Relevance is the way forward in (SMS) marketing
The year 2019 is more than half over and so the decade is drawing to a close that has given us the opportunity to get in touch with Whatsapp and other messengers beyond “classics” like SMS and e-mail. We take a look into the future and reveal why SMS marketing will remain important in the future.
Staying relevant means addressing customers
As an article on Harvard Business Review describes, the “era of loyalty” in business is coming to an end. Since around 2010, companies have been focusing primarily on customer loyalty through benefits such as discounts or fremium. However, new surveys show that customers do not really remain loyal as a result. They make decisions based on relevance, i.e. they look for the best service at the best price. The brand or the company plays a rather minor role. In the US alone, companies lose up to a trillion dollars in revenue because they fail to stay relevant. Like any major change in marketing, this change is based on the availability of new technologies. In this case, it is the ever faster progress of digitization in all areas.
The development of marketing strategies in recent decades
The following table shows how new technologies, data and objectives have changed marketing strategies.
Era Mass market Segment Customer Loyalty Relevance
Decade 1960s/70s 1980s 1990s/2000s 2010s 2020s
Technology enabler Mass production Market research Enterprise IT Advanced CRM Digitization
Performance indicator Volume Purchase funnel Customer lifetime value Customer retention Customer attraction
Market approach Mass appeal Segmentation Proposition innovation Tailored incentives (like discounts, fremium) Personalization
Management-Focus Product and scale Channel and scale Channel and relationship Experience and relationship Experience and personality
What to consider?
The customer wants to feel comfortable. Loyalty no longer arises from individual positive impressions. Not only price and service trigger a purchase decision, but also the contact, the image of the company etc.. Companies must give their customers the feeling that their product or company is suitable for their situation. Likewise, they must not rely on stereotypical customer images, because in reality individuality is much more pronounced. The “typical buyer” of a certain product does not exist in this way.
SMS marketing offers companies the opportunity to address their customers in a targeted and situational manner. Combined with the possibility of linking to the product, this allows personal contact to be established. This gives the customer the feeling of being part of a dynamic process. The keyword here is “living business“. An SMS is a very personal contact. Use this personal level to your advantage.
Want an example?
Suppose a customer has booked a flight with an airline through your company. The booking confirmation is sent via our SMS gateway. Based on the flight connection and destination, you send him a link to the weather data for his trip with the same SMS. In this way you create a feeling of personal appreciation and added value for the customer. In other words: relevance. Unlike a discount campaign, this form of satisfaction not only generates short-term interest, but also a lasting good impression. Once the customer has gained a positive impression of a company, he not only remains more loyal as a customer, but also recommends it to others. Thus all sides profit.
This personal level of contact can be used in many ways. Before the actual sale, you can send the customer tailor-made offers based on his search queries or his previous buying behaviour. After a purchase conclusion the customer is pleased about the confirmation of the order just like about a short overview of further steps. If the customer can ask remaining questions via Inbound SMS, that still increases their positive impression.
In the end, the exact application depends of course on many factors:
- What does your company offer?
- What is important for the customer?
- At which point of interaction are you?
To sum up this information, it can be said that companies will have to pay more attention to their relevance in the future. SMS marketing is one of several tools to achieve this goal. Our SMS Gateway API offers the possibility of integrating this communication channel into the customer contact in an uncomplicated and individually adapted way. The better the customer sees his personal needs fulfilled, the more loyal he remains to the company. And more than ever: there is no one singular optimal strategy for successful marketing. Combine different approaches. Be creative, and don’t stay with the tried and tested.
Header picture by CarlosAndreSantos via iStock.com