Eight trillion text messages in a year can be broken down to almost 23 billion messages per day or almost 16 million messages per minute across the world (Portio Research). SMS has come a long way since it was introduced in the early 90’s. The messaging traffic for the A2P segment (SMS message is sent from an application — typically a web app to a mobile subscriber.) is predicted at a staggering 2.2 trillion by 2017. While we constantly hear reports of its decline, that scenario is far from reality. In fact, short message service, or simply SMS, is important because of its ubiquitous nature, and its ability to be sent across in any network and device. This has not been achieved by any messaging platform till date and in this age, thus becoming a medium to bridge the consumer’s offline and online world.
Enterprise messaging solution comprising SMS presents an incredible opportunity for businesses to reach the wide consumer base. It can be used to connect and build relationships with customers prior, during and post-sale. With the exponential growth and convenience of smartphones, the new age businesses are moving towards responsive designs. They allow them to engage with the customers using feedback, surveys, reward points, tracking purchase patterns, special offers on birthdays/anniversaries, sending general information about them, sending discounts/reward/ coupons and referrals etc. As marketing gets more personalized, SMS is the best tool for rendering unique customer experience. It can be used to share desired information with the customers, market and promote businesses, service customers, improve sales operation, capture customer’s feedback and more.
Validating the idea and the expected transformation, a recent research by the Retailer Association of India and Octane Research 2015 depicts that 95% of Indian retailers consider mobile as an important part of their marketing strategy while 30% of marketers are using SMS as a marketing tool where only 26% of retailers were using SMS in 2014.
Some of the top brands invest in SMS today only because it is the only medium that is read within 3 minutes of the receipt. As per reports, a top beverage brand in US invested 70% of their mobile budget on SMS marketing. However, while using SMS; businesses need to ensure that SMS does not land as a spam. A carefully crafted SMS strategy so one that focuses on delivering an engaging and personalized message. It clearly lists the privileges offered to the consumers, at the same time does not spam the inbox with the sheer repetitiveness but delivers at a right time and goes a long way in establishing the connection with customers. Businesses need to clearly lay down the marketing strategies as they use SMS to acquire and engage their customers. This ensures that they not only have to add to brand value but also channelize the resources towards right medium.
Furthermore, brands encash on mobile strategies to reach both rural and urban customers. With mobile phones acting as a single online starting point, brands are able to gauge customer preferences, patterns, behaviors and purchasing decisions. Businesses are exploring various mobile messaging platforms to build exciting and valuable services. For example, Location Based Service (LBS) marketing alerts for shoppers to attract them to stores while they visit marketplaces or malls. New innovations are being done in the mobile engagement platform space where SMS is one of the powerful and pervasive channels.