Are You Going Back to a Dumbphone?
The first half of 2016 was filled with articles about people going retro. I’m not talking about reviving old clothing or hair styles. I’m talking about basic phones. Do you remember them?
Sometimes referred to as “flip-phones” or “clamshells”, they did little more than voice calls and texting. Some had limited email, maybe a game or two, and those are called feature phones. But on the small screens, anything besides talking or texting was too painful.
Unplugged and In Control
And that’s the point. With those phones, you didn’t want to do anything else. The reports about dumbphones say that people are getting fed up with their lives being dominated by their smartphone. They long for the days when they were in control of their time, so they get an old retro flip phone.
Actor Eddie Redmayne abandoned his smartphone early this year. In an interview in Financial Times he explained his reasoning, “It was a reaction against being glued permanently to my iPhone during waking hours”.
A slew of other celebrities preceded him. Here’s a quote from an article on NBC.com in February 2016:
“Celebrities who want to unplug — and many who have already been hacked — are big fans of the ‘retro’ device. Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, and Iggy Pop have all been spotted clutching clamshells — and the fashion world almost self-imploded when Anna Wintour nonchalantly flipped open an old-school phone at the 2014 U.S. Open”.
I understand the sentiment. For me, watches had the same effect. I haven’t worn one since I was a teenager. Back then, I found I spent all my time, well, checking the time. It felt great not to be shackled to a clock when I stopped wearing it.
The times I’ve forgotten my smartphone at home felt similar. Only that taste of freedom was mixed with inconvenience (the directions were in that email I don’t have without my phone!), or worry my kids couldn’t get a hold of me. But it was nice not constantly thinking “Where’s my phone?”
Back to Reality
Basic and feature phones can send and receive SMS messages, make voice calls, and have batteries that last for a week or more. That last point alone might make anyone tired of plugging in every night pine for the old days.
But they are the old days. While some manufacturers still make the phones, there’s fewer of them over time. In the NBC article, mobile industry analyst Tomi Ahonen said, “The dumb phone industry is in its last decade. The industry is in consensus that the smartphone will replace the dumbphone market, similar to how DVD players replaced VCRs. But it’s not like personal computers, where tablet and laptop PCs have not yet ended the life of desktop PCs.”
Anyone still own a VCR? Didn’t think so. Or maybe you’re one of the hold-outs hoping they will come back in vogue like vinyl did. It’s possible.
But mobile phones are technology. And technology rarely takes a step backward en masse. For most of us, there’s a future of smartphones that eventually cost less money (cheap ones are already on the market), have extended battery life, and don’t break so much when dropped. I have no predictions, at the moment, when that will happen though. Will those smartphones be filled with time-consuming and diverting apps? Of course they will. At some point we’ll have to realise self-restraint and awareness work just as well as dumbing ourselves down.
The good news is, that whether you opt to go retro or for the latest iPhone, you can still get SMS messages on your device. Now that’s technology for everyone.
SMS messaging can be a one-way, or a two-way affair. Sending coupons, sale notifications, or event announcements are all one-way messaging. The recipient doesn’t need to reply in order to use the information sent. In two-way messaging though, recipients can reply to your messages. And that makes it much more interesting, engaging, and potentially a lot more work to manage.
Getting to grips with the underlying psychology of how audiences react both consciously and subconsciously to your message is key to achieving the maximum effect in any type of marketing. All kinds of things come into play with different media, from colours and shapes to images and videos. Even the way things move can have a powerful effect on a viewer. Unlike many other forms of marketing, however, SMS marketing is unique in that the only tool you have is words - and not many of them. But armed with a basic knowledge of consumer psychology, 456 characters is more than enough to get the desired effect. In this article, we present our six top tips to take advantage of the psychology of SMS messaging.
Despite the surge in popularity of smartphones over recent years and the rapid growth of alternative messaging apps, SMS messaging remains one of the most commonly used and popular methods of communication today. Read this article to learn more about the history of SMS messaging and discover why it is still a highly profitable channel that should be seriously considered in your marketing strategy.
Tone of voice is important in all business communications, from letters to direct mail campaigns. The way you speak to clients is all of a part of the image you create in their minds of your brand. As short as they are, this also applies to business text messaging. It may even be more important to get the language and tone right in your messages, particularly your SMS marketing, than in an emailed leaflet.
One of the great advantages of SMS: it's completely trackable so you know exactly how your campaigns are engaging your opted in customers and clients. And if you’re a small business, operating in a specific geographical location, then that local knowledge can be invaluable in targeting your campaigns to a local audience.