Archive for the ‘ facts & figures ’ Category

10 million MMS on Mobistar network

Belgian mobile operator Mobistar has announced that their clients have sent 10 million mobile images in 2007.
Their multimedia messaging service (MMS) was launched 5 years ago, but the price to send a MMS message has dropped significantly since: from 0,99 EUR to 0,25 EUR.

About 60% of all mobile users have a mobile phone that is compatibel to send and receive MMS.


15 years of SMS: a remarkable growth story

On December 3rd, 1992 a young engineer at Airwide Solutions named Neil Papworth sent the first commercial text message to Vodafone manager Richard Jarvis. Both sender and receiver were present on a recent anniversary party of that first SMS in London. At the time, they couldn’t have imagined the gigantic impact SMS would have on daily life 15 years later.

The phenomenal growth of SMS doesn’t seem to stop: in 2007 an estimated 5 billion SMS messages were sent in Belgium, which is a bit more than 500 messages per person. On New Year’s Eve 2008, 59 billion SMS were sent in Belgium alone; an increase of 25% compared to the year before. UK residents send out more text messages a day than there are worldwide searches on Google that same day.

Let’s be honest: nobody could have predicted or explained the success of SMS beforehand. Each marketer, analyst or product developer in 1992 saw mostly the limitations and barriers of this new service. First of all it’s pretty difficult to type text messages with only 12 buttons. Moreover, the messages are extremely short: which message could one possibly communicate within 160 characters? And finally, sending a SMS is not exactly cheap: counting cost per sent bit, SMS is the most expensive way of communicating in the world. When I received my first SMS on New Year’s Eve 1999, I couldn’t imagine the present commercial success of SMS either.

a remarkable growth story

Yet SMS became a success story in the short term. Which factors explain this success?

  1. Each mobile phone allows SMS: SMS is by default present on each GSM, and there is no need for a separate activation or special configuration.
  2. Accessibility ‘any time, any where’: many people prefer not to be disturbed op their phone; SMS is a practical way to nonetheless contact them fast, no matter where they are.
  3. No technical complexity: although entering a SMS message is not that simple, the sending of it is really easy. SMS works independently of the operator or the device of the recipient.
  4. Limited cost: Sending a SMS is cheaper than making a phone call or sending a letter.

What does the future of SMS look like? This question was recently asked at the Web Goes Mobile Seminar to keynote speaker Tom Weiss, ex-Vice President of T-Mobile. His reply was clear: at least 20 years. Every recent research shows that SMS still continues to grow. Recently, we also see more and more companies using SMS as communication tool. In the sector of recruiting for example, the Flemish VDAB has started early 2008 to inform young job hunters by SMS about new relevant job offers.

Language teachers probably won’t like the sound of it, but SMS is here to stay. And those selling SMS dictionaries will continue to live happy days.

Proven figures

A much heard ‘but…’ about mobile marketing from advertisers is the lack of proven figures about the adoption of the mobile phone and the characteristics of its reach. Yet the mobile operators have tons of information regarding segmentation, demographics, use, adoption, devices,… However, many of these data have a competitive nature and are carefully being kept a secret. Recently this scarcity of data belongs to the past. No week passes or a new international study displays and explains another aspect of the new, upcoming mobile medium. In Belgium the second phase of the Belgian Mobile Mapping (BMM) has recently been finished by InSites in collaboration with the IAB.

For those hungry for numbers, we provide some interesting figures (*):

  • 94% of SMS or MMS mailings to selected opt-in lists in France are actually opened and read
  • 90% of the Belgians older than 15 years possesses a GSM
  • 81% of the European mobile users regularly sends SMS messages; 33% does this daily
  • 75% of the European mobile users in July 2007 has already received a publicity SMS, the majority (73%) from their mobile operator
  • 62% of the adolescents (12 – 24year) in France has downloaded content on his mobile; on average for all age groups this is 41%
  • 51% of the Italian mobile users takes pictures with his mobile phone, and 31% shares this with friends through mobile networks
  • 50% of the world population will have a mobile phone by the end of 2007 (3,35 billion people)
  • 49% of the French mobinauts consults the weather forecast on the mobile internet
  • 40% of the Belgians has at least once reacted to an advertising via his mobile
  • 36% of all Belgian GSM devices was bought in the past 12 months
  • 30% of the 50 Top European Brands have a first experience with mobile marketing
  • 30% of the mobile advertising campaigns done by Top European Brands generate conversion rates of more than 5%
  • 30% of the Belgian users is rather critical regarding the intrusive character of the mobile phone
  • 19% of the British internauts older than 15 have made an internet connection with their mobile in January 2007 (5,7 million people)
  • 10% of the Spanish mobile users have already subscribed to a RingBack tone

Proven figures

These figures speak for themselves. Everybody now owns a mobile phone. Through the increasing use of messaging, mobile internet and content download services, the mobile medium slowly becomes a full mass medium, and certainly within certain age groups, the mobile phone has become a necessary instrument.

In some countries the mobile medium is now included in the measurements of the reach of classic mass media. Maybe this can be an inspiration for the CIM to give a more prominent place to mobile in the next Plurimedia study?

(*) Sources: M:Metrics, MédiaMétrie, InSites BMM, Quantifica

Record sales for mobile phones

In 2006 Belgium saw a record sale of 4,36 million mobile phones, worth almost 600 million euros. That’s 15% more than 2005, which held the previous record of 3,8 million phones.
This was announced in De Tijd, based on statistics of market researcher GfK. Since there are about 9,5 million mobile phone numbers in Belgium, nearly half of those users bought a new phone in 2006. Although this is an impressive number, the Belgian growth is low compared to international sales. Worldwide almost 1 billion phones were sold, which is a rise of a staggering 23% compared to 2005. This growth is largely caused by upcoming markets such as India, Brasil and Africa. Low-cost mobile phones are definitely on a rise. Almost half of the sold mobiles were priced less than 100 euro. On the other hand, the clamp shell models are becoming more popular than the simple rectangular ones. Mobiles with camera are becoming more and more common, and 26% of the mobiles contains a MP3 player. UMTS is still an unknown and therefor unpopular technology.

Record sales for mobile phones

Mobile Marketing, say what?

Each year needs its trends. As for marketing there lately is a lot of attention directed towards mobile marketing. Mobile Marketing provides new, unknown possibilities for marketeers. Yet we often receive questions about what Mobile Marketing actually is. This article tries to offer some clarification.

Mobile Marketing can be defined as the use of marketing communication techniques via mobile phones. This involves the use of several information carriers: SMS and MMS, voice messages and mobile internet sites. Mobile Marketing can furthermore be divided into following subcategories.

Mobile Advertising: communicating non personalised messages or advertisements on mobile phones. This form of marketing is still in an early stage. In Belgium for example, it recently became possible to place banners at Mobistar on PlazZza. Internationally the first providers of paid search and sponsored links are appearing. AdMob for example has quickly grown into a worldwide mobile advertising network.

Mobile Direct Marketing: this comprises techniques that allow to deliver personalised messages or promotions individually to clients or prospects on their mobile phones. SMS and MMS mailings are the most often used. Managers of clubs often send their customers a SMS message to invite them to special events. Also the mobile operators and the sellers of mobile content such as ring tones or games are increasingly using this marketing method. It is important to notice that the explicit permission, given in advance, of the customer (opt-in) is required.

Mobile Interactive Marketing: the mobile phone is the perfect tool to receive response to a promotional campaign and consequently build up an interactive relation with your consumer. Techniques as SMS&Win, SMS-to-mail and SMS-to-WAP are on the rise. Response rates are usually higher than expected. In this regard, the recent launch of PlazZza offers the marketeer unique and rather low-cost possibilities. The consumer sends a hitcode for free, for example ‘FCB’ for Club Brugge, to the shortcode 4444. He immediately received a free SMS containing a link to the mobile internet site of the advertiser. On this site he can then find further information about the brand, promotions and contact details. In France this technique was used in 2006 on Gallery, the equivalent of PlazZza, by leading brands such as Coca-Cola, Citroen, Nike and Société Générale.

Mobile Participative Marketing: the mobile phone will unmistakably fulfill a prominent role in the growth of the Web 2.0, moreover as a very suitable device to grab content and send it to a central platform. Mobile blogging is a nice example for this. This was recently introduced on a large scale in Belgium by Proximus at the launch of the Pay&Go Generation cards. Members of this club can send pictures by MMS to their moblog for free. Without any large promotion, this campaign presently has a lot of success.

From Advertising to Participation: it is beyond doubt that there exists a large range of mobile marketing techniques. Especially the latter creates new possibilities to form a strong connection and community feeling for a brand.