SMS remains the top global language


Vast majority of adults are using a text-enabled mobile device

The number of mobile connections globally has continued to grow year on year, with the figure expected to reach 10 billion by 2020, significantly outpacing the human population, according to new research.

This growth has facilitated a change in the way people communicate and consume media, moving away from the desktop PC and TV and shifting toward ‘mobile first’ or in some cases ‘mobile only’ communications, the study from OpenMarket, provider of enterprise mobile engagement services, and UK based Portio Research, shows.

This trend should be reflected in how businesses expand their communication services, the study, entitled SMS: The Language of 6 Billion People, stated. Commented Karl Whitfield, managing director of Portio Research: “With more people owning a mobile phone than a toothbrush, it’s clear that ‘mobile first’ is much more than just a buzzword. The way we interact has evolved in such a way that our mobile phones represent a conduit to the world around us, as we use them to communicate, shop for goods and consume content. This means that companies should not just incorporate mobile messaging into their communications strategy, but rather build their strategy around it.”

The report highlights that of the 7.3 billion people worldwide, 6.1 billion use an SMS-enabled phone, which amounts to 84% of the global population, making it more prevalent than any global language. In fact, application-to-person (A2P) connects more people than any other platform in human history, making SMS the ideal mechanism for businesses to use to communicate with their customers.

To date, the majority of enterprise communication has been broadcast in its nature, such as print, radio, television, or even email, where 70% of all email sent is spam. For the time-starved modern consumer, this approach does not work, the study stated. The growth of social media, for instance, has served to highlight the importance of personalisation.

SMS affords businesses a direct line to each and every consumer while also facilitating two-way communications between brand and consumer, claimed the research. Together with its familiarity and ubiquity, SMS is the optimal channel for enterprise communication in the ‘mobile first’ age, it claimed.

Said Jay Emmet, general manager of OpenMarket: “The shift towards a consumer-centric marketplace has meant that enterprise brands, regardless of the goods or services they are providing, have had to reassess their communications strategies. SMS offers a unique blend of reach, flexibility and personalisation to make it the most effective tool for businesses looking to engage more with their customers.

“What’s important is that companies avoid the temptation to treat mobile messaging as just another tool for broadcasting information,” added Emmet. “They should implement it as a meaningful, two-way channel for individual customer interaction.”


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