Prabhat Kumar, COO, ACL Mobile Ltd shared his views on ‘Why SMS Is Still Marketers Best Bet This Christmas?’ with CXO Today

23 Dec, 2016

Deciding on the marketing campaign channel in today’s fast-tracked and competitive world is a big task. While, the thought process of deciding the right path takes its own time, we still run a risk of trial and errors. Besides, there is always that conflict in deciding the choice of the platform to carry out the marketing campaign. Of course, with good reasoning, one may want to decide in the favor of digital media, owing to its increasing penetration amidst our lives. At the risk of appearing as a traditionalist, I would still vouch for the good old SMS texts, given its ubiquitous reach.
Yes, email and social media marketing offer brands with strategic reach. However, since we are gearing up for Christmas, just think about the number of times you would take a hiatus from the celebrations and festivities, to actually check your email. Secondly, isn’t it easier to receive a text message instead and access the information whenever an opportunity permits? Lastly, also consider the convenience SMS marketing allows, especially when you can embed the short URL in message that enables users to interact with the brand in real time.
While it is common knowledge, marketers should consider the strong argument in the favor of SMS marketing. The fact that text messages enjoy an open rate of 98%, as per an Adobe report, speaks volumes about their reach. To further add to it, 90% of these tests are read within the first 3 minutes of receiving the same. In fact, business professionals would not wait more than 10 minutes into reading or replying to the text message.
Given the advent of hyperlocal marketplaces and the offline sales, this is a glorious opportunity to be leveraged by smart and innovative marketers of today. While yes, the SMS will get your message across to a host of users, regardless of whether they are connected via smartphone or feature phones, the messaging needs to be compelling to have them acting on the intended stimulus.
Also, marketer can insert customize short URL in the SMS to take them to the relevant page and with this the businesses are able to track if the customer did open the link embedded in the message. This input help in understanding the buying behavior and habits of the present day customers. This knowledge plays a crucial role in perhaps revamping the overall marketing communication, coming up with better targeted campaigns, offering a better success rate. Also, the innovation in short URL services help brand to customize URLs that are not only shortened but also contain the brand name. While giving a much required break from links which otherwise appear spammy or simply unpleasant, these URLs contribute towards gaining trust of the users, along with a higher brand recall.
Also, with the tracking facility of the unique link, imagine a scenario in which you know exactly which user clicked the link in the text and when. That sort of precision in marketing campaign would be of further use to the marketers, letting them leverage the data to either overhaul or strengthen their current strategy.
As of today, there are over 23 billion text messages being sent on an average, on any given day. Besides, since millennial have emerged as one of the key consumer market today, a given individual from the generation indulges in nearly 67 messages on a single day. At any given day, our associates have experienced an increase in the footfall on their website or landing page, or increased queries, after rendering an enterprise messaging campaign.
Lastly, it is also imperative for us to have a discussion around the cost element involved in SMS marketing. To put it directly, enterprises messaging need not be a costly affair for any organization. In fact, the same would cost much lesser when viewed against e-mail or digital media marketing. And of course, the return on investment is a much more viable metric to consider, instead only the costs involved. Given the ubiquitous reach and the innovation in the field of enterprise messaging, the ROI period is often covered soon, sometimes within months.
Thus, instead of having to debate on the legitimacy of SMS marketing as a platform of today, marketers should invest time in understanding the same, strategically utilizing its reach and relevance in the present world, hence aiding the achievement of business and marketing objectives of the organization.