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EDITOR’S BLOG 301117 I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

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Christmas is a boom time for retailers and, as shoppers become ever more mobile centric in their pursuit of bargains, so it becomes a boom time for telemedia.

Black Friday – which passed last week – heralds the start of the mad buying splurge that characterises Christmas here in the ‘decadent capitalist west’ – peace on Earth, goodwill to all men and shop til your shoes catch fire, as my seven year old put it. This peak shopping season is increasingly seeing mobile as the front line place where shopping takes place, not only the actual buying, but also the research and awareness about products that then get purchased through other channels.

And this is where telemedia comes in. Increasing numbers of mobile shoppers means that the place to target shoppers is on their phones – and that means that this year more than most, text is being used to market to shoppers.

In fact, according to TextLocal, 40million messages are going to be sent via SMS to consumers in the UK over the Christmas period to drive engagement and sales. Telemedia companies are especially well placed to tap into this and, while PSD2 is likely to act as a spur to push carrier billing into the mainstream, mobile marketing using SMS is likely to put bulk messaging there too.

However, as with payments, there are problems. While SMS has the reach and ubiquity to reach any mobile user, it is facing competition from other messaging services such as OTT messaging from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to name but two.

All these messaging channels can play a vital role in the mobilisation of Christmas, but making sure that text gets it share of the pie is going to take work. Next generation Rich Communications Services (RCS) from Google, look to offer a way to reboot SMS and relaunch it as a rich medium ideally suited for marketing, ticketing and commerce. Combining this with PSD2 rules to charge things to the mobile could well be a golden bullet for the sector.

But OTT messaging has quite a stranglehold. What is going to be key is how telemedia companies can bring their expertise from the world of SMS to bear on it to monetise it.

As our video this week points out, OTT is ripe for monetisation and telemedia companies have the skills to make it so.

So while you hit the shops, or the internet to buy all your presents this year, think about how much of a role mobile plays in your purchase plans and how you could make a quid or two out of making that better.

Also, while you do all that shopping, think of me reclining on my editorial chaise, sipping a mulled something-or-other smug in the knowledge that, thanks to my mobile phone, I have done all my shopping already. Cheers…

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Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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