The mobile has now become ‘an extension of the consumer’. Forty-eight percent of Australians now say they check their phone at least once every 30 minutes. So it’s no wonder mobile now lies at the heart of relationship marketing. That’s because of relevant and timely messaging, which SMS and apps so easily provide. Phones are key to educating customers, minimising friction, building purchase consideration, and developing deeper relationships.
APAC marketers get this. In fact, 58 percent of APAC marketers are creating mobile-specific content as a strategy to improve engagement. The majority of marketing professionals (84 percent) consider ad length and design for mobile when creating mobile content.
Compared to different channels, mobile is a compelling way to communicate with customers. Brands can be confident a message will be read and acted upon in a short amount of time. There’s up to a 19 percent click-through rate for personalised links.
The challenge: extracting value from mobile marketing
Despite mobile marketing emerging as the hottest trend in relationship marketing, some brands and organisations are still hesitant to latch on. It all comes down to the three key reasons, including:
- Failure to launch. These organisations understand the value of SMS, but they don’t know how to get started. They don’t know what they need to put in place before sending a message; for example, the provisioning of codes and gathering of consent.
- Analysis paralysis: These organisations know they want to use SMS, but they simply can’t decide the most effective way to implement it as a strategy. They question if they should use SMS for promotions, notifications, delivery or appointment reminders, etc. They want to understand where SMS is most effective to justify their investment.
- Regulation concerns: Whether a small startup or a large enterprise, nobody wants — or can afford — to damage customer relationships. These organisations and brands want to know how to effectively implement SMS into their marketing toolkit while staying in bounds with current regulations and providing best practices for customers.
To eliminate these barriers, it’s vital for the industry to embrace bodies like The Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF). The MEF is a global trade body that acts as an impartial and authoritative champion for addressing issues that affect the broadening mobile ecosystem.
There are many nuances and complexities around SMS, and it’s up to the industry to simplify these by centering the solution around value rather than bureaucracy. By packaging thought leadership into bite-size information for enterprises to consume, the MEF supports organisations to see the benefits of adopting A2P, helping them drive additional value to customers about the services they provide.
Getting mobile marketing right
It’s not enough for a brand or organisation to have an SMS program with notifications, promotions and alerts set up. They have to personalise each message to ensure it is relevant to the consumer.
This could be understanding whether someone is a first-time or long-term user or discovering what their interests are. For example, if they’re looking at ski holidays, send them an SMS that’s tailored to ski holidays — not a ‘fun in the sun’ getaway.
With SMS, there’s a multitude of different attributes that create context — has the customer filed a complaint recently? What were his/her last transactions? Have they enrolled in a loyalty program recently? This type of information can all be used to create an environment that fosters relationships with consumers.
Having this information allows you to create the content decisioning channel that offers the most impactful and valuable personalised interaction. These leads then drive customer lifetime value.
Using SMS in the context of the broader digital engagement with the consumer is key. That greater understanding will help brands and businesses send text messages that are powerfully poignant and impactful.
Enterprises that know their customers better, and can contextually serve them, according to insights will positively differentiate themselves. Mobile offers a wealth of assets, equipping brands to do exactly this. The insights gained from mobile can be applied across any form of customer engagement to deliver a more personalised and impactful relationship.
Andy Gladwin is the head of global mobile GTM at Cheetah Digital.