Findings? How About Half-Truths?

Forrester Research got headlines with its new digital marketing report, but did it get everything right? Hardly.

It’s unknown if the $499 report was shared in its entirety with reporters and bloggers. I certainly haven’t received it.

What I have seen are a slew or posts that portray the report based on a survey of 58,000 online consumers as an indictment of text messages from brands.

“Text message communications were the least trusted, while online banner ads barely rated above spammy SMS in the trust stakes,” wrote Techcrunch.

Findings? How About Half-Truths?

What?

Brands don’t send “smammy” text messages, at least in any meaningful number. Rules established by the carriers and Mobile Marketing Association prohibit dissemination of texts by brands without a consumer requested one after a call to action or an opt-in to a permission-based database. If a brand does send such a message, it is often shut down by the mobile operators.

Do mobile users want to join such loyalty clubs? Hipcricket annual surveys consistently have shown about one third of those polled interested or very interested.

Once they are in, do mobile subscribers opt out? Not in large numbers – something well less than 5 percent in my experience.

Do SMS programs work? Readers of my Mobilized Marketing book know the answer is yes. Ford drove a 15.4 percent lead conversion by adding SMS calls to action to traditional media. A car dealer sold 34 automobiles in one day after not selling one for a month. A maid service had to hire more help after its sponsorship of a text to win ticket giveaway pushed demand beyond its capabilities. There are dozens of other examples in the book and thousands elsewhere.

What is a small or medium sized business to do?

Meet their customers and prospects on mobile. Mobile is not really a “nice to have” anymore. There are inexpensive ways to meet or beat expectations – something as simple as implementing a quick payment solution like Square, talking to their local radio station to sponsor a relatively inexpensive mobile-enabled promotion that could drive traffic, or even find an inexpensive way to create or enhance a mobile web presence. Google makes it easy at www.howtogomobile.com

Another way to is to listen in on many free webinars that talk about mobile marketing programs and share best practices. I’m conducting one April 10 for Market Motive and registration is free here - http://www.marketmotive.com/training/tutorials/conference-calls-and-workshops...>

I hope to see you there. Or at least on mobile.

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This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program  http://Goo.gl/t3fgW, whichprovides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Findings? How About Half-Truths?