The Rush To Complexity – Why Mobile Marketers Shouldn’t Overlook SMS

There was an excellent article published today that detailed why the simplicity of SMS shouldn’t be overlooked in a world where mobile apps, the mobile Web and so many other mobile marketing concepts are vying for the attention of marketers.

“According to renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci, ‘Simplicity is the greatest sophistication,” the article began.  “A thought that is as relevant to marketing as it was to his scientific and artistic experimentation.”  This is something I’ve long believed in, even with the proliferation of new-age mobile technologies.  Whenever marketers want to begin experimenting with mobile marketing, they always want to try the “new thing,” which in most cases is a branded mobile app, a rich media banner campaign on the mobile Web or other relatively complex tactic.  Complex compared to SMS that is.

“One area of the marketing industry that seems to be rejecting Da Vinci’s aphorism is mobile marketing,” the article continues.  “The rise of the mobile web and smartphone apps has led to a fever of complexity, with brands trying to outdo each other in their efforts to provide rich mobile marketing content.”

SMS has inherent advantages that nothing else compares to, and probably never will.  It’s a ubiquitous technology and one that nearly every consumer understands and uses on a daily basis.  For marketers, this is an enormous advantage.  Not to mention its cost advantages and potential for a wide-variety of interactions.  “On a more practical level, any consumer interaction that has an alerting function is best facilitated via SMS,” the article explained.  “Whether this is alerting a customer to an upcoming sale, or giving them updates on the progress of their auction, their delivery or their product, SMS is the simplest and most effective tool for giving people real time, time critical information on their interaction with a brand.”

In the end, marketers definitely shouldn’t shy away from new-age concepts and techniques, but should use them when they’re most appropriate.  “At the same time though, they should remember the words of the great artist and, where it’s applicable, should look towards the sophistication of simplicity embodied in SMS as a marketing medium.”