MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is pretty cool, I use it daily on my mobile phone to send pictures and videos to family and friends. Did you know that 93% of all mobile phones can accept MMS messages with no addition cost to the recipient? What about using MMS for marketing purposes though?
MMS messages are significantly more expensive to send than SMS messages, but is there a compelling marketing case to using MMS? I think so, and it lies in a very old technology, the UPC barcode.
While I think it’s cool to send images and videos via MMS to customers on their mobile phones, I’m not sure it justifies the additional marketing costs. There are two reasons though why I think sending a UPC barcodes via MMS could very well justify the additional cost.
#1 Checkout Ease/Speed – Lets be honest, a cashier redeeming an SMS coupon isn’t the fastest process in the world. The cashier usually has to take possession of the mobile phone to read the promotion, then it requires a few glances back and forth between the Point of Sale (POS) system to enter in the promotional code found in the text message. If there is some form of self-checkout, an SMS coupon would require the customer to actually enter the promotion code into the POS themselves, with a possible chance of frustrating the customer or slowing down the checkout process. With MMS, the cashier or customer would simply have to scan the UPC barcode. With a portable UPC barcode scanner, the mobile phone wouldn’t even need to leave the customers hand.
#2 Employee Theft – With SMS coupons there is always the possibility that a cashier will write down the promotion code found in the text message and use it for customers that never received the text message. With MMS and a UPC barcode, this type of employee theft is completely eliminated.
What do you think? Will businesses pay a higher price to improve checkout ease/speed and cut down on employee theft?