Now this is the 6th SMS in last 5 minutes! As usual, SMS starts from WIN blah blah blah and here goes my immediate reflex reaction, Press DELETE! This is the fate of most of the SMSes which I receive these days. In 99.99% of the cases, I delete the SMS without even reading the second line as the first three words itself tell that this is yet another stupid promo SMS. Almost every SMS promises me XYZ Car, 1 Kg of gold, 1 lakh cash price, Holiday in Switzerland or dinner date with Kareena Kapoor! And to the pain of those SMSes are the pre-recorded advertisement calls which suddenly comes in esp. when you are in the mid of something important. Even after opting for those do not disturb services, there is just no respite from those WIN, WIN, WIN SMSes and “Hi, I am Ram Gopal Verma…” kinda pre-recorded messages”.
Mobile advertising is really hot these days in India simply because of the penetration factor. For every internet user there are 5+ mobile users in India. SMS marketing is relatively a nascent concept but still it has taken off in a big way. I had read it somewhere few days back that of about 30 million short messages exchanged in India every day, an estimated 7 million SMSes are exchanged between short-code operators and consumers every day. (Don’t remember the exact source of info for this data). There is no dearth of SMS marketing companies in India now and suddenly we see lots of players jumping into this game.
Though the SMS advertising industry seems promising enough in India but one very big drawback which I am observing in this industry is the lack of right and attractive content. Almost every other ad by any brand just looks like another “me too” offer. Everyone is using this WIN WIN WIN funda with absolutely zero creativity in content. Now com’on, today’s consumer is not fool enough to believe on promises like 1 kg gold or 1 lakh cash prize. Most importantly if every other SMS is promising the same thing then you know how credible these offers are! Next key deterrent is the timing & frequency of these SMSes. In the mid of an important meeting if you receive 6 SMSes in 5 minutes then you know what will be the fate of those SMSes! Considering the mobile phone usage in India, SMS marketing is definitely one of the brilliant promotional mediums to reach masses these day but even very powerful marketing tools can have a very early fatality if not used properly Remember what rage email marketing was and what doom it had because of the abusive over-usage of this medium by promoters and service providers. I am wondering if SMS marketing is also trailing the same path.