When cadbury in Went looking for a new way to connect with its customers in Europe, and collect some vital marketing data it turned to Short Messaging Service (SMS), a technology that sends short blasts of data over digital cellular systems.

Messages are limited to just 160 characters, but it

turns out that was more than enough to achieve its goal. Buyers of chocolate bars, for example, were given a number on the wrapper that they could “”message in”” to and see if they were a winner.

What Cadbury got was a ton of information about buyer’s habits, such as which chocolate bars were purchased where and when, and in what type of weather.

Also known as the “”CRM for the young,”” marketing minds see SMS as a way to reach the 17-24 age demographic, says Gary Schwartz, president of Impact Mobile.

And while it may sound obtrusive, Schwartz says he plans to use pull-only techniques meaning he won’t spam. SMS numbers will be placed on billboards or packages putting the onus on the consumer to dial in.

Schwartz, who is working on bringing SMS marketing technology to North America, says Canada is well-positioned for this market, because unlike Europe, the four carriers here support a common SMS standard.

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