ARTICLE: It's Time for Brands to Embrace Text Messaging

Text Messaging Can Provide a Direct Route to the Urban Market
Posted by Doug Melville on 09.15.08 @ 01:46 PM

I want this post to inspire you about the power of text messaging as a way to reach your audience. Please review the points below from Doug Melville.

Harris Interactive released a study touting the power of mobile against the teen audience.
(I encourage EVERYONE to increase their teen plus mobile IQ and read this.)

There are two key stats I pulled from that Harris Report and added them to a piece of info from a recent U.S. Census Report to come up with a formula, or equation, for CMOs and agencies that will help them justify and take advantage of urban and youth marketing to the next generation.

It breaks out as follows:

- Point 1: Text Messaging. Not only do nine out of 10 teens text, and not only do some teen segments prefer texting over talking, but almost HALF said they can complete text messages with their eyes closed or blindfolded.
- Point 2: Mobile-Based Advertising. Almost HALF of all teens are interested in ads on their phone if there is an incentive. (Yes, I said interested.)
- Point 3: The "Browning" of America. In 15 years, more than HALF of the nation's children (teens and younger) will be multicultural, belonging to a minority racial or ethnic group.
The Sweet Spot. This is one of the best ways for reaching today's teens, and taking advantage of marketing trends for tomorrow's fastest-growing segment of the population is through corporate-based mobile advertising, marketing and messaging.

A recent example of this: the Barack Obama Text Message. According to the WSJ, when Barack Obama's campaign sent out the text message alerting supporters to his vice presidential pick, it reached an estimated 2.9 million people.

Not only did Obama get unbelievable press coverage for this through CNN, The L.A. Times, WSJ and others, but he also got a head start in the development of his own Obama media, in which he can send messages directly to his supporters without having to resort to mainstream media. If you look at what segment won Obama the caucuses, you have to look at the under-25-year-old crowd. And what better way to reach them than text messaging?

Tim Russert's 23-year-old son Luke, who is an NBC News correspondent, discussed on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" last week a solution to get unmotivated 20-somethings to register to vote. His suggestion: a one-day registration event that is advertised/supported by a text-message campaign. Instead of using the current antiquated voter-registration process, which requires several weeks to complete, a text message can give you instant gratification -- and an almost immediate response and completion.”

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