A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… long before the first SMS or DroidTM phone hit the market in 2008… another more famous droid made his debut in 1977: R2D2. At the time, some thought Star Wars was just a sci-fi movie for kids. But the summer blockbuster grew into a pop culture phenomenon across generations, geographies and demographics. And although many films have tried to capture the story, spectacle and marketing genius that is Star Wars, no one can hold a candle (or lightsaber) to it. Who could argue that Star Wars has survived the test of time and is still going strong today with sequels and prequels being released and re-released?
The same goes for text (SMS) messaging. The number of SMS messages has been on a steady climb as people across continents, demographics and generations embraced the ease of its use, the ability to cut through the other cluttered communications channels and be able to instantly reach loved ones, co-workers, and friends. And in addition, SMS messaging is growing as a marketing channel for collecting coupons, tracking loyalty points, making payments and receiving notifications of special promotions. A recent report out by Gartner shows that worldwide smartphone sales in Q4 2011 are 47% higher than Q4 2010. In addition, a recent blog by Nielsen shows that Smartphone and feature phones now make up a 50/50 split of cell phone ownership.
Text messaging is still the best way to reach consumers. There are those, though, who doubt the text force. We have heard grumblings from the dark side of MMS and QR Codes that text is dead. Well, being a mobile marketing Jedi, I believe the future of SMS is strong. Yoda also says, “always in motion is the future.” And here are just a few reasons why:
1. SMS message usage rates are strong and growing.
2. SMS message adoption rates are also increasing.
3. Smartphone sales continue to increase.
4. Emergency and charitable organizations are using text more and more.
5. 103% Cell Phone penetration rate in the US
I saw the original Star Wars movie as a kid in the summer of 1977 and have watched the phenomenon grow over the years. Still, to this day, if it’s on TV, I’ll still tune in and watch it. Even my kids, while they’re still a little young yet, are beginning to turn to the force. As it is with Star Wars, it is also with mobile. The next generation is coming along and diving into mobile devices like no other generation has. May the force be with them! Although, I hope they don’t decide they want to vacation on Tatooine someday.