How Brands Can Use Personalized Mobile Messaging to Drive Revenue
Brought to you by WBR Insights
Personalized marketing is a great way to connect with customers - both existing and potential - and expose them to bespoke marketing content.
In fact, 72 percent of consumers state they will only engage with brands that deliver personalized recommendations - despite the fact that 86 percent are concerned about data privacy, suggesting that recent high-profile stories such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal have done little to dissuade consumers from allowing brands access to personal data. If brands are dedicated to storing and using data with respect, customers are happy to hand it over in exchange for personalized content.
A small percentage of consumers also see value in being contacted by brands via their phones - something which can be addressed by incorporating personalized messaging into your mobile strategy.
Personalized Mobile Messaging
With mobile browsing now outperforming desktop, now is an opportune time to look towards customers' smartphones to deliver brand messages.
Many people have now turned away from traditional SMS messaging in favor of internet-based services such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. While this may suggest that SMS is a defunct tool, it can still provide an effective method of communication for brands.
For starters, SMS is a method of communication which is immediately familiar and trusted. Also, it's available to all mobile users, so SMS provides the best opportunity to reach the maximum number of people possible.
Effective SMS marketing should contain simple-to-understand information and should not require any interaction from the end user. With 98 percent of SMS communications being read within a day, the opportunity to engage with your audiences via text is extensive.
"For consumers, the most effective SMS campaigns always offer valuable and useful information," reports eConsultancy. "They also tend to be one-way, and do not rely on replies or interaction. This could be updates about delivery, order confirmation, booking reminders, and so on. The channel can also be used for promotions and other loyalty-driven offers like coupons and discounts. Again, with instant and time-sensitive elements, SMS messaging can have an immediate impact, and therefore cut through the noise of brand advertising."
However, SMS does have some serious limitations when it comes to marketing - chief among them being its outdated approach to image sharing. Whereas images can be delivered instantaneously via web-based messaging, SMS still relies on them being sent the old-fashioned way.
World-famous sandwich brand Subway has realized this for itself and is opting for Google's new Rich Communications Services (RCS) to deliver personalized mobile messaging.
"As marketers, we value the [SMS] platform and channel, but we hate what it looks like. We know images drive more engagement," said Subway's former Chief Digital Officer, Carissa Ganelli. "Through Google's RCS, it makes the experience richer. It's better than SMS. You can do everything within our marketing discipline within the mobile channel, so we're not stuck with just plain text. We can include images, have two-way conversations. It's incredibly valuable."
With a platform such as RCS, brands with the resources to do so can engage with their audience in an even more meaningful manner than with SMS. This is not to disregard the advantages of SMS. It's just a matter of choosing the right communication method to fit your goals and strategy.
UK-based supermarket brand Sainsbury's is taking its personalization efforts even further by throwing location data into the mix and using it to deliver even more meaningful content.
For example, Sainsbury's can tell if a customer is shopping at a competitor's store and send them a tailored offer designed to help win them back. The data can also be used to deliver meaningful offers while the customer is in a Sainsbury's location - by checking inventory levels at the specific store they're in and making sure it doesn't send an offer for an out-of-stock product.
"Having trailed the campaign, it rolled out to 20 stores in a regional pilot that lasted for eight months," reports Marketing Week. "Results show that the campaign had high customer appeal, with 62% using the SmartOffers app at least once a week and 51% agreeing that it made them more likely to shop at Sainsbury's. Two-thirds said they would recommend it to a friend, and 96% said they would like SmartOffers to continue. It also had business benefits. Visits were up 8.2% and sales 6.6% over 12 weeks versus a controlled period."
As you can see, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to personalized mobile messaging. However, whether your brand opts for SMS, web-based messaging, location data, or some combination of all three, personalized messaging is a great way to meet your customers where they are.