My sixteen year old daughter last month chalked up over 6000 text messages on her cell phone. Two days ago a text message came to my cell phone from a candidate running for Governor of my state that I did not ask for. Have you had similar experiences? Recent studies say for those with teenagers the answer is most likely yes because 88% of teenagers have cell phones and 72% of those are texters, a number that just last year (2009) was only 65%. Brands, companies and people are adopting SMS as a viable tool for reaching the masses with a compound annual growth rate of 40.8% from 2008 to 2014 and it is obvious that even politicians are jumping on the band wagon to reach voters.
With the user experience between traditional telephone, computer and cell phone usage closing, the stigma and uses of data via the mobile phone are changing. These technologies are converging rapidly giving more options for the corporate world to create a positive customer experience. The question then arises – “Am I getting the most out of my communication tools”? Companies often face this question and need to carefully balance the benefit of these tools between the company and consumer. Convenience and simplicity becomes the formula for consumer adoption and satisfaction, while ease of deployment, increase in business and cost weighs in for the company.
SMS (Short Message System)/Texting adoption can be credited to our youth. As a social communications tool texting has become common place in their everyday lives. It is through the youth that adoption is increasing with the older users and opening the doors for companies to integrate traditional services with the convenience of texting. To utilize texting, whether it is for marketing or business processes, companies need a Short Code. Short Codes are a unique five or six digit number used to manage and deliver text messages in and out of carrier networks. Any company wishing to create programs or campaigns involving texting must pay large fees to use short codes.
So why is SMS “growing up”? Communications has evolved where companies can now integrate their traditional telephone services with their computer systems and provide unified communication services crossing all platforms. Companies like TSG Global, Inc., a leader in providing communications services, has eliminated the need for Short Codes and instead use regular phone lines enabled with SMS, further strengthening the unified systems platform. Noah Rafalko, CEO of TSG Global, Inc., www.tsgglobal.com says – “It is unbelievable the services we can offer our customers now. Communications has crossed over from just a bottom line expense to being integrated with services that strengthen customer relations while creating opportunities to generate more revenues.”
SMS is still growing up and may never become a grown up. If adoption continues to rise and communication companies continue creating great applications, products and services, companies and their customers will continue to grow together.