February 2009 - Mobivity

Text Messaging is not just for kids anymore

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, SMS | No Comments

As many of us already know, SMS usage is not just for the younger crowd. I am sure we have all seen the Verizon commercial where a family is eating dinner together and the Dad keeps send messages to pass the salt, salad etc (I love that one). Well, it appears that commercial holds some serious validity. I was perusing some articles over at ArsTechnica and came across one written by Jacqui Cheng. In the article she discusses two studies conducted by AT&T which shows parents and romantic partners are text messaging more and more.

AT&T conducted 1,048 online interviews with parents  to get a feel for their usage patterns. They found that 76 percent of parents feel that their children are more likely to keep them abreast of their activities through text messaging than other methods. 73 percent said that their kids were more likely to respond to a text message than other methods of communication, and a full half of parents feel that text messaging with their kids makes them “cool.”

The same apparently applies when it comes to relationships. AT&T surveyed a thousand adults between the ages of 18 and 55 and found that 68 percent had sent a “love note” via text message. Another 67 percent used SMS to flirt, while 52 percent said that “thinking of you” was the most common text message to receive from a spouse. The very early stages of dating benefited from text messaging too, with just over a quarter of respondents saying that they’d be more willing to accept a first date if they exchanged texts first, and over half of the group had shown a text from a suitor to someone else in order to get their interpretation of the message. That’s apparently not a bad move, since 84 percent said that text messages could be misunderstood by a date or suitor.

These findings are important because we see the demographic for SMS usage is quickly changing. The advantages of using SMS for mobile marketing are numerous with the mantra “get your message in the palm of your customer’s hand” appearing to be even more valuable with the demographic change.

I for one am extremely excited to see what 2009 brings to our industry. I constantly look to our friends in Europe and Asia and how SMS seems to be apart of so many daily routines from paying for a parking meter to ordering movie tickets. The study above only helps to support the theory that the we are moving in a similar direction.

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