A wireless champion, that’s what the Philippines has become since the introduction of Short Messaging System or SMS via the mobile phone. And this is not something to be modest about. Just imagine this: although China has a bigger population that the Philippines, the former only added 5 million mobile phone users in 2002 versus the 12 million additional users in the Philippines.
This is not surprising because there are more than one mobile phone in one Filipino household. Furthermore, DigitalFilipino (www.digitalfilipino.com), an e-commerce resource website reported that in a single day, there are 150 to 200 million text messages sent. That’s an average of 20 text messages per user or a little over PhP1,000 per month on mobile services. Despite having the lowest per capita income in Southeast Asia, with the exception of Indonesia, the Philippines has become a telecom provider’s paradise. In fact, these companies look to the Philippines for latest trends in the development of value-added services like special logos, ring tones, graphics, applications, etc.
The soaring popularity of mobile phone services have spawned software and IT companies that develop wireless applications and services. Now we also have mobile services that provide news, entertainment, marketing campaign, banking transactions and even location mapping. These companies have been so successful that they have attracted the giants in the business world like Philam Life, FedEx, Asian Terminals and Intel to name only a few. Their client base reflect the wide array of products and services that the market is ready to devour. Simply put, there seems to be no business now that is not riding on the wave of the SMS phenomenon.
The emerging role of SMS in business success has a face, that of a young person, and this is especially significant to the advertising people. In a survey in key cities in the country, it showed that people between 20 to 36 years old send more messages daily. These segment are working professionals with a huge buying power. Now that the mobile phone is considered an indispensable tool, advertisers are tapping into it to reach their target market. While traditional advertising media like TV, radio and print will continue to play important roles in the marketing mix, mobile advertising is poised to bite a large chunk of the advertising pie.
Nowadays, it is common to receive advertising content in our mobile phone inboxes. Companies that provide SMS marketing campaign for clients offer broadcast packages which make use of telecom subscribers that come in hundreds of thousands. While most of us, if not all, may find this form of advertising annoying and intrusive, we can’t deny the fact that it may soon be something that we will need on a daily basis. SMS marketing is still at its infancy stage and we expect it to evolve into a sophisticated advertising tool that we will grow fond of.