QR Codes Haven’t Killed The Text Messaging Star
Now that QR codes have finally made their mark in the West after spending years as a marketing phenomenon in the Far East, companies are understandably keen to utilize this new technology when it comes to snaring customers, existing and new. QR codes are certainly set to have a major impact on North America in particular but older, more reliable methods of mobile marketing are being dismissed. Many brands and agencies are so focused on taking advantage of QR codes that they completely neglect the humble SMS text message desktop-trained URL which is still a fantastic marketing tool.
There are a host of statistics which suggest that mobile marketing via text is far from past its sell-by date. Exhibit A is the 425 million people that have a mobile phone worldwide. Those who only look to the future for inspiration rather than accepting the need for applying “what works” point to the ever-increasing rate of smartphone and QR code usage. More than 14 million Americans scan a QR code in a single month. This, say dissidents of text messaging, is reason enough to consign this form of marketing to the dustbin.
What they may not be aware of is the fact that there are 100 million smartphones against 325 million feature phones. This means that there are 325 million people who may not have the ability to scan a QR code. What better way to market to the masses than with a text message? It’s simple and inoffensive. If the person who sends and receives a text isn’t interested in the response, they can delete it, no harm down and no data consumed.
However, pledging your allegiance to QR codes ignores a major opportunity to engage 100 million smartphone users. Perhaps it assumes they are far too busy checking their email, Facebook, bank account and more to bother dealing with text messages. Well, marketers should breathe a huge sigh of relief because it turns out that this isn’t true at all. In actuality, smartphone users are far more active than regular mobile phone users when it comes to sending and receiving text messages. An incredible 92% of smartphone users send and receive text messages against just 59% of feature phone users.
Suddenly, the outlook for SMS text marketing is much brighter. Instead of having to chalk off a huge section of mobile phone users when it comes to marketing, companies now have a larger audience to engage.
You don’t have to wave goodbye to text messaging anytime in the near future. After all, despite the major changes in technology we’ve experienced over the years, some innovations stand the test of time. We only need to look at the radio, books and mail for inspiration.