Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A SMS Land Rush?

As I uncover more SMS (text message) services, it makes me ponder. As more SMS services come online, how will we keep track of them? Will we need a search engine just for short codes? Will there be consolidation like there was with search engines?

Before that happens and we find too many of these services I think brands and advertisers need a wake-up call.

Here’s what I do would do if I am a brand manager or advertiser. I immediately register a short code that is close to my brand name or something easy to remember. (COKE1, BIGMAC, PANDG, KMART, TEXTME etc).

Example. McDonald’s registers the short code BIGMAC. Then I tell my tech guy to list all the words (trademarked or generic) associated with my brand (fries, coke, shake, qpnder etc). Aetna could register AETNA and use (annuity, whole, term, death benefit, lump sum etc). Virgin registers VIRGIN and EVERY music artist is now a keyword.

Then I tell my advertiser to include my short code ON ALL FORMS of advertising, including every website of mine. The more people remember the short code, the easier it will be to tackle this new medium. Make the short code a wild color so it stands out on your advertising.

For more info go to or Mobile Code IDOIT

Make the short code hyperlinkable on your website .

You want to do ANYTHING that gets people to remember your shortcode. The shift goes from many keywords to find one website to one shortcode that controls endless keywords and direction. See the shift?

What you have just done is created a private label mobile search engine and taken control of relevant keywords. You really have done a lot more, but we’ll get to that.

Instead of paying search engines for keywords that are relevant to your business, you “own” every keyword that's relevant to your business.

No, this isn’t how mobile marketing or mobile information will last. Think of this as an investment in the biggest medium yet to be adopted for advertising. Think of how much you spent on pop-ups/banners and realized what your returnon those were.

This is an investment in the infrastructure of the new medium, the mobile phone.

Start with mobile marketing campaigns. Campaigns can include text and win, text for a coupon, text for information. The brand is getting permission for future interaction AND building a direct mobile marketing database. See what’s happening?

“Scott, there’s a limit to the number of short codes that can be issued, then what?”

There lies the revenue opportunity for the 4INFO, QTAGS, GOOGL, YAHOO and all of the other SMS players with some Visionary Innovation.

Did this idea pique your interest? Would you like to see what I could do for your company or mobile marketing campaign?

Contact me for Pondering Primate Possibilities.


Rudy De Waele said...

Hey Vangorilla, we've also have been playing with similar ideas a couple of years ago here in Spain. Actually we launched the first "SM00" sms mobile marketing campaign in Spain - SM00 for San Miguel beer with 0,0 alcohol, San Miguel is Spains NÂș1 beer brand.

The problem with the brand names -which is a logical idea- is that campaigns and names are linked to premium numbers that are different fom country to country. Unless the international shortcode landscape has changed this seems to be impossible to realize; also you need to differentiate each campaign by the same brand after the brands' name, which in the end might turnout for the customer not to be that short keyword at all... Also good keywords might be taken by your competitor(s) allready in different countries. Wanna check?

We have been coordinating international sms campaigns and we know how difficult that is. Now big sms players like Netsize, mBlox, Mobileway, Mindmatics, etc. could probably organise a campaign internationally with the same keyword but I doubt they have done it.

BTW1: where are you based?
BTW2: I'm a fan, keep up the works!

Rudy De Waele said...

Hey thanks for your mail, clarifies a lot for me now.

From the US point of view, your theory is of course valuable and could be interesting for the brands for US market size only.

Not sure how’s the shortcode situation there but here in Europe it was (and still is) a real drag setting up pan-European campaigns with different shortcodes (and brand campaign names taken in different countries).

The advantages are obvious to start a brandcampaign with a unique shortcode in a unified market like US.

Cheers. Rudy

chandan said...

The consolidation phase will come. Unless you will be able to generate higher traffic for your shortcode people are not going to remember that.

The mobile media is picking up ver fast,but was thinking if this is really important when there are hundreds of shortcode in the market.

the question is other than your media campaigns how you are ensuring that people are going to remeber that unless it is built alongwith a powerful and popular mobile application.

keep posting it is very good discussion.

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