Thursday, October 8, 2009

Will desktop messaging cannibalise on my existing SMS traffic?

We sometimes get the question whether the introduction of desktop messaging service (which enables users to send messages from their PC) will cannibalise on the existing SMS mobile to mobile traffic, when introduced to the customer base.

Actually our experience and insights show the opposite. The overall SMS traffic will actually increase.

Here are some reasons to why the traffic does not cannibalise but actually increase according to our experience:

1) We know by history that services that further improve an established behaviour increase the overall usage. Compare voice with voice mail, voice with SMS or SMS with MMS.

The fear of cannibalisation is always present when introducing services but glancing in the rear mirror we should know that when you are improving an existing behaviour the fear is false.

2) The users that can access Desktop Messaging, will more easily be able to send SMS and MMS when sitting in front of the computer. This will generate more replies that will generate even more messages. Since the replies will be received on the mobile, and obviously, users do not sit in front of the computer 24/7 the mobile-to-mobile SMS and MMS traffic will actually increase. On top, desktop messaging enables users to easily send pictures stored on the PC and other content provided by the application in a user friendly way.

3) More than 30 % of all messages sent with the desktop messaging application tend to be longer than 160 characters, which is equivalent to one (1) SMS. This means that 30 % of all the messages being sent will actually generate two (2) or more messages

How come? When users are being exposed to the simplicity of the Mobispine Desktop service combined with access to the PC keyboard and the bigger PC screen they tend to write SMS as they write their emails, with more words, compared to the minimal character communication typically for mobile-to mobile messaging.

4) SMS is sticky. Once the users are introduced to the simplicity of sending SMS from their PC the snowball effect has started. How many of us can honestly resist getting an SMS without reading it or replying to it.

5) Last but not least, the Mobispine Desktop service enables users to easily import, manage and send messages to many at the same time. More and more are discovering the advantages using SMS as a mass communication, reminder and marketing tool.

This is a key advantage especially for business users.
Imagine the storeowner communicating to 10 000 VIP customers that the sale is on.
Now imagine doing the same from your mobile phone.

We see this happen every day and as a result some users reach up to 6 digit numbers of sent messages per month.

So, don’t be afraid of cannibalisation on SMS when introducing desktop messaging. Let your customers embrace the service and you will most likely end up with more loyal customers than you had before.

Thanks for reading!

Pandelis Eliopoulos
VP Marketing, Mobispine


Elle Love said...

I'm receiving loads of advertisements on my mobile. In time to come, SMS will be similar to emails.

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