SMS market grows with new Net competition portal

Would-be winners who love entering consumer competitions are said to be driving huge growth in SMS-based competitions, given the ease of use.

SMS competitions are also providing excellent statistics, databases and results for clients.

ITouch PLC, a South African wireless application service provider (WASP), which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and has operations around the globe, has joined forces with Kahuna Mobility Solutions to provide a further value-add in this market.

ITouch and Kahuna have created a Web site called This is South Africa’s (SA’s) first Internet-based competition portal driven entirely by SMS technology, according to the company.

Wayne Levine, sales director at iTouch SA, says, “For any marketer hoping to initiate a successful media and marketing campaign, is the ideal integrated value-add technology.

“It addresses the need where competitions expect less than 100,000 entrants, and also serves as a useful research tool, which provides more information than only a cellphone number.

“ firmly supports all anti-spamming strategies with regards to both e-mail and cellphone numbers. Marketing to entrants’ cellphone numbers will only happen if the entrant has opted in for further information.”

According to iTouch, this Web site allows marketers a number of benefits. Primarily to develop a contest to showcase a product, it provides the consumer with the chance to be the first to try a new product and provides positive consumer association with a brand by offering tangible rewards for data volunteered, adds iTouch.

Notes Levine: “For the client it provides an effective database growth mechanism. Clients are also able to offer coupons to encourage repeat business, and to attract new customers in store.

“ offers simple set up, and is easy to incorporate via the Internet address into any print and media campaign. The result is a cost-effective tool that can be used online and as a part of the greater marketing mix,” adds Levine.

With the local arrival of shortcodes, says it has opted to use this mechanism to reach its wider target market. (Shortcodes are five-digit numbers that replace 10-digit numbers and are common across all networks). This will bring added benefits of enhancing premium-rated billing, and be instantly more recognizable to the cellular user.

Users can register to view entry details online as well as registration information. Each competition can also maintain a Web poll as an added research tool.

Detailed hourly reporting on entrants can also help to determine the effectiveness of the marketing efforts, while online statistics can reveal popularity.

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