5 SMS Marketing Lessons from the Six Nations Championship
The sporting phenomenon that is the winter Olympics may have concluded and sports fans may be feeling a little deprived of action – unless of course you are a rugby fan, in which case there is plenty more Six Nations action to keep you entertained. Whilst for those with a keen interest in the sport, the jargon and gameplay make perfect sense, for the less familiar it can be somewhat incomprehensible – as brilliantly captured in the latest advert for Domino’s Pizza. Whether you follow the game or not, there is a lot we can take from the Six Nations Championship and apply to SMS Marketing. Here are five lessons.
1. It’s a game of strategy
Although strategy is crucial to success in any sport, it matters a whole lot more in some than in others. When it comes to rugby, it takes a serious amount of strategy to overcome the competition and emerge as the victor. It is not enough to simply develop a model of play and stick with it – the strategy needs to constantly develop and evolve, as well as be able to adapt to each opponent on a match by match basis. This, as painful as it was for England fans, was brilliantly exemplified by the Scottish team in their impressive victory over England. The exact same is true to success in SMS Marketing. A specific strategy should be established for each campaign, with its own objectives, measurables and target audiences. One key way in which SMS Marketing differs from mass marketing channels such as email is that it is highly personal in nature. Because of this, it is important not to slip into the habit of using a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing campaigns, as this will be detrimental to your success. For best results, start each campaign with a clean sheet and develop a strategy that is tailor-made to achieve the desired outcome.
2. Persistence pays
Just as with any sport, there is no doubt that luck can play a part in success. But the reality is, it is persistence that wins games and tournaments and (winter Olympics aside) few sports serve to illustrate this better than rugby. The sheer persistence required to simply hold one’s position and not relinquish the lead is impressive – and a highly accurate metaphor for the world of modern marketing. In such an incredibly saturated marketplace, it is harder than ever for brands to overcome the noise, stand out from the crowd and get their message in front of the right people. However, with the right level of persistence, it is still possible to get fantastic results. Combine persistence with strategy as described in the previous point to create exceptionally successful SMS Marketing campaigns.
3. Never underestimate the power of the underdog
One of the most exciting aspects of rugby is its unpredictability. It really is a game where the unexpected can happen and the underdog can overcome the odds to come out on top. Not by chance, but by applying the principles of strategy and persistence. Because of the unique nature of SMS Marketing, the same is equally true. Unlike with mass media advertising such as television, which given the huge cost of execution is simply not available to most small independent companies, SMS Marketing is accessible to even those with the lowest budget. The unique characteristics of SMS Marketing also contribute to this unique opportunity to take on the biggest names in your field of business. Rather than repeating the same message to the same audience over a course of weeks or months as is typical of a television or internet marketing campaign, SMS Marketing works best when you send a given message to a prospective or existing customer just once. A well-crafted SMS message distributed to a carefully selected audience can give even the smallest of companies an equal chance of getting results as those with a six-figure advertising budget.
4. Communication is king
So let’s make sure that you are up to speed with the basics of rugby. You pass backward and kick forward. Seems simple, right? So imagine that you are on a pitch with your fourteen fellow players and up against stiff competition. You win possession of the ball and… without communication, who on earth will be able to anticipate your next move to ensure the ball stays in the right hands? Just as it is true to rugby, communication is king when it comes to marketing, and this is one area where SMS marketing excels. Why? Because not only does it allow real-time communication, it also allows two-way conversation, meaning that you can build a real relationship with customers just when it matters to them the most. Click here to learn more about receiving messages.
5. Creativity counts
When there are fifteen of the heaviest, most muscular men you are ever likely to encounter ready and waiting to jump on you, it takes more than just strategy to succeed – it also takes a certain amount of creativity, and the teams that do best in rugby are those that foster a culture of creativity, where thinking outside the box and coming up with original approaches to gameplay within the limitations of the game is actively encouraged. SMS Marketing has a lot in common. There are rules to be followed, such as the all-important PECR regulations, and there are restrictions that apply, such as the limited character count (up to 459 characters for a concatenated message). However, provided you stay compliant and stick to the basic rules of SMS Marketing, being creative with your campaign is a great way to improve your success. Think not only about your copywriting, but also consider how you can use SMS Marketing in a unique and original way.
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Almost any business, or even a not-for-profit company, can take advantage of the frenzy of sporting events, like The Olympics. Especially when you combine it with mobile marketing. That’s because there are plenty of fans, and their devices, here in the UK.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
An effective use of SMS campaigns is for support of sports teams and leagues. Using automated messages to communicate with supporters ensures that your teams have the chance to play to full stadiums throughout each and every game. This, in turn, motivates them, providing support.
Statistics show that a huge 98% of text messages are opened within the first fifteen minutes of being received, so it's little wonder that sports organisations and fitness centres have been looking to take advantage of a potentially lucrative market.
Marketing for gyms and leisure centres is unlike marketing within many other industries. It's not enough to simply gain a customer and expect to keep them indefinitely. It's important to make every attempt to keep that customer dedicated and interested in achieving their fitness goals to avoid lapsed memberships and cancellations. It's in every gym's best interest to have a loyal customer base that feels supported and encouraged to attend the gym regularly. Failure to do so can result in members who feel it is a waste of money to pay for a membership that they don't use often enough. That's where SMS marketing can make a big difference.
We look at how SMS Marketing can help gyms, saunas, solariums or other any other kind of membership based businesses in the health and fitness sector generate substantial ROI by unlocking the value of lapsed memberships. With a simple strategy, you can bring former members back on board and turn them back into loyal customers.
The New York Times used the Olympics as an excuse to try a massive SMS experiment. They wanted reporter Sam Manchester to get personal with their thousands of readers using two-way SMS messaging. Read the blog to see if the experiment was a success or a failure.
Most major sports teams in the UK and US already know the power of SMS for engaging fans via scores, stats and other data. But the power of SMS can extend far beyond the world of the major leagues. SMS is ideal, not only for communicating with participants but to coordinate teams of volunteers across the event.