Message Systems was interested in exploring the state of mobile messaging within the enterprise, with a focus on who is embracing it, how they are using it, and what they are spending on it – presently and in the future. And by “it” we mean mobile messaging in all its various permutations: SMS/MMS text, mobile-optimized email, mobile app push notifications and IM chat. Solely in terms of our market position as a vendor of messaging solutions, we at Message Systems have seen a significant uptick in demand for our mobile offerings over the past several quarters.

We wanted, however, to get a more detailed, comprehensive view into how businesses and marketing organizations are approaching customer messaging as mobile smartphones and tablets continue to expand as the device of choice for messaging and online activity. We commissioned Harris Poll to survey a pool of more than 200 customer messaging decision-makers within enterprises across North America. The survey was conducted online in the spring of 2014, and asked respondents from companies with annual revenues of $100M or more their opinions about the state of mobile messaging and how they planned to incorporate mobile messaging into their customer communications strategies.

Context: The Internet Has Become a Mobile Environment

It’s important to note that the survey was not conducted in a vacuum. As the messaging technology vendor to many of the world’s biggest social networks, cloud computing firms and consumer technology vendors, we’re acutely aware that the messaging landscape is in a state of profound flux. Ten years ago a Message Systems customer using our Momentum platform to deliver email could be nearly certain that the messages they sent would be received, opened and read on desktop or laptop PC with a dedicated wired Ethernet connection to the Internet – and usually within a desktop client application such as Microsoft Outlook. Today, however, email messages are more likely to be opened and read on a smartphone than a PC, and they’re more likely to be accessed through a webmail client such as Gmail or than through a desktop app too.

As Mary Meeker highlighted at the outset of her 2014 Internet Trends report, the Internet is fast becoming a mobile environment. Mobile data as a percentage of total worldwide Internet traffic reached 25 percent in May 2014, which is remarkable considering it accounted for only 14 percent in May of 2013 and less than 1 percent of traffic just five years ago. The surging growth of mobile devices is an important driver here: smartphones and tablets together are flying off the shelves, with global shipments now at 4-5 times the unit volume of TVs and PCs. In many parts of the world, smartphones are now the most-viewed screen, overtaking time spent viewing TV or PCs and laptops. Of course, since text messaging and push notifications are essentially mobile-only messaging channels, the overall business-to-consumer messaging experience today is best understood as primarily a mobile interaction.

These trends set the context within which we deployed our survey into the field. More specifically, it’s obvious that businesses are aware of these changes and will be adapting their marketing, engagement and customer service practices to address the new messaging environment. But to what extent? That is what we endeavored to find out, and we’re releasing the full report next week. For now, here’s a teaser of the results: Enterprises are embracing mobile messaging in a big way – 91% are thinking of adopting time sensitive mobile messaging. Stay tuned for more information next week!

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