SMS Strategies and A Call to Arms!
Text messaging may not only save your company but, if recent events are anything to go by, it just might save your country, too!
As most people probably know, Turkey recently risked having its government brought down in a military coup by its own armed forces. Fortunately for the nation’s stability and the rule-of-law, the coup-plotters were using decidedly 20th century techniques and technology. They put tanks in the streets, soldiers on the ground and a few fighter jets in the air. They also relied on old-world technology to proclaim their coup and incite public support, taking over a state TV station to air their messages.
Turkey’s president, however, chose 21st century technology: Turkish citizens were sent a text message urging them to take to the streets to defend democracy and counteract the coup! The text worked as thousands of the government’s supporters surged onto the streets and into the squares to face down – some fatally – the rag-tag army. The message was reinforced through social media as people shared the text via Twitter and the president even used FaceTime to speak to the nation. It was the text that won it, though!
There can be no one involved in business today – from production to marketing – who would defend one isolated strategy for reaching target markets and effectively engaging with them. In an increasingly individualistic and atomized society, today’s consumers discover and engage with brands through a wide variety of mediums and connectors.
Whereas, in the past, businesses interacted with potential consumers through a limited selection of options: digital media, via radio or television, or print media in the form of newspapers, magazines and billboards, etc, the current situation offers an expanding range of possibilities. With the rapid escalation in digital media options and the proliferation of new methods of communication, exclusively reaching target audiences has become that much harder and way more complex.
The permutations available for any digital marketing strategy have multiplied at an alarming rate: You have social media, native advertising, video streaming, blogging, SEO maximization, PPC advertising, content marketing – to name but a few – and all accessible through various types of kit, from desktop and laptop computers, tablets, iPads, wearable devices, smart TVs and even smarter phones…the list goes on.
To effectively utilise all these platforms would require an immense marketing budget and a sophisticated flexibility and dexterity of response in order to cover all the bases that is beyond most businesses. Furthermore, as the economy fluctuates – often faster than business can even monitor, let alone exploit successfully – it is certain that companies and organisations need to focus on solutions that maximize a company’s reach, while enhancing the kind of one-to-one engagement and relationship with individual clients that has become essential in the present climate. Blunderbuss, or scatter-gun (referring to a way of doing or dealing with something by considering many different possibilities, people, etc. in a way that is not well organized) advertising techniques are not only out-dated but actually more damaging both to the brand and to the service or product provider.
While advertising and marketing agencies and their gurus will throw myriad propositions at you, one area is emerging as a simple, serious and very satisfactory solution, and that is SMS marketing. Hugely underrated, grossly under-estimated and almost universally under-utilized within the vast panoply of modern marketing strategies, text messaging as a marketing medium is beginning to deliver an impressive ROI. No other technique is quite as personal; no other ploy or weapon in the advertising arsenal can hit the spot or talk directly to customers, whoever and wherever they may be. Online or business SMS strategies reach – to coin an old slogan – the parts other forms of advertising cannot. With such an expanded – yet simultaneously fragmented – market, this type of mobile messaging cuts through the plethora of sounds and images to speak directly to the customer, personally and profitably. Here are four positives about SMS marketing:
1) SMS trumps Email
Many in business would find the idea of text-messaging or employing an SMS or text message provider rather alien. SMS is more traditionally associated with everyday folk sending each other messages, reminders or status updates and not with serious marketing strategy! And yet, at the same time, most companies have no problem using email as a marketing tool. Email certainly has its uses, but SMS is proving to outdo email in effectiveness and has a higher opening rate.
According to Jenny Hayward of Fundera: ‘SMS marketing leads to huge returns—with average open rates of 98%, compared to 22% for email—and it’s a great way to get your business’s message in front of customers. Not only can you be guaranteed that more people will be reading your messages than with email, but they’re also reading—and hopefully taking action—within moments of receiving the message.’ SMS is a shorter, sharper means of communication and complements any email strategy.
2) Delivery without delay
Because SMS delivery is instant it is ideal for short, time-sensitive messages that incite consumers to action quicker.
3) Effective engagement
SMS or text messages could not be more engaging! As any message can be tailor-made to fit the needs and requirements of individual customers, they encourage confidence in the individual’s relationship with the company, give vitality to brand loyalty and appear timely and relevant. Whereas other forms of digital marketing may last a few seconds, texts remain in the receiver’s inbox for much longer, giving brands extended exposure with each message.
4) Excellent ROI
SMS marketing is very cost-effective and consistently shows an excellent return on investment. Many marketers assume that SMS marketing is excessively expensive or of such a complexity as to require a lot of additional resources. Yet, compared to other similar marketing techniques, SMS is proven to give a bigger bang for your buck. You can check some examples for yourself here.
It’s not just businesses that have proved how effective text messaging can be.
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