SMS, the most expensive yet also the most used data application

I read this article on MyBroadband containing some fascinationg figures which really intrigued me…

*Original article – http://bit.ly/iwDGPW .

Based on the calculations presented within the article, using an average SMS of 140 bytes at a cost of 75 cents, it reflects that sending 1 megabyte of data would cost approximately R5 357. Shocking, isn’t it?

(Yes it’s true that you may get SMS bundles for as low as 20 cents per SMS, but the calculation would still be staggering…)

As a marketer it instinctively got me thinking about how this affects mobile as a Marketing Channel.

Although both SMS, and more recently MMS, is already being used in promotions and advertising all over, the significance of MMS communication is in reality still emerging in South Africa as a marketing platform.

I have done a few calculations of my own below which have really placed this in perspective and I trust that this might also provide some insight to you as a marketer or as a business currently  investigating these digital channels.

If one considers the average MMS of 100 kilobytes which would cost around R2, and compare this with the SMS related figures presented in the article, then 1 megabyte of data would come in at a price of approximately R20.48.

R20 versus R5 000 is quite a difference, I’m sure you’d agree. But of course most Marketing Managers measure value with the amount of heads that they reach at a specific cost. So again we are back to 1 x SMS at 75 cents and 1 x MMS at R2, which means that you can reach around 3 people based on the cost of an SMS versus the 1 person at the same cost for an MMS.

Now this is where I believe most marketing executives tend to miss the bigger picture…

Even though you are able to reach around 3 prospects via SMS to 1 via MMS at a similar cost, the amount of data that can be carried on 1 average MMS outweighs the data carried on 1 average SMS roughly 731 times over.

Just imagine the creative that can be used with this larger data capacity and what this could mean for gaining interest and for your conversion rate.

In marketing, and especially with New Media marketing, it is vital to have an understanding of the technology that is available to us and how to maximize the benefit with the objective that we wish to achieve. In today’s marketing environment it is this insight or awareness that makes all the difference between another ordinary campaign, and an award-winning one.

Knowing the difference…isn’t that what marketing should be about?

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