June 27, 2003

Mmm-commerce - How Sweet Can It Be?

"A new candy company, started by the daughter of Ralph Lauren, is trying to build some buzz with a a strategy they call mmm-commerce", reports Mike Masnick in Techdirt. Sugar and candy related themed-ringtones are available for download from the Fun section of the website (for a steep $2.99 per tone) and coming soon a feature allowing for visitors to send out a free SMS message with a related ringtone, plus an in store coupon for a lollipop (for $ 3.99).

If the US is anything like Europe, such a marketing campaign could be appealing. What better way to reach a target customer than through a device that is permanently at arm's reach or even better, in your pocket and gets your immediate attention.

According to a study conducted in 2002 by Enpocket, permission marketing campaigns by SMS have been 50% more effective than television campaigns and 130% more effective than radio campaigns. The trials overall on the European market in 2002 were more than successful, with return rates on SMS sent out between 6% and 16,5%. I have many examples of SMS marketing campaigns with their return rates, in French at netsurf/sms. If anyone would like me to translate them, send me an e-mail at emily@netsurf.ch.

Probably the novelty of receiving a coupon or an offer by SMS was one of the factor's in these successful campaigns last year. But things could change as according to Forrester Research, by 2004, 55% of European Marketers plan on alotting 7% of their budgets to SMS in their communication campaign mixes. Too much of "a good thing" could obviously backlash if mobile users feel spammed.

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