SMS has become a standard means of communicating - as these figures show, huge number of people now use it.
Now Amobee - one of our favourite mobile start ups - has announced a way of delivering ad funded subscriber originated SMS messages.
What that means is, that if someone signs up to the service, all the SMS messages they send will be free - with an ad at the end of the message.
I saw a demo of this a year ago when Amobee were first funded, and remain fascinated by the concept - the service will be fully launched at GSM next week and through our relationship with Amobee we hope to be able to trial the service (once they recruit an operator). We're already involved in their trials of ad supported games and (soon) music.
This data from m:metrics shows the opportunity for SMS permission marketing - but it also shows the potential downside.
We know operators enjoy great success with SMS as a way of talking with their consumers - and they also use MMS very effectively too.
But the number of brands using permission based SMS to build a dialogue is low whilst spam continues to grow.
Like any marketing these days, permission based SMS has to be relevant and either useful or entertaining ( or even both). And brands have to find a way of reminding consumers that they did request the messaging. We're investing in our capabilities in this space (as we are with email marketing) and see it as an ideal continuation of a marketing campaign.
Whilst lots of the talk is (rightly) about the potential for mobile advertising, more traditional mobile marketing still has a big role to play.