A new white paper titled ‘The State of SMS’ released today, suggests SMEs and start-ups need to mobilise their marketing if they are to compete with more established brands in the marketplace.
The report, commissioned by Textlocal predicts a sharp rise in mobile usage as Britain boasts nearly 80 million active mobile phones in circulation for the first time, with only 50 per cent of SMEs surveyed currently using SMS as part of their marketing strategies.
The need for action comes as Ofcom estimates that a staggering 93 per cent of the UK’s population now own a mobile phone, with the majority keeping them to hand for more than 16 hours a day. The report also highlights that by 2018, 92 per cent of businesses expect to have a mobile strategy in place, highlighting the need for SMEs to act now to remain competitive.
Jason Palgrave-Jones, managing director of Textlocal, comments, ‘Smartphones are transforming the way British consumers behave and businesses need to reflect this when looking to interact with them. We have seen a rise in larger corporates using SMS for their marketing and communications and believe there is a significant opportunity for SMEs to do the same.’
The opportunity is highlighted by the fact that 98 per cent of branded or business-related texts are opened by mobile users, with 90 per cent being read within three minutes of receiving them. The report goes on to highlight that 23.5 million people will respond to a business text message in 2017, with the most popular uses including marketing offers or confirmation of delivery schedules. In total, more than 7 billion texts will be sent this year alone.
The State of SMS report compares the marketing medium against social media platforms in terms of performance. The results highlight that nine out of ten consumers want to use Facebook as a social platform, with only ten per cent wanting to use it as a tool for interacting with brands. The report also highlights a greater ownership of mobile phones compared to Facebook accounts (30 million Facebook accounts compared to 37.2 million mobile phone users who have opted to receive text messages from brands and businesses).
The report concludes to show the effectiveness of SMS compared to mobile advertising, with SMS achieving better responses whether targeting a recipient to download an app, purchase goods online or even encourage them into a store to make a purchase.