Are iPhone apps as effective as traditional text marketing?
With Smartphone’s storming on to the mobile world stage, consumers and businesses alike are wondering whether mobile devices such as iPhones are producing applications that are as effective as traditional text marketing. Targeting key demographics, offering a unique experience and effective pricing are all important factors in this question, so how well do iPhone applications weigh up?
Of course iPhone’s possess some distinct and highly attractive features, a slick user interface design allowing for ease-of-use, iPhone features allow applications to have a very unique user experience and Apple has even deployed a built in distribution channel for iPhone applications. On top of this, the hype and excitement that has always been inherent with iPhones mean that it is the perfect device to utilise Social Media Marketing. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook frequently advertise the availability of their iPhone apps and continually promote new applications on user’s pages that match a user’s interest. This means that overall iPhone’s offer a highly unique and relatively trouble free user experience. However, does this user experience equate to effectiveness when used in a marketing strategy?
If we take the United States as a significant case study then it would appear not. In 2009, 87 percent of the United States population has some sort of mobile device. Of the 87 percent, only 2.4 percent own an iPhone, significantly diminishing the reach of any business looking to establish a mobile marketing campaign. In comparison, text marketing can reach 98 percent of cell phone users making it an invaluable marketing tool.
Text messaging is not only an established and vastly used marketing medium, but it offers its own impressive and distinct features invaluable for a text marketing campaign. Firstly, it is a stock feature on all phones bought today this means no need to download or pay for applications. It is also supported on all networks, whereas for instance in the U.S. iPhone is only supported on AT&T (12% of AT&T subscribers have an iPhone). As well as the incredible scope of text marketing, it offers incredible immediacy. As Molly Anderson of Optit states “Deployment on shared short codes can be immediate – no waiting for an application to be approved and loaded into the distribution channel.”
iPhone applications most certainly offer incredible user experience when it comes to next generation mobile devices. However, when it comes to business approaches and practicality in a mobile marketing campaign, traditional, tried and true text marketing is still effective, immediate, convenient, and king of mobile.
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