How can UK businesses use text marketing in their advertising mix?
Any marketer worth their salt should constantly be looking at new opportunities to promote products – the rise of mobile marketing has meant there is a new platform to consider.
The idea of sending promotional messages to a person’s mobile phone is sure to sound appealing, as the directness and almost instant delivery of a text offers something that other platforms may not. The obstacle that prevents more companies from trying their hand at SMS advertising is that they are not sure how to include it in their marketing mix.
A brand’s marketing mix can include any number of different campaigns on different platforms – it will likely be different in almost every different firm, as a slightly different target market may be aimed for or a separate unique selling point might be publicised. In order to effectively contact different demographics, it may be necessary to use a different platform or approach them in a distinct way.
In recent years, the idea of convergence has gained credence; the idea being that the promotional material you send out on different platforms (social, email, outdoor posters, etc.) ‘talks’ to each other and involves more than one channel. So a social media campaign could encourage people to look out for a television advert, or a radio spot could call for consumers to follow their social profile.
A key part of making this work is in understanding what your goals are and how each channel works in terms of raising awareness.
If you want to include text marketing in your marketing mix, you should first think about what you want to achieve with the campaign – whether you want people to sign up for something or simply be made aware of a new product. With this in mind, you can then consider which demographic you want to contact and how you can best get their mobile phone numbers.
Text marketing is very much an opt-in service, so you need to provide people with an incentive to give their digits; this could be something like a competition in which they have a chance of winning something significant. With your goal and your contacts in place, you then need to make sure that you are prepared to measure and respond to the call to action in the SMS campaign.
There is huge potential for using text marketing to engage with consumers; one example is of a health and fitness club, which could alert its subscribers to a limited time period offer to get a cut-price deal on membership. The company should make sure they have trained staff to deal with phone calls, or set up the text campaign so a consumer can simply text back to receive a sales call.
It is up to the company in question to decide if they want the deal to be exclusive to online; they could either publicise it on other platforms but insist that people sign up to SMS marketing to get the deal, or they might prefer to just promote it from all angles. The former approach will likely inspire more sign-ups, but the latter could produce greater overall engagement levels.
This is just one example of how text marketing can be added to the marketing mix; the platform offers a great deal of potential moving forward.
Richard Parker is an eminent columnist with a publication. He is a telecom engineer and a broadband specialist. Writing news based articles for online journals is one of his favorites. Currently he is busy playing with his newly bought iPhone 5.
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