Think of it this way: when a prospective customer has access to your business 24/7 in their pocket, purse, or just an arm’s length away, doesn’t that feel great? The opportunities for new customers to find you are greater than they have been in the history of commerce.
The amount of people using smartphones and tablets across the world has rapidly increased, which means that the use of mobile apps and mobile web browsers has skyrocketed. In fact, recent estimates from the Mobile Marketing Association say that smartphone penetration in the American, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand market will soon surpass 90 percent.
When I ask business owners how they might use mobile as a marketing platform, they always answer:
1) “I would build an app for my business.”
2) “Oh, my ads are already mobile-optimized, so I don’t worry about it.”
1) “I would spend around $40,000 to build something that will need to be offered for free to invite engagement, compete in a red ocean of similar experiences, and cross my fingers it gets on a ‘best of’ list or a mention to boost traffic.”
2) “I don’t understand mobile but I know it’s important. Let’s not have this conversation now.”
With the exponential rise of ad blocking programs, however, traditional non-permission-based advertising and re-targeting campaigns are getting squashed, and businesses will turn to SMS as the solution.
Think about it for a sec.
Outside of email, name one other ubiquitous network in the world that anyone from a 5 year-old to 90 year-old can access and use without downloading or installing anything? It’s the good old text network.
Most businesses don’t realize it, but the channel that is most-used in the mobile marketing world is SMS or “text message” marketing.
As more (smart) businesses get involved with mobile marketing, SMS continues to be the clear leader of the pack.
The following is a quote from the Transparency Market Research organization, which performed a recent study on mobile marketing and the prevalence of SMS as a marketing tool:
“Mobile advertising services can be deployed to send text messages to cell phones. These services are also used for marketing using banner ads which appear on smartphone applications. These ads appear at the top of the page (mobile web banner) or at the bottom of the page (mobile web poster). SMS advertising, which accounts for over 90 percent of the total mobile marketing revenue, dominates the market. One of the advantages of SMS is that it allows users to view and send brief messages unobtrusively and without any privacy issues.”
TMR also indicated that MMS, multimedia messaging services, are on the rise as well, as is mobile video, mobile games and more. (Of course, because we’re all glued to our phones now.)
But, let’s focus: 90% of mobile marketing revenue comes from SMS. Why?
Because it’s permission-based.
As Seth Godin predicted a zillion years ago, permission-based marketing would shift the entire world of advertising: its philosophies, approaches, strategy, and tactics…because it’s completely relationship-based and now more than ever business transactions rely on deeper relationships. The goal of SMS marketing and other permission-based marketing tactics such as email is to build trust through a mutual acknowledgement of generosity. The potential customers is generously opting in using a shortcode (Notice the “Text ‘KEYWORD’ to ‘55467’ advertisements on soda bottles, posters, event websites? That’s just the beginning of SMS marketing.) And now your business will generously help them by providing knowledge, products and services.
When you nurture the customer, you extend the customer lifecycle and open the door to increased revenue.
Why do some business avoid SMS marketing? Why are they still automatically choosing to build display ads or apps?
The problem with SMS is that we immediately assume the campaign will be plain old boring text messages: short, unintelligent, one-dimensional, and void of any of the great automation tools that marketers have become so use to with email marketing platforms. But 2014, with the introduction of revolutionary services such as MOBIT, businesses now have options to build beautiful templates and colorful campaigns for SMS.
Of course, the most effective mobile marketing strategies will utilize a wide variety of channels as they seek to engage their customers. Different kinds of businesses will likely have varying results with different types of platforms based on the kind of business they perform and the kinds of customers they are trying to reach.
The point is this:
Businesses don’t have to cry over losing clickthroughs due to ad blockers, or finance an expensive app. With SMS marketing campaigns, it’s easy to start, easy to scale, and easy to generate revenue in an authentic, relationship-based environment.