Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

In 2007 for the first time, the average number of U.S. text messages per month exceeded the average number of U.S. phone calls. In 2010 a University of Wisconsin study found that our youth are now more than ever, inseparable from their cell phones - an observation that continues to be made daily in homes across America. The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reports that amongst teens, the use of texting has now overtaken every other type of common interaction amongst friends. But text messaging has evolved well beyond being a mere tool of social comradery, it has now become a cornerstone of daily life in a fast-paced technological world. The full commercialization of IT has arrived.

With the rise of app-centric smartphones, worldwide smartphone market has grown 25.3% year over year. Android and iOS devices now account for 96% of the global market. This amazing growth combined with the smartphone's ability to link various social media messaging accounts such as Skype and Facebook within one device, has redefined 'texting' as we know it. But what does this mean for business?

Smart phones have enabled both Email and SMS marketers to reach people via a single device, which is always within arms reach of the user. Almost every one of us is connected, constantly in touch with each other. This instant communications tool between friends has quickly evolved into a potent marketing tool. Since 2010, some bloggers have been predicting the death of email, however, time has proven there is still a place for a more detailed form of written communication. But, that being said, quick personal updates, questions, reviews and comments among friends belong to text. More interestingly, so does promotion, marketing and daily notifications. SMS marketing is on the rise and for good reason.

SMS has been proven to reach customers more effectively than email across multiple dimensions

Through innovative SMS tools, businesses are being given the ability to market directly to their clients via text based coupons, text promotional offers and text solicitations across a variety of social media platforms. Consumers are showing that they are quite accepting, even preferring this method. Research shows that almost all of us smartphone aficionados use our devices to search for deals or information on local businesses. It therefore makes sense the companies offer more mobile options to make our business relationships easier. Furthermore, a most individuals today prefer text communication and are more likely to review and respond than any other method. This preference is being utilized to help the marketer in new and unforeseen ways. For example, a 2013 BMC Health Services Research publication included a study detailing the cost-benefit analysis of text messaging over using telephone calls to remind patients about appointment times. Businesses have been able to increase revenues and cut costs by upgrading their services with SMS options.

Today, texting has become the most widely used data application in the world with over 81% of mobile phone subscribers using it. In the course of achieving mobile communication dominance, texting has become far more than another means of connecting with friends and colleagues, it allows us receive updates regarding our specific interests and keep meticulous track of appointment confirmation. Businesses now have a way to communicate with the consumer that is almost universally preferred, nearly real time and virtually always viewed. Businesses need to communicate by the method consumers prefer The risk will be high for those businesses that don't!