This weekend, one of our clients will be utilizing Mobile SMS to target Mainland Chinese travelers to Hong Kong during the May 1st golden week holidays. We've contracted a mobile aggregator vendor to send out SMS to roaming users at Lo Wu Immigration Control Point (羅湖入境管制站) when they reach HK and their mobile services switch to either one of the local operators. This allows us to target a specific group of mobile users, with specific mobile operators, and at a specific geographical location.
I still remember after the Octopus incident, a lot of mobile operators stopped the SMS advertising services. As HK people get over these things quite easily, and for the service providers to cope with the overwhelming demands, SMS advertising is one big hot vehicle for advertisers reaching their 'target' audiences and activating their marketing campaigns, once again.
The reason why I said 'once again' is because SMS advertising is not new. Ever since there was mobile, SMS has been the Instant Messaging (IM) platform, probably the first. And the mobile operators have the right to send you any messages they want. Hence there was the SMS spamming days, after the email spamming era. The problem is there are no SMS spam filters. The only filtering is done at the mobile operator level. Therefore SMS slowly declined after series of complains which involved regulatory bodies trying to regulate this. Not to mention the whole privacy issue around opting-in and opting-out of receiving these SMS.
As technology advances, SMS is not only a simple piece of text (well it's still a simple piece of text to certain extent) that mobile operators blast off to everyone, it can be very targeted and personal.
On Mar 29, Tuesday, I happened to be in Central in the afternoon. As I was walking the footbridge approaching The Landmark I got this SMS from my mobile operator. It said "LONGCHAMP PRESENTS LA MAISON 8 GRAND OPENING", and it followed by a MMS featuring its logo and also details of the grand opening telling me Kate Moss would be there. As I'm working closely with several Luxury clients, I was intrigued to learn more and check out. I then took a turn and went to Queen's Road Central 8, where Longchamp's La Maison 8 situates. Of course I didn't see Kate Moss, nor I was able to enter the store, but I was motivated to arrive at the spot.
Thanks to many targeting options available to SMS advertisers, you can now choose targeting such as geographical locations down to the building and blocks, time of day, day of week, demographics (age, gender, interests, etc.), which operator, and many more. With the right mix of targeting options, brands can elevate their brand communications to mobile audiences at a more targeted and relevant way. Spam no more.
We understand when mainland Chinese come to HK, one of their objectives is to shop for goods, and by sending them a SMS once they arrive with information on where they can achieve their objective, this piece of info become highly useful and relevant. Watch this space as SMS/Mobile technology advances.