Marketing is a Gamble, but SMS Marketing is an Investment

March 3, 2015
Person drawing a graph on a clear dry erase board.

Marketing is a gamble. Down to its very nature, marketing is always a zero sum game where money spent in one campaign is money not spent on another. So when agencies, companies or even mom-and-pop-run small business are determining where to place their finite resources, SMS rarely makes the short list.

Why, you ask, because mobile marketing can be seen as a greater gamble. Entering into a new marketing ‘fad’ is risky business. However, with micro-targeted SMS messaging backed by a strategic mobile marketing plan, businesses can lower risk and increase reward. Your hand of opted-in, micro-targeted consumers is a double down gamble that has big pay out potential. While traditional marketing tactics appeal to the masses, SMS messaging can micro-target consumers on the basis of anything you choose. From basic demographic breakdowns to past purchasing history, “micro-targeting” produces greater potential for reward redemption. Through micro-analysis, businesses can curtail rewards, coupons or exclusive content towards the profile of the consumer. A “great deal” means little if that deal is not relevant to a given consumer. It is the job of the SMS marketing campaign directors to understand this pivotal point where SMS marketing shifts from a gamble to an investment.

Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em is key in SMS marketing. There is a fine line between spam messaging and targeted messaging. If businesses treat their messages like spam, customers will too. SMS messages must be strategic and timely. Today, 91% of the US population has a cell phone. And 95% of those cell phones have SMS capabilities. Research shows that text messages, on average, are read within 4 minutes of delivery. Conversely, emails can take up to 72 hours, if they’re opened at all. While email is certainly still a viable tool in the digital marketing sphere, it does not go far enough in establishing urgency and exclusivity in the mindset of customers. Customers treat their phone number as a prized possession, and rightly so. Consumers have taken a risk too. By opting in to a company’s SMS marketing campaign (by providing a phone-number or joining a rewards program) consumers have provided businesses with a “tell”. They have subconsciously informed the business that they are, to some extent, interested in the brand or the brand’s promotions. This is the point where businesses must take the appropriate action in acknowledging the risk the customer has taken and reward them through exclusive content and VIP treatment.

A text is a direct line of communication to the palm of consumer; consumers who think of their phone as their lifeline. Unlike the house hand of traditional marketing tactics, mobile marketing allows for direct contact in a locally targeted network of subscribers. Businesses that currently use mobile SMS marketing have seen redemption rates of promotions and coupons increase foot traffic to their stores and increase sales, the ultimate bottom-line. SMS marketing is a proven tactic. SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application in the world, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers.

With these statistics coupled with a strategic and sincere mobile marketing plan, SMS marketing crosses the line from gamble to investment. So keep your bet, and place your down payment on your investment.

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