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Juicy Couture print ad is true testament to importance of SMS

An advertisement in the Bloomingdale?s Nifty Gifty holiday gift guide catalog is a true testament to the role that mobile, specifically SMS, plays in the lives of consumers on a daily basis.

The ad is for Juicy Couture winter gloves that have the tips of the thumb and pointer finger cut off, especially for texting. Who would have thought two years ago that we would be seeing ads like this.

?The use of SMS will continue and perhaps accelerate as more phones enter into the market, and applications, such as Facebook continue to integrate with SMS,? said Joshua Kittner, senior marketing consultant for digital engagement at the American Red Cross, Washington. 

?In 2011, more marketers will enter the space, driving competition and innovation,? he said.  

Juicy gloves for texting
The ad in Nifty Gifty actually states that the Juicy gloves are ?made for texting.?

Here is the ad:

Here is a close up of the text within the ad, that states the gloves are made for texting:

The fact that designers are creating gloves that consumers do not have to remove first to be able to text message is definitely a testament to the importance of SMS.

Additionally, the fact that the ad highlights this to entice consumers to buy the gloves is even more of a testament.

Texting is a big part of American culture and it is here to stay.

SMS growth
Obviously, marketers have taken note.

From 2009-2014, SMS ad revenues in the U.S. will grow from $226 million to $562 million, a 20 percent compound annual growth rate, according to Borrell Associates.

A recent mobileSquared study found that SMS and MMS-based messaging would be the second most widely accepted form of mobile advertising in the next five years.

SMS is a tremendous opportunity: It is ubiquitous and works on all devices and consumers know how to use it.

According to Gfk NOP Research, 56 of mobile users in the United Sates, or 141 million people, are SMS users.

SMS usage skews young, with 82 percent of texters under the age of 25.

For consumers ages 50 and younger, more than half are active SMS users. African-Americans and Hispanics are 50 percent more likely to be SMS users.

AT&T reported that the number of land line customers it dropped went from 50 million in 2005 to 31 million in 2010.

For people between the ages of 18 and 24, the average number of text messages used has more than doubled in the last two years.

Recommendations for marketers, with regard to SMS
Maximize opportunities by creating a surround-sound effect, Mr. Kittner said.

Cross-channel integration and consistency of messaging and experience across online/digital channels, as well as offline channels, are key for success.

Providing multiple digital entry points into the organization allows the user to decide how they want to interact with the brand.

Set realistic expectations on results and invest rationally so that the mobile channel runs efficiently.

Continue to explore ways to enhance segmentation and targeted appeals by moving to more two-way conversations to learn what customers expect from the brand.

Use tools like surveys, voting and other interactive capabilities to make the two-way conversations relevant and interesting for your audience.

?The love affair with the mobile phone will continue into 2011,? Mr. Kittner said.