For any corporate, the task of advertising and attaining extensive consumer reach could never have been made easier than the way it is today. That’s right, several SMS services and solutions providing firms like SMS Country Networks Pvt. Ltd, Value First Messaging Pvt. Ltd, etc. send text messages to end-users on behalf of corporate organizations. Thus, these organizations are enabled to convey their advertising or promotional messages with ease. The basis on which I say ‘with ease’ is that the next-to-nothing cost of sending these SMSes and the kind of reach that it fetches is mind boggling.
A rough estimate of about 150 million marketing SMSes (both spam and non-spam) are sent on a daily basis to users in India depicting the staggering reach that the SMS tool possesses. The more intriguing fact is that the per-message cost is measured at 3 paise, which could drop even further. Having said that, organizations must realize that while this is a fantastic and reasonable means of communication, mobile phone users deem these frequent spam SMSes as annoying, frustrating and bothersome. Consumers who are driven quite close to craziness by the recurring text messages would repeatedly curse themselves for having filled up a lucky-contest form with their mobile numbers due to which they’d be bombarded with spam texts.
This irritation and annoyance is transferred to the organization whose name appears on the mobile phone screen and hence leads the consumer to bar any SMSes or calls from that particular firm. This automatically lowers the organization’s brand value and results in bad marketing and advertising. Marketers can, however, get this right if through SMS marketing they can provide consumers specific and comprehensible information that not only connects to the users’ emotional values but also appeals to their financial needs. All mobile marketing, if followed duly and if create value, will not be treated as spam after all.
On the contrary, the SMS services and solutions providing firms think otherwise. In spite of the fact that this industry is currently enjoying rapid growth, it is only a matter of time before the service providers start incurring huge deficits. How? During early 2000’s the cost of sending one text ranged between Rs. 0.90 to Rs. 1.50. These firms enjoyed larger profit margin per SMS and hence underwent high-profit period, but with SMS rates dropping shockingly, firms are expected to endure lesser amount of profits with smaller profit margins.
In addition to this, there also exists an unorganized section of SMS marketing companies who eat up 60% of the share of text messages that are sent. These small-time firms send SMSes without the authorized stamping preached by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) qualifying them into the unorganized section. To face competition from these mom-and-pop guys and to survive in a low-profit generating industry should be a tough challenge for these service providers.
SMS marketing is thereby fruitful to some, but annoying to many!!