So mobile messaging has taken over texting…..

So mobile messaging has taken over texting…makes a lot of sense. Interesting reading from

SMS texting in deep decline in UK as mobile message apps take over

Mobile users move on

By John E Dunn | Techworld | Published: 17:51, 13 January 2014

The SMS text message came to define the start of the mobile era but now the mobile era is moving on. New OFCOM figures show the numbers being sent across UK mobile networks dropped sharply during 2013.

Buried inside Deloitte’s TMT Predictions Report 2014, the UK telecom regulator’s numbers report that a total of 145 billion made their way between mobile devices during the last year, down around 7 billion from 2012.

Although that sounds like a modest 4.6 percent drop that is still a jolt for a once-mighty form of communication that as recently as 2010 to 2011 recorded a growth rate of 18 percent.

It is not (as some stories have claimed) the first ever fall in UK text volumes; that happened around the last quarter of 2011, as reported a year later in stories suggesting social media as a possible cause. But if the quarterly figures put out by OFCOM for 2012 showed smallish but consistent quarterly drops, the new numbers used by Deloitte have that accelerating.

Projecting ahead, Deloitte predicts that SMS volumes will now drop to around 140 billion for 2014, which might turn out to be generous.

If social media halted the SMS juggernaut it is mobile instant messaging (MIM) that is now eating it. Once marooned inside small PC applications, this has migrated to mobile apps such as WhatsApp, Viber and Skype that don’t charge for communication.

No amount of SMS bundling by mobile networks will stop their rise.

Deloitte predicts that globally in 2014 MIM messaging will carry twice as many messages as SMS, which still leaves text messaging generating $100 billion (£61 billion) in revenues, about 50 times that for MIM. SMS might no longer be king and queen but it still makes huge amounts of money.

“We expect SMS to continue to generate significantly greater revenues than MIM even as far out as 2018, by which point global SMS revenues are expected to have started falling,” said Deloitte.

“We would also expect MIM services on mobile phones to continue to substitute not just for SMS, but all other forms of communication, from e-mail to phone calls.”

MIM will also therefore start to hit phone volumes and even emails so SMS won’t be the only loser. If that’s correct, the change from SMS, phone and mobile email isn’t simply about the changing habits of smartphone and tablet owners.

This preference also shifts the communications axis from one controlled by mobile operators to one controlled by software and Internet firms. Mobile firms will hope that the rise in 4G traffic will compensate for that but there’s not getting away from the fact it reinforces that they are dumb (but profitable) pipes first and foremost.

If you like me, you’ll buy my services!

I recently came across a piece of work by Gina Sverdlov of Forrester Research in a report called “The Facebook Factor”. In the report she shows how she applied statistical modeling to add real facts to this controversial marketing dilemma – is there value in having facebook fans?

At some point, we have all been caught up in the argument…do you recommend a facebook page or not? And depending on the brand, customer-base and demographic of the brand owner (age, outlook and skills with new technologies), we may have followed the wait and see cautious approach, hoping to prove with a real ROI to back our decision.

Gina appears to have provided us with an answer. She has examined a large number of factors that potentially contribute to whether a consumer will purchase, consider, or recommend a brand. She specifically analyzes Best Buy, Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Blackberry. The results are very interesting…

With all the four brands, being a Facebook fan of the brand definitely boosts purchase, consideration, and recommendation. Quote..79% of Best Buy Facebook fans bought there in the last 12 months vs. 41% of non-fans. And 74% of them recommend Best Buy vs. 38% of non-fans.

Of all the questions asked, being a Facebook fan had more influence over these behaviors than any other factor. Quote…Being a Facebook fan of Best Buy increases the odds that a customer will purchase by 5.3 times; the next closest influence factor is having researched consumer electronics, which only increases the odds of purchase by 1.4 times.

The pattern appears to repeat itself for every single behavior, with every single brand. For example, having a Walmart nearby doubles the odds that you’ll consider buying there, but being a Facebook fan of Walmart increases those odds by more than a factor of four.

So where does that leave us? Should we be setting aside large budgets to build a massive fanbase on facebook? I think not. Correlation may be an answer for the positive behaviours exhibited by the fans (ie to buy, consider or recommend) but there is not yet proof that being a fan means that person will buy, consider or recommend. Many fans fail to engage even if they like the brand. And if the fan base is created artificially, then is no basis for any purchase as there is little, if any, customer need.

What I have taken away from this is that there is value in having fans and using facebook or other social media to engage with. Fans who feel they are “known” by a brand will be more likely to to buy, consider or recommend that brand. What it does imply is that the brand facebook page will serve as a platform where fans can find engaging content and can interact with other customers and with the brand itself. In turn, they become brand ambassadors, each other happily spreading your messages. So if you are not there, another brand will be, building relationships and interacting with your customers. I think this is a wake-up call.

SoLoMo – the mantra for 2012

The talk on the grapevine is that this year is SoLoMo, and if you are feeling slightly lost, that is Social, Local and Mobile.

In marketing, we have all seen the major convergence of channels, and how social, local, and mobile work together as part of an integrated initiative. These three concepts reach to the very heart of a customer’s experience.

Social is what we all do as humans. It is all about how we interact, engage and share experiences, driving our behaviours and influence the behaviour of others.

Local is targeted, reaching out to deliver pertinent messages that are relevant to our immediate environment and handpicked to our tastes and location.

Mobile is key to our lives today. We are always on-the-go, and expect our products, services and experiences to follow suite.

Smart technology makes SoLoMo possible, allowing us as consumers of products and services to interact here and now. SoLoMo is revolutionary in its simplicity. It changes the way we access and process information.

Mobile applications now enable us to search for offers on products and services as we physically move into the area of consumption. Applications detect our location and provide directions. They push offers based on our criteria and location, and even allow us to like or share our experiences in real time.

SoLoMo ultimately provides a complete customer service solution, enhancing any purchased product or service. Mobile applications are fast becoming a key touchpoint in the brand experience and customer journey and integrating targeted loyalty programs into the mobile website experience will be key in delivering this customised user experience.

Social Media as a Branding Tool

While over 90% of major brand owners are now using social media such as Twitter and Linkedin, however social media still remains primarily a marketing medium rather one that generates tangible revenues according to a recent survey by Booz & Co and Buddy Media.

From 100 large organisations, (94%) listed Facebook among their top three social priorities, closely followed by Twitter on (77%), with YouTube lagging at (42%). Blogs and branded platforms scored (25%) each, LinkedIn posted (13%) and location-based tools like Foursquare received (8%).

The average organisation typically has 4 to 5 social media sites at present, set up by Marketing departments (81%); digital teams (62%), PR units (48%) and customer service groups (26%).

The general consensus (94%) was that being an early adopters and reacting quickly was essential to social media success. They also believed in having an internal “owner” and “champion” (93%), all of which was well supported by leadership and in-house education (90%).

What are they being used for?
The main use for sites such as facebook and twitter is advertising and promotions (96%), while (88%) used them for PR; 75% maintained open links for customer service and (56%) used them for market research.

Commercially, it is still early days, although (44%) expect to have revenue-generating platforms linked to social media in two years time. Just (40%) are employing them for sales purposes, and a further 46% think they deliver purchases and meaningful leads.

By contrast, (90%) mentioned benefits tied to brand building; 88% agreed they stimulated buzz, 81% referenced securing consumer insights and 78% cited enhanced marketing effectiveness.

A majority of companies also already have dashboards, and enjoy partnerships with specialist agencies as they follow a clear, integrated social media strategy.

Similarly, while 67% of businesses allocate less than 5% of digital marketing budgets to social channels today, a 55% share believe the proportion of new media spending directed to this route will be at least 10% three years into the future.

What this shows is that large, leading companies are shifting their marketing focus to actively transform their model from brand management to brand curation.

via Booz & Co & Buddy Media as read in WARC