I recently read a research article for my Social Media class about text message ads. Ugghh! That is one thing that I have always dreaded the thought of: That my mobile phone might become the target of telemarketers. Well, it ends up that according to this research study, people really liked the text message ads.
There is one (very large) caveat. You have to ask permission first. Thus the name of the study: Permission-based Mobile Advertising (Barwise & Strong, 2002). Spamming, or unauthorized messaging is still obnoxious and considered an unwanted invasion.
Some interesting points from the study, which lasted 3 months and was based in the UK:
- Only 7% said they would discontinue the ads if they were asked to continue after the trial period
- The advertising needed to be very relevant to that particular person, which necessitated profile gathering at the beginning of the study.
- To be acceptable, the text ads had to be concise and either very informative or entertaining
- About 17% of recipients forwarded the ads to friends at some time during the trial
- Recipients, at times, replied back to the ads even when not asked.
- Text ads worked best for low ticket items not high priced things.
The moral of this article could be that, when handled correctly, there are a lot of other applications for text messaging. Here are a few that are being successfully deployed:
- Security warnings on college campuses
- Alerts from banks about account activity
- Reminders from doctor’s offices
- Fundraising (see prior post, Text Messaging from Fundraising