Text messages are a huge part of how everyone communicates. The email has largely died for informal direct communication as nearly everyone in the world can access and send a text message wherever they are.
Sixty per cent of people around the world actively text, with a whopping 193,000 texts sent every second.
All of this suggests that texting is quite possibly the smartest way to engage with your consumers in marketing campaigns.
Daniel Burrus would argue that yes, text messaging marketing is the way forward – especially over email – the facts certainly suggest so at least. But I, the stubborn type I am, disagrees. Nobody wants to receive text message marketing, it's intrusive and downright annoying.
IBM research shows that 90 per cent of email marketing goes unopened and unread. According to Burrus, the opposite is true of text marketing, with 90 per cent being read and acted on – although I'm dubious about the latter point there.
Burrus raises three good points about text marketing, you need to get permission first, you need to not bombard your customers with needless texts, and you have to deliver valuable information in the process too.
However, I disagree about just how useful text marketing is because, from Burrus' experience, it's vastly different to that of other businesses or when you're the consumer.
Many times I've signed up for something that I'm interested in, only to find that I must supply my phone number. Doing so then means I'll receive texts sporadically offering deals or promoting a new item, band, opportunity etc. Here's the thing: I've already signed up for emails – which get pushed to my phone. I don't need two, maybe three, reminders.
It's nice to see that text campaigns aren't as bullish as those found in email marketing messages, but they still annoy.
Texts come in from my mobile carrier, informing me of possible deals they have going on at events I largely don't care about. It's all far to generalise and assumes my tastes revolve around Football, BeyoncÃ© and the latest craze.
From my experience, the only reason these texts have a 90 per cent open rate is because people take a look at them to get them off their phone as an unopened message.
Perhaps if the information sent to me was far more tailored then that would be good, or perhaps if I could decide when they text, rather than when I'm asleep at 6am, or in the middle of my work day when I don't want to be hassled.
Texts are intrusive, they're a personal communication method meant for family and friends. It's not a place I want to be interacting with a brand or company.
Perhaps it's hard to gain my loyalty to a brand or company, but hassling me in my private communication channels certainly isn't the way.
I may be no marketing guru, or technology god, but I'd advise anyone following Burrus' advice to think twice about exactly who your consumers are and what they would want. I'm pretty sure the majority of them would far prefer Facebook or email interaction over messages sent to their phone.