and usage, combined with the ability to provide information in real-time and creates opportunities is making it increasingly more attractive medium of communication than the email options.
More and more companies in the most advanced economies are relying on a ‘common shot code’ mobile marketing platform to “deliver personal, immediate and actionable contents to a target audience.”
“A Common Short Code (CSC) is a 5 or 6 digit carrier-approved number that mobile phone subscribers use to send SMS messages in order to receive information, promotions, alerts and branded content directly to their device.”
Radio stations operating in the frequency modulation (FM), band in Nigeria find the CSC attractive to interact with their target audience – this is affected through a binding contract between the station(s) and a mobile operator, with revenue sharing formula built into the contract. The CSC gateway proves a mutual benefit to both consumers and brands in establishing a two-way communication channel.
“The CSC gateway enables wireless subscribers to access mobile applications and participate in voting and polling, customer feedback, database enrollment, news and offer alerts, contests, surveys, chat, games, direct marketing and mobile commerce. Short code campaigns are rapidly growing in popularity because of their inherent simplicity, ubiquitous outreach, societal trendiness, and perpetual accessibility,” said neustar.
Radio listeners turn to SMS and the CSC platforms to reach their preferred stations during social protests to vent their frustrations over the airwaves. This is even more attractive because of the low broadband penetration in Nigeria and the lack of access to Internet facility to send email or interact on social media platforms. Its cost effectiveness is also an added attraction that pulls listeners to use this medium.
Increasingly, as in the most advanced economies, more businesses would find this medium more profitable to reach their customers for a more cheaper, faster and sure advertising platform.
The result of a recent survey by U.S based firm showed that CSC campaign generated 325 percent more entries than the Web-based call-to-action. While it only ran in 25 percent of the adverts, the short code campaign generated to 52 percent of the total entries. The results demonstrate how short code campaigns make it easy for the consumer to respond to the calls to action while it is still top of mind.