Solving Problems With SMS


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An introduction to mobile marketing. And on the power of real-time notifications. And about the global mobile market. And about helping small businesses communicate with personnel. And about unique use cases for SMS. And about the mobile ecosystem. And about the next 4 billion. And something about parking. And probably some mention of email. And about split testing.

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  • Derailing the conf call (and would do it again)
    growth of ‘dumbphones’ outstripping adoption of smartphones. I’ll talk about specifics later.
  • Show of hands.

    Stay on your computers.
  • On ~1,000 carriers worldwide.
    GSM standard set in mid 80s, but didn’t pick up steam until mid-late 90s.
  • Anything that keeps a user away from communicating is quickly discarded. Wheat from chaff.

    Identity: “Japanese schoolgirl watch” on Wired, decorating phones, dongles (phones themselves are nearly disposable)

    Nokia breaks users down by categories, not geo:
    Simplicity seekers
    Technology leaders
    Life jugglers

    Elsewhere, phones are status symbol. More phones, greater status.

    Jan Chipchase, what do we carry?

    (bigger to smaller): Owned -> Considered -> Carried -> Used

    3 most important things we carry: keys, money, phone. Survival: shelter, sustenance, support.

    He very elegantly suggests that these fill the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which you may or may not believe in. But his most elegant conclusion is that the phone TRANSCENDS TIME AND SPACE (distance and async messaging), even as it’s personal, private and convenient.
  • Convenience and reach

    4.6b subscribers globally

    In US, all opt-in

    Messaging used across every age group, increasingly skewing older (parents learn to communicate with kids); reaching 50% adoption among people in their 40s. In the UK, adoption not lower than 80% for anything but oldest demos.
  • Culture of the phone -> names still differ (via the Economist). Whereas, “Internet” is internet everywhere, even France, hard as they try otherwise.

    Smartphones, ~13% of the 309m handsets shipped in 3Q ‘09. By 2015, all will be “smart” (whatever that means in 2015).

    Breached 4b subs worldwide in ’08

    Among the world’s 800m illiterate, still use phones but delegate. How does this change our design thinking?
  • 5 year period: 2003-9. 10X more mobile than landlines.
    Uganda saw 100 fold growth from ‘95 to ‘08 (0.2 to 23 per 100)
    Kenya, 15k handsets a decade ago, now over 15m
    South Africa, mobile outnumbers landlines 8X
    In rural Uganda, some people are using mobile numbers instead of home addresses painted above doors (Jan Chipchase)

    Wireless employment:
    Disabled beggars in The Gambia employed by Gamcel selling SIM card and topups. Now offered police protection, where previously abuse went unpunished.
  • Ground/street-level ideas. “Designing for the future”

    True, grassroots innovation informs our thinking.

    The information on the ballot and presidential election results in Russia will be available through SMS by a short code response mechanism. The number of votes collected by each candidate will be available by simply sending request to number 5503. Fairly standard stuff. However they can also learn the voting results at a certain polling station of a certain region, again by SMS request. For example, to find out the voting results in the Republic of Karelia 201 polling station, it is necessary to indicate 10 201 in your SMS, where the first two figures reflect the number of the Russian federal subject, while the numbers after the gap correspond to the number of the polling station. -

    Previously, farmers in India and Nigeria had to drive into town to get grain prices. Costly, infrequent (couldn’t move fast enough w/ changing market demand – SMS implemented in Nigeria, prices drop 6.4%, reflecting market). Leveling the playing field for rural farmers.
    Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia: P2P payments, without bank accounts and transfer of prepaid purchases. In Kenya, 42% of all money transfers through mobile. 1b worldwide who have phones but no bank acct. In Uganda, “sente” -> send money as airtime (village phone lady or kiosk operator sells airtime on prepaid card, transfers it to recipient kiosk by SMS, recipient user gets cash)
    Register your phone w/ an agent, provide ID, deposit cash. Cattle dealers put money on their phones instead of carrying cash, should they be robbed on the road.
    Rural hospitals get texted emergency procedure, medication info, to areas otherwise cut off.
    Boston PD brought in leads on 4 high profile killings. 1,000 tips.

    “Phone ladies”, kiosks
  • Global mobile penetration per capita is 64%
    Took 30 years to get past 4b subscribers – the fastest, widest spreading technology ever.
  • Phones as status.

    In Latin America, some have phones exclusively for their bosses.

    In Europe, most employed people have 2 phones. In US, 1 of 6 do.

    Here in the US, users subscribe to campaigns for brands they like, or bands they follow to be first, in the know; must appeal to the purpose of a phone.
  • Navigating it:
    Get a dedicated shortcode through Neustar, or a shared one through a service provider
    3-9 mo provisioning for dedicated, or immediate – 1 mo on shared
    Keep compliant with MMA requirements
  • AntiTow:
  • Salon Lofts:
  • Croatia:

    If Symptoms Persist is a documentary on the issues regarding fake drugs in developing nations

    Email from Alden Zecha, CFO of Sproxil --
    Hi Vitaliy,
    Thanks for contacting us and for supporting Sproxil’s endeavors. At this time we don’t have any hard statistics which we can publicly release about the impact of our work. Our launch in Nigeria was only last month and we feel that it would be misleading for us to provide early numbers until at least a few more months have passed. We can share anecdotal data that consumers are embracing our solution and that there are been mini “shortages” of the particular drug and dosage that we are working with. We would like to attribute that to the belief that the supply of counterfeits is being reduced and that consumers are switching from questionable alternatives since they can be assured of the authenticity of the products working with us. We can say that even in the short time we have been in the market thousands of consumers have already used our service, hundreds of thousands of real products have been labeled and that there is growing interest from pharmaceutical companies. We think that this is just the beginning of a larger wave.
  • Solving Problems With SMS

    1. 1. Solving problems with SMS An introduction to mobile marketing. And on the power of real-time notifications. And about the global mobile market. And about helping small businesses communicate with personnel. And about unique use cases for SMS. And about the mobile ecosystem. And about the next 4 billion. And something about parking. And probably some mention of email. And about split testing.
    2. 2. QUESTIONS How many of you are marketers? Technologists? Both? Don’t give us your undivided attention. Please Twitter away. Comment on anything you find interesting @vlbeta
    3. 3. YURY TSUKERMAN Cofounder of Recess Mobile
    4. 4. What is SMS? > Short Message Service > Delivers 160 characters in Western languages > Sent in the ‘extra space’ on tower pings > 4.1 trillion messages sent worldwide in ’09
    5. 5. WHAT’S A PHONE FOR? SMS is the only true, mobile push notification system Well, besides voice But that’s what mobile phones are: communication devices Secondary functions: identity real-time notifications
    6. 6. SMS statistics for US marketers > Because it’s opt-in, conversion rates 8- 20%+ > Reach: 98% mobile phones compatible, US mobile penetration to hit 100% in 2013 > On average, Americans send & receive 357 texts/month, 1 trillion total sent in 2008 > Messages have >80% open rate, offer delivery confirmation > SMS is viral. Allows for easy & casual forwarding. …group offers, event notices, specials
    7. 7. Global market size comparison SMS: $130b in ’08, $224b in ’13 Videogames: $41.9b in ‘07, $46.5b in ‘09 Hollywood box office: $26.7b in ‘07 Online advertising: $21b in ‘07
    8. 8. Ubiquity cell phones sho ji mobiles celulares Handys kännykät keitai Pelephones móviles
    9. 9. Africa > Subscriptions grew 550% in 5 years; 54m to 350m > 100k employed in wireless > Not even going to talk about Asia. Much.
    10. 10. Global innovation > Presidential voting results by SMS > Grain prices > Micropayments > Mobile banking > Healthcare > Anonymous crime tip line
    11. 11. THE NEXT 4 BILLION Via Communities Dominate Brands
    12. 12. 6.7b people 480m papers printed daily 800m registered autos 1.1b personal computers (all kinds) 1.2b landline phones 1.4b internet users 1.5b TV sets 1.75b credit card holders 2.1b bank accounts 3.9b FM radios 4.3b mobile subscribers (3.1b unique) Expect 120% mobile penetration in a decade
    13. 13. “I have one for work, one for family, one for pleasure, and one for the car” - A Middle Eastern salesman
    14. 14. US messaging ecosystem Carriers (Tiers 1-3) CTIA, Neustar Mobile Marketing Association Aggregators Service providers Ad networks Content providers
    15. 15. Staying compliant
    16. 16. SMS uses Appointment reminders Couponing Snow reports Anything time sensitive that users need to see A/B testing
    17. 17. VITALIY LEVIT @vlbeta Cofounder of Recess Mobile
    18. 18. Problem - street sweeping Complex sweeping schedule Forget to move your car TOWED = $$$
    19. 19. Solution SMS alerts Day before and day of Free
    20. 20. Problem - Salon Lofts Dispersed personnel, little/no access to email 40% CSR time spent making phone calls Support requests Meeting / conference call reminders RSVPs, roll call, etc.
    21. 21. Solution SMS communication tool Two-way communication Immediate measurable ROI ~ 66% Additional benefits
    22. 22. Problem - pay for parking Croatia Mostly paid parking areas No change / cash Re-up parking time
    23. 23. Solution Text plate # to zone short code SMS reminder when running out Reply to re-up 10% increase in total revenue 10% decrease in printed tickets 2001 - CRAZY Dubai, London, most recently Los Angeles
    24. 24. Problem - counterfeit drugs $75b worldwide market 30% pharma sold in developing countries fake Anti-malarial medication one of most susceptible Malaria costs Africa $12b in lost GDP / year 200,000 lives / year could be saved if anti-malarial medication was genuine 2003 – Interpol found 80% drugs were fake in Lagos, Africa
    25. 25. Solution UPAP Alphanumeric labeling system
    26. 26. More uses of SMS Mobile Payments Stock Quotes Game: Find A Prize Donations Sports Game Scores SMS Consulting Checking Weather Hotel Check In/Out Logging Data (Weight, Running Time, Etc.) Word Lookup Fuel Prices Alerts SMS Auctions Movie Times Street Sweeping Alerts Happy Hour Specials Chatting VIP Offers Ovulation Cycle Alerts Voting Secret Meetings Astrology Lookup Advertising Flash Mobs Traffic Delays School Closings Prescription Identification Overdue Video Reminders Digital Business Cards Lead Collection Company Announcements Driving Directions Illness Diagnosis Ticket Purchase Polling Mileage Recording Parking Payments A/B Testing Wine Bottle Notes Bill Payment Reminders Mobile Banking Radio Song Ids Country Facts Schedule Requests Wikipedia Search Exchange Rates World Time Request Real Estate Lookup Personal Diary/Log Word Translation Appointment Reminders Birthday Reminders Web Server Monitoring Virtual Queue Management
    27. 27. Problem - presentation distro Gathering email addresses Lag time 1-2 days to process Level of interest decreases
    28. 28. Solution Text MOX EMAIL@DOMAIN.COM Auto response email and SMS Link to presentation and contact info in your inbox MESSAGE AND DATA RATES MAY APPLY to 465637
    29. 29. Vitaliy… Why are you telling us this?
    30. 30. Different Communication Channels
    31. 31. Why? For what purpose? What’s the goal?
    32. 32. Rich experiences? Embed Flash? Play 3D games? Email
    33. 33. SMS is great for… Time-sensitive communication Utilize existing technology in developing countries Dispersed workforces Less technically savvy audience Audience who rarely checks computer/email Workforce on the go Constrained budgets
    34. 34. GO SOLVE SOME PROBLEMS! What are you waiting for?
    35. 35. THANKS Questions? Visit our website at Call or text us at (810) 3RECESS. 