SMS Text Message Marketing Signals Shift in Agency/Client Relationships
Talk to a random sample of advertising, promotions or digital agency staff about mobile marketing, and you will probably hear about a novelty iPhone application. It’s just as likely you’ll learn that mobile is on client radar screens but initial steps have yet to be mapped out.
Many agencies are simply at the mercy of the whims of their clients when it comes to mobile marketing. With few clients possessing a strategy for the mobile channel, but feeling an urgent need to do something “mobile” because “everyone else is,” the easiest path is often a mobile application.
If the focus isn’t an app but rather SMS text messaging, it’s used to support a one-time campaign such as a sweepstakes or is “tacked” onto another campaign as an afterthought.
There appears be a gap at work here; a knowledge gap, a strategy gap or other chasm that is too difficult to navigate. Thus, the ultimate benefits of mobile channel marketing never have a chance to accrue. Even without a well planned mobile strategy, there are significant benefits to be had by looking past the tactical aspects of a mobile campaign to the broader implications of engaging customers on their portable devices.
When Thinking “Mobile,” Think CRM
Those benefits center on the after effects of collecting interaction data from customers directly, often across SMS text messaging, email and the web. Having all digital channel interactions populate a central customer database results in a goldmine of information that agencies often NEVER have access to.
I say “after effect,” because collecting interaction data is just the first step; what follows are reporting and ROI metric possibilities that can prove the value of mobile marketing to clients. At the same time, this data can yield insights into client customer behavior that suggests follow-on projects – the life blood of agencies.
All of this has long since been proven in the business-to-business world, where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is today a best practice supported by software, methodologies, consultants and third party data providers.
The Technology Gap
Having access to the right technology to make all this possible is essential, and that I believe to date is the root of the gap I mentioned. The businesses that stand to achieve breakthrough results from mobile are also among the least familiar with technology enabled CRM. I’m talking about consumer goods makers and retail businesses that sell or service customers through a single channel like a storefront.