I love an infographic but is it right to compare two non-competing types of marketing?

I received an email recently from an excellent SMS marketing company that had a link to an infographic comparing SMS to Post and as I run a direct mail company I thought it worth a look.

There is a ‘Bold Claim’ at the beginning of the infographic that talks about saving ‘thousands’, boosting business and having stronger environmental credentials all at the same time. That would be great if we were comparing similar options but we’re not.

SMS is without question cheaper than direct mail but as databases of mobile numbers, with selection criteria, are not as common as email or postal databases how can they be compared?  I don’t believe that I could purchase a list of mobile numbers of CEOs in London for a SMS campaign or even an accurate email list for that matter but I know I could get a postal list for them.  This is where direct mail comes into its own and too often that is forgotten.  If you can buy a list of your prospective customers to send a letter to but you can’t get an SMS list for the same people we can’t compare SMS savings to Post can we?  Direct mail in that instance would be the service that’s boosting business and not SMS.

Is it true that using SMS saves trees too?  In Europe and America every time a tree is felled for consumption (and I say consumption as trees are used in the making of shatterproof glass – artificial vanilla flavouring – cork – toothpaste – golfballs and disposable medical clothing among numerous other items) between 3 and 5 new trees are planted.  In Western Europe since 1950 forests have increased by 30% and forests in EU are growing and cover 42% of the land area.  That’s without this from Dr Patrick Moore the Greenpeace Co-Founder “The claim that using wood somehow leads to forest loss is backwards and silly. Every time we use wood—every time we buy a two-by-four at a lumberyard or a ream of paper at an office supply store—we are in fact ordering up new trees for planting in forests.”

You should have as many forms of marketing in your mix as is appropriate to your business.  That includes email, direct mail, SMS, social media marketing and Radio or TV if it fits your customers and your criteria. Let’s make sure they complement each other and not do battle with each other.