SMS Advertising

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
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SMS Advertising

Robby Benedyk Senior Manager Global
Product Marketing at Tekelec

For service providers on the cutting edge, you should be exploring placing ads in the text messages your subscribers send to one another. While there is a 160 character limit on SMS messages, most messages are far shorter and the opportunity to place ads in the unused character space can help service providers looking to be ahead of the curve and make more money.

While  is unclear what the best solution is to placing advertising in text messages -- one assumes that providers will make more money from the ads they sell and be able to offer lower cost text messaging plans which translates into more customers using SMS services on their network.

In a way, text messaging is the perfect mobile advertising vehicle because it doesn't rely on web browsers on the phone. In fact, every phone can receive such text ads and the possibilities here are limitless... For example, ads can link to a short code or web address. While it is difficult to know for sure, one imagines that an advertisement sent as part of a text message while a customer is near a retail location is of tremendous value -- worth far more than an ad on a PC browser. Google has certainly made similar comments about the potential for mobile ads.

Think of the ad on a mobile phone as something similar to the impulse item rack at the grocery store. You may not have realized you needed that pack of gum, super-dieters guide or anything else that food retailers place on the shelves -- but when you see it, you buy it.

I had a chance to discuss SMS ads with Robby Benedyk the Senior Manager Global Product Marketing at Tekelec as he told me his company is supplying an SMS advertising solution to a service provider at the moment. He thinks the service provider will likely not go public that they are using Tekelec equipment (for competitive reasons of course) but we will likely know which carrier it is soon.

The solution is part of the company's TekMedia product line and it includes ad tracking and management. I have seen surveys in the past that have shown users will likely accept ads on mobile phones in return for lower prices and one wonders if the ads are targeted and often include things like coupons -- wouldn't virtually all customers want them?

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