OPINION: Brands must embrace the text message revolution | Mobile Industry | Mobile Entertainment

OPINION: Brands must embrace the text message revolution

OPINION: Brands must embrace the text message revolution
Daniel Gumble

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Industry / Market Data / November 20th 2012 at 11:35AM

The increasing uptake of texting could have huge implications for the future of marketing, according to Michele Turner, chief marketing officer at mBlox.

With the seemingly inexorable rise of text messaging showing no sign of abating, Michele Turner, chief marketing officer at mBlox offers her take on how the uptake of texting could hold major implications for the industry…

Brands must embrace the text message revolution
We’ve recently seen a dramatic rise in text messaging; findings from Portio Research, an independent mobile and wireless research company, have revealed that over 7.8 trillion SMS messages have been sent across the world over the last year. On top of this, Ofcom research shows that text messages have now overtaken phone calls when it comes to mobile communication.

This increased uptake of text messaging, as a result of its low cost and the abundance of affordable mobile devices, has huge implications for the future of marketing. Brands and businesses must react to the opportunity that mobile presents, using text messages, as well as mobile phone applications, as a way of interacting with consumers on a personal level. Organisations of all kinds, whether it’s retail, travel, financial services, healthcare, hospitality or media and entertainment have the opportunity to provide relevant and timely information to consumers on the move; something, which is unprecedented in previous marketing strategies. Those that primarily use traditional forms of communication within their strategy could end up falling behind if they do not start adapting their marketing strategy in line with this trend.

A receptive audience
Research commissioned by mBlox found that 62 per cent of respondents are favourable to receiving marketing messages, so brands have a great opportunity to engage with a receptive audience as long as they take the right approach. However, before they jump straight in, there are some key rules of engagement, which these brands must follow if they are going to see success from mobile marketing.

How to protect consumers and ensure an effective mobile marketing campaign:
Employing opt-in capabilities is the first step that brands must take when deploying a mobile marketing strategy. Taking this approach will protect both the brand and consumer; the end user is protected against content they do not wish to receive and a brand’s reputation is safeguarded from criticism around privacy issues. Once consent is granted, brands must follow the following steps towards a successful campaign:

·         The experience must be personalised to the user. mBlox found that 61 per cent of consumers only want content on their mobile that is relevant to them. The ability to build up customer profiles over time ensures that brands only send consumers relevant information.

·         It is also important for brands to be polite at all times; the tone and timing of the message must be appropriate to the target audience. Ensuring that the consumer isn’t disturbed at a bad time is essential in maintaining a strong brand-consumer relationship; you wouldn’t text your friends at 3am, and this rule also applies to potential customers.

·         In the case of push notifications, where more data heavy content may be sent to a consumer via a particular mobile app, brands must have the right technology in place to monitor customers’ battery life and access to Wi-Fi. Content should only be downloaded on a mobile application if battery life and Wi-Fi allow.

·         Promotions must be relevant to the consumers’ location: mBlox research found that 50 per cent of consumers thought that this was critical to any offer, whether that’s promotional offers on drinks at a festival, or discounted theatre tickets at Piccadilly Circus.

·         Finally, engaging with the right target audience is key. mBlox found that 90 per cent of people aged between 18 and 24 are spending up to five hours a day on their mobile device, so this demographic in particular is a fantastic audience for brands to interact with almost anytime, anywhere.

The findings from mBlox, Portio Research, and Ofcom, clearly reveal a great opportunity for mobile marketers to capitalise on - brands must integrate mobile into their overarching marketing strategy to take it to the next level and the days of experimenting with mobile apps and one-off SMS campaigns are over. Following the steps above is paramount in a market where consumers rarely allow second chances, and brands must get this right first time. 

Mobile is driving a revolution in marketing and means of business. With a combination of intelligent, targeted marketing strategies, the right technology and a sound understanding of the ethical and legal concerns of mobile marketing, the opportunity is out there for brands to take hold of and build their business.

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