There has been a lot of debate about how a company should attract buyers and sellers using mobile marketing. The dilemma using starts will considering an App (like an iPhone App). While the iPhone App looks great as an icon on your iPhone, your buyers may not likely use it the way you think they will. Why? The primary fundamental reason is that most agents will launch a mediocre iPhone App that won’t really deliver much value.
Furthermore, buyers do not (let me repeat) DO NOT WANT TO DOWNLOAD AN APP IN FRONT OF YOUR PROPERTY FOR SALE. Why? Because they don’t know you. Nor do they want to download an App from an untrusted source, especially while out in public.
What will they do? TEXT. They will click on a mobile website from the link in the text… but not download an app out in public. While CellSigns provides mobile marketing for real estate and offers Text, Apps, and a multitude of other mobile services, we ALWAYS START WITH TEXT because it’s what people do. Let’s face it, people today text 2.5 times more than make/receive calls. The average 38 year old sends/receives 500 texts a month compared to 200 phone calls. That’s unbelievable… and that trend isn’t slowing down. Consider these other facts:
According to a survey conducted by Tekelec (a messaging company powering telecom operator applications), 60% of 45 year olds were found to be just as likely to use SMS as they were to make voice calls from their mobile device. The survey of 500 people in North American and Europe also found that text messaging is gaining on email as the preferred means of daily international communication, with 32% of responses across all ages preferring SMS, compared to 33% for email. And nearly a third of respondents said their use of SMS would increase in 2010.
In addition, more than 80 percent of respondents across all age groups thought they would get a quicker response from a text than from an email or voice message. Women preferred to let their fingers do the talking, with 40% describing themselves as ‘mainly texter’, compared to 30% of men.
One more difference between the sexes: women were more likely to engage in TV voting via text, with 25% versus just 14% of men engaging in such behavior.
But those under 35 were the most likely age group to vote via text, with 16% of them saying they do so, followed by 9% of 35-44 year olds, and 7% of those 45 and older. However, 35-44 year olds are the largest consumers of news and sports by text at 18% compared to 17% for those under 35, and only 8% for those over 45.
So don’t forget that mobile STARTS WITH TEXT and should only be complemented with an App when they have the text down. It’s how people connected. So get mobile today. Consider Real Estate Marketing by CellSigns, Mobile IDX by Mobile Agent and Mobile Marketing Center for mobile marketing campaigns.
For several years now, CellSigns has been offering “Photos on Phone” feature that delivers photos to users without Mobile Data or Internet Plans. Why is this important? Because not everyone has an iPhone.
Well, AT&T finally gave Multimedia Messaging Service, known as MMS to iPhone users this month. While users are rejoicing and saying to themselves in disbelief – “it’s about time” – network engineers at AT&T are also wondering how long it will last.
As many throughout the industry know, over the last several years, carriers nervously build out new networks and watch as they quickly outgrow their platforms. So today, AT&T is doing just that as the introduction of MMS for Apple’s iPhone could slow or possibly even crash the AT&T network.
It has also been reported that many companies are suspending or delaying the start of their mobile marketing campaigns until after today to avoid giving a push in the midst of a potential blackout. We don’t expect this new feature to crash AT&T. However, never say never.
There have been preliminary tests at AT&T which indicate a substantial strain on the company’s MMS servers. Starting at 10AM Eastern today, it’s do or die as it officially rolls out. As a result, some industry analysts estimate that traffic on AT&T’s already well-stretched wireless network could see a 40% increase in traffic as iPhone excitedly break in the service.
The parent company to CellSigns, QWASI, Inc, last September (9/08) released a MMS solution to solve the need created by the lack of MMS on the iPhone. The App was called ActivMMS. Unfortunately, like the Google Voice Application, Apple rejected the App without reason. Several appeals still left it dead on arrive. APple quickly developed their own that was bundled in its 3.0 release.
The new iPhone MMS App was recently introduced in the last release – 3.0 and has been in use in other networks around the world. At&T chose not to support it until it could work out the bugs in its network. The change will not be automatic for users today and requires the user to open iTunes, connect their device and download the new profile.
So for all your non-iPhone users (buyer, agents or brokers) – no worry. We will still continue to offer MMS along wiht our full detailed listing information via a link off page. For those who want the full MLS search via a Mobile browser, check out our Mobile Agent service. Mobile Agent also offers MMS support for Photos on Phone.
The CTIA just released the Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey Results …and it confirms what we already know – WIRELESS CONTINUES TO GROW AND PERFORM IN A TOUGH US ECONOMY.
> 270 Million Wireless Users at the end of 2008.
That is a year-over-year gain of 15 Million subscribers.
Why is this important? Mobile is already they best means at reaching more users than online.
TEXTING (SMS) – According to the survey, SMS (text messaging) continues to be enormously popular.
> More than 1 Trillion text messages sent/received in 2008. That is almost triple the messages compared to 2007 (363 Billion).
> Average of more than 3.5 billion SMS messages per day.
MMS (Multi-media Messages)
> 15 Billion MMS messages reported in 2008 – up from 6 Billion in 2007.
The Bottom Line:
“Wireless technology is an integral part of everyday life for more than 87% of the U.S. population; changing and improving the way we connect and interact with the world around us,” said Steve Largent, President & CEO of CTIA -The Wireless Association®.
The survey may be found here: CTIA Survey (Spring 2009)
Great news released today on Mobile Internet Usage (Mobile Internet) from January 2009.
Mobile devices are becoming the mobile newspaper. CellSigns has been tracking mobile usage for newspapers and publishers since 2006 and recent surges indicate a major push from consumers for ease of access.
According to a report released Monday by market researcher comScore, the number of people using mobile devices to access news and information in the US more than doubled to 63.2 million in January over the previous year.
“Over the course of the past year, we have seen use of mobile Internet evolve from an occasional activity to being a daily part of their lives,” Mark Donovan, comScore’s senior vice president of mobile, said in a statement. “This underscores the growing importance of the mobile medium as consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information.”
Applications that can be downloaded to the phone, such as maps, have helped drive the growth in using mobile devices to access news and information, Donovan noted in the report. And text-based searching have also contributed to the rise in popularity of accessing news and information via a phone.
In the U.S., the number of unique mobile phone users who access news and information on a daily business has grown to 22.4 million in January over the previous year. Usage varies by category: (Credit: comScore Inc.)
While news and information accounted for the largest slice of mobile Internet users in January, social networking or blogging grew at an even greater rate, according to comScore.
CellSigns helps publishers and companies reach today’s mobile consumer. Utilizing both SMS (text messaging) and WAP (Mobile Web), CellSigns brings an integrates mobile strategy to market customized by the data available. Contact CellSigns today.
From one of my favorite Real Estate Speakers and Authors – Bernice Ross.
As many of you know, Bernice Ross has written about CellSigns in the past (Easy Access to Real Estate Information). This isn’t a piece on Bernice - rather how she is soooo in tune, in touch and connected with today’s home buyers, sellers and agents alike. She really gets it and brings a breath of fresh air to the industry. She has always been a fan of texting. Why? Because it’s relevant and it connects. So when I read her latest contribution and advice to real estate agents, I had to post some of that article here to share with you too.
Here’s some things she has to share with REALTORS in 2009 – “Why Didn’t You Just Text Me” Make sure you’re using a cell phone with a full computer-style keyboard
At Triple Play last month, I did a seminar called “Why Didn’t You Just Text Me?” Although the session focused on generational differences, we had eight agents who had never sent a text message. Before the session began, I offered to help them send their first text message. What I did not anticipate was that seven of eight agents had the traditional phone keyboard with just 10 numbers. If you wanted to use letters, you had to hit “shift” and then hit the appropriate button one, two or three times to get the letter you want. No wonder text messaging seemed incredibly difficult!
If your cell phone doesn’t have a keyboard like the one on your computer, upgrading your phone will save you both time and money. Gen X and Gen Y are currently the most active buyers in today’s market. To do business with them, you must be able to text message. Also, the number one complaint about agents is that they don’t stay in touch. Using a smart phone with e-mail and text functionality makes keeping in touch simple. The latest generation of smart phones also make it easy to do posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Read the Inman News article here: Real Estate Tech Do List
We all know consumers today demand information at their finger tips. CellSigns real estate text messaging services are ideal for every agent. Even Bernice will tell you to get texting and Get mobile!
I just posted this in response to a January 2009 article on Advertising Age. Here’s what I had to say about branding in a down market. Mobile services and marketing is the perfect response to protecting a company’s revenue base. The recent news from many ecommerce sites is that they are slightly up… or moving sideways and not usually down for the year. The reason is simple: ecommerce is convenient and allows the customer to be empowered and feel in control of their shopping experience. Mobile is just like the early days of the Internet as a company tests what services their customers want and tailor their services for them.
So here’s my response to Ad Age and others who are exploring mobile in 2009.
The unique value mobile provides is connection. That connection between the customer and company is what marketing should always drive. Brand awareness in a down market is hard to justify if it doesn’t lead to measureable revenue (tangible or intangible). Our company – QWASI – has been enabling these mobile interactions to power a transaction for over four years in real estate, classifieds, auto dealers and other consumer brands. Many of our clients using the QWASI mobile platform have seen a return on their investment from 5-10+ times their investment. They understand it’s about providing access to information and closing the gap for the customer to get that information anytime, anywhere – in the method or mode they feel most comfortable. Customers demand it and companies MUST respond.
Bottom Line – Your customers are mobile, are you?
Google finally adds the ability to take your chat with you with their new chat via SMS. Something Yahoo has had for some time now and glad Google caught up on that one..
The real value is this: if you are not in front of your computer, but want to chat with someone, you couldn’t unless you were logged into your client on your cell phone and have a data plan that supports it. Now with this service, you can take chat with you. Read all about it here: Google Chat via SMS
While this is a great consumer application, CellSigns offers presence-aware mobile chat via IM and/or SMS. This allows businesses to have their customers connect directly with them using mobile chat. The actiVchat service has been powering serveral solutions for SMBs and other consumer facing applications.
This is a topic that constantly comes up when discussing mobile marketing and solutions with companies so I figured I should share some of this with our audience.
About 3 years ago I heard a term used at a trade show by a European mobile firm and it really resonated with me because it was spot on. “Multimodal” When I first heard it I was like here we go, more Euro-Jargon to pick up and learn. The term however stuck with me and we started to identify what this really means for our customers, agencies we work with and our engineering team. We don’t usually use the term because it confuses most audiences and I am not a fan of ineffective communication. So what is “Multimodal” and what are the 5 Modes of Mobile?
Multimodal is a term to describe the channels or technologies available for use on a mobile device. When we look at today’s cell phones we can identify 5 distinct modes that we can use for communication, marketing, and applications.
The modes are:
- SMS (text messaging)
- Web (WAP, Mobile Web)
- Applications (think iPhone)
- Email (Not available to all mobile users and we could question whether or not this is really a valid mode for mobile.)
The choice of mode to use for whatever purpose whether it be peer to peer communication or a marketing message depends greatly on the audience, the message, the goal, and the context or situation.
Identifying the goals, audience and context are critical pieces in understanding and deploying the most effective mode for the desired outcome. A simple example of this is when I am in a meeting and my wife can’t reach me by voice, she sends me a text message. In many instances I am able to respond by text without disrupting the meeting, if I picked up the call or dialed her back in the middle of a meeting in most cases this would be considered inappropriate and rude. So we can see just in peer to peer communication that while we have several modes of communication at our disposal choosing the most appropriate channel to communicate through largely depends on a number of factors. This is no different when delivering a marketing message, a retail solution, a rich media campaign etc…
The takeaway, 1. identify the goals and message, 2. understand the audience, 3. know the context/medium or situation, then 4. choose the mode or modes that are most appropriate.
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- dgeipel: The latest Text Messaging statistics can be found here: Text Message Statistics 2009
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- Scott Jagodzinski: Are there any statistics that show response rates to a mobile campaign? For example, if I put a...
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