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PRESS RELEASE june 17, 2009

                                       

The TXT phenomenon, SMS in North America


If the be-all-and-end-all of marketing is putting brands into pockets and purses that go everywhere consumers go, then cell phones and other wireless devices are potentially the most lucrative marketing touch point ever.

What's really driving marketers into a tizzy is that communicating wirelessly can produce the ultimate immersive experience by engaging consumers in voluntary two-way communication. That makes mobile marketing arguably the ideal way to increase a brand's customer base, strengthen existing customer relationships and skew younger for the foreseeable future.

Among the supremely desirable youth demographic alone, 83% of North American 18- and 19-year-olds already routinely text message at least once a day, according to Nielsen / NetRatings.

TM or SMS (short message service) was made easy for Canadians by becoming carrier-agnostic about a year and a half ago. But the floodgates will burst open later this year, says Michael Whelan, txtNation Director, when a cross-carrier gateway for downloading not just text but content - video, games, MP3 music, photos and Internet - becomes effective.

Programs can also thrive without broadcast support. Nascar Racing recently turned to txtNation to develop deeper connections with 19-24s via a place-based effort. txtNation provided them with Text To Screen Services via the powerful txtNation platform.

The sector seems hopeful that young North Americans will follow their European and Asian counterparts in becoming avid members of "Generation Txt," youth who have fashioned a new shorthand vocabulary for text mobile usage. According to the U.K.-based GSM Association, people around the world sent 200 billion short text messages in 2001 and in places like Asia and Scandinavia, penetration is double or triple what it is here.

There are indications, however, that across North America kids will soon join the ranks. Toronto-based research company Ipsos-Reid recently reported, after surveying 1,000 Canadians, that 57% of consumers aged 18 to 34 are interested in products that would allow them to communicate by text messaging and 63% stated that a top benefit of the service is its discretion. Txt future looks very great indeed.

 


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