Friday, March 09, 2007

Are Vanity Numbers in Trouble?

Back in the good old days people typically only had to remember 7 numbers in order to complete a call. Those numbers began with a word emphasizing the first two letters found correlated to numbers on the keypad (mine began as "LIncoln", which was "54"). With the rapid growth in the population and the changes in telecommunications, virtually every city now has to use ten digits. Still, the smart business could make it easy for potential customers to find them through the popular vanity numbers.

An apartment complex might have a number like (333) 444-RENT, with that word at the end making it easier to remember. Recently I was driving along in my car and I heard an ad for an upcoming concert in town and I wanted more information. I pulled out my phone and began to dial away and the last five digits was a name. Unfortunately for me, and those who use Blackberrys and other more modern phones (I use the T-Mobile Dash), I couldn't find the numbers (since the keypad conforms to a keyboard, I would have to "guess", which wasn't worth the effort in my opinion). In a recent interview with Richard Sonnier, our Houston Business Show expert in IT, it was pointed out that roughly 10 percent of all phones fall into this category. This means about 10 percent of cell phone users will not be able to easily navigate using vanity numbers. This number will only grow.

So what will replace vanity numbers? Well, these new phones virtually always have web access, so the web sites will continue to grow in importance and prominence. For those interested in calls, there will be a move towards finding numbers that are easy to remember (e.g., no more than 2 or 3 unique numbers per phone number).

Being able to change and flexibility is important in our world of business, as we see vanity numbers are finding themselves, like so many other things in our world today, a victim of the Internet.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vanity of vanity, all things are vanity!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Kevin Price said...

Yes, that is correct. That is actually Biblical! Seriously, though, vanity numbers were great for a season, but they too are vicitms of the Net.

4:18 PM  

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