Skip to main content

Ira Cohen, VP of Business Development and Marketing of MMDSmart and MessageWhiz outlines how SMS is sorely underused by many marketing managers and agencies, and how the industry needs to reemephasise its immense value if new technologies like RCS are going to thrive.

There’s a disturbing trend going on in the digital marketing world. Despite proven ROI that outshines many digital marketing tools, SMS is considered an afterthought by many marketing managers and digital agencies.

The reasons are many. SMS is considered an old technology. It’s not flashy, and contains fewer characters than a tweet. At a glance, it just doesn’t have the cachet of great landing page.

MEFTV catches up with Ira Cohen at Mobile World Congress 2019

And so, it’s relegated to the last page of a digital marketing playbook, dusted off and sent out when needed, and then forgotten about until next time.

We live in a world that’s gone mobile. Every brand is struggling to find a way to get their app and messaging on their customer’s mobile devices. Websites, social media, business tools; they are all fighting to be a part of their customer’s mobile space. So why is the SMS, a mobile native, so underappreciated by digital marketers.

Are We Shooting Ourselves in the Foot?

Every SMS professional I’ve ever met can rattle off the stats at the drop of a hat. 95% open rate. 5 billion worldwide users. 91% of text messages read within 90 seconds. Repeated surveys show that consumers overwhelmingly prefer to receive SMS messages from their preferred brands. Texting is the preferred communication channel for Millennials.

The numbers are endless. I could easily go on and on. But as long as we keep talking about stats, we aren’t talking about delivering value. And value is what digital marketers are craving.

It’s Time We Focused on Value

When done well, SMS delivers the right message at the right time to the right customer. It delights its recipients with information they can use immediately as it creates an intimate connection between the brand and the consumer. As an industry, we need to start selling the value our customers receive from our services.

Everything within the text message is trackable. Open rates. Click rates. Response rates. It’s all available to our customers to help them understand the ROI on their messaging. There’s a lot of value in those numbers to our customers.

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is at the doorstep, and it won’t be long before we have the capability to send out very impressive looking multimedia messages through the SMS channel. But as an industry, our success with RCS will depend on our ability demonstrate the exceptional value our messaging products provide to marketing professionals.

Ira Cohen

MMD Smart


Want to be featured on the MEF Minute?

The MEF Minute is an award winning blog that provides a cross-ecosystem and international perspectives on all things mobile. With contributions from MEF’s members and other industry experts it is a dedicated global news resource and thought leadership platform.

We welcome contributions from members and non-members across a range of formats including opinion pieces, industry views, stats, videos and infographics. MEF Minute offers a 360 look at any given topic impacting the mobile ecosystem whether that be from a MNO, enterprise, developer or provider perspective.

Download the info pack to find out more.