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The IM, SMS, email shootout

iStock_000003737885XSmall.jpgI came across this chart in today's eMarketer email and wanted to flag it for you to weigh in on. The chart looks at the preferred channel for receiving messages from marketers across various age groups. The channels they looked at are instant messenger (IM), text messaging (SMS) and email.

The chart (below) gives an interesting view of the choice of interaction. Note the IM numbers are actually shrinking as SMS is replacing that functionality especially as mobile devices improve. SMS is booming in the younger (high school) generation and holds strong through the 18-24 college group. The recent grad group drops off on SMS toward email and once you pass 35, nearly 80% goes toward email.

Here is the eMarketer data:


Email importance grows as age does while SMS importance grows as ages gets younger. Take a look at this in graph form to see the trends more clearly.


Basically, if you're looking for the preferred (read most effective) way to reach certain age population groups, make sure you keep this in mind. There are a lot of tools in the digital arsenal that need to be formed into one cohesive strategy.

It's also very important to recognize that the next generation of consumers are engaging in drastically different ways. We have got to have a good grasp on these platforms, what makes them effective, what makes them fail and grow our planning to include test cases NOW. Next quarter could be too late if your competition is already engaging. It's crucial to sustain future growth.

This goes toward explaining my post yesterday looking at the ROI from a digital marketing point of view and why email is still delivering results. Are you using SMS/IM in your marketing mix? We've seen studies about how people want to be communicated with in social media. How do you see them balancing?

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