Currently, the advertising business in the U.S is worth over $111 billion. By 2020, revenue from TV and radio advertisement alone is projected to reach $81.7 and $17.68 billion respectively. With so much money circulated around advertising, it is important to make sure that your business’s advertising efforts are effective across your media channels. Vanity numbers, specialized URLs, and other methods are very popular for measuring media effectiveness. However, text messaging can be a valuable media measurement tool as well. With a high open and response rate, low cost implementation, and easy integration, SMS can be a valuable addition to any TV or radio advertisement.
How Does Media Measurement Work With SMS?
It may seem counter-intuitive to use a mobile approach to measure the results of broadcast advertising SMS is not only cost-effective, it simplifies the overall measurement process. The concept is simple, have a short code associated with your advertisement that allows the viewer to text in when they see it. For example, imagine you’re a restaurant with airspace on all local TV and radio channels. You include a short code in your advertisements that allows viewers to text in and receive a mobile coupon for their next entree. Since people have their cell phones on them 97% of the time, high response is practically guaranteed. This serves as an an instantaneous tally of how many people you’re reaching with your commercial as well as how effective the commercial is.
Kill Multiple Birds With One Smartphone
It is easy to see why the benefits of media measurements with SMS are substantial for your business. Let’s return back to the restaurant example. The first benefit of your SMS campaign is the prompting of customers to visit your restaurant with mobile coupons. About 74 million U.S smartphone users utilized mobile coupons in 2015; proving just how valuable they can be. In terms of media measurement, texting provides a few key benefits. As we said before, texting can provide an instantaneous count of how many people are seeing your advertisement at a given time. This means that you can figure out when and where your advertisements have the most impact. Maybe more people text in right before dinner time or around major holidays. Perhaps your commercial does better on stations with more family friendly content. Regardless, SMS makes it easy to see exactly where your advertisement stands.
Parent Communications with Schools are a Top Priority
Parental involvement is crucial for maintaining a child’s educational success. Parents report that good communication is a key component of a good school. However, maintaining parental involvement can be difficult if pertinent information can be lost in the fray. Nearly 87% of school to parent communication is through memos, emails, or printed notices to the parent. While email is an effective way for many parents to stay updated, it sorely lacks the timeliness and nearly-perfect SMS open rate.
Schools Use SMS For Attendance
Frequent absenteeism correlates to poor in-school performance by a child. Low attendance can severely damage a child’s education, especially with frequent absenteeism between kindergarten and 2nd grade. Lacking in reading proficiency by 3rd grade (Attendance Works).
When schools integrate SMS communications into their plans, then students are more efficiently counted and their parents can be assured that their child is attending class. In India, SMS-based attendance is taking off. The Information Kerala Mission (IKM)’s School Management System allows parents to get real-time SMS updates about when their child has shown up to class. An SMS attendance system in Bidar, India provides a cost effective way for educators to take attendance and save money. Each class’s attendance is sent to a specific monitor that takes count of both the students and teachers, which has “yielded vital data on education to better implement schemes.”
Important School News in Real-Time
Where do you go for real-time information about school closures? Parents across the US often huddle around the television or radio awaiting updates from their local news stations. However, what happens if your home loses power or the information doesn’t arrive quickly enough? SMS alerts provide the best way to get real-time information about school closures due to extreme weather or circumstances. The Anchorage School District in Alaska allows parents to receive SMS alerts about school delays and closures (KTUU). This is a useful method that offers another option for parent communications, beyond the automated emails and phone calls that some parents receive.
Using SMS for Parent Communications Works
Closing the gap between school and household is important for maintaining parental involvement in education. Hands-on involvement with parents can drastically shape a student’s academic performance – especially in younger students. Maintaining contact has become a lot easier with mobile solutions such as SMS alerts and updates. A simple text message could a big difference in educational success.
Curious how mobile technology can improve communications in your school? Learn More
The humble mobile phone has come a LONG way
since its debut in 1973.
As the mobile phone morphed from a garish brick-like contraption in the ’80s to the sleek pocket pals we currently have, it gained prominence in our pop culture too. It is tough to find movies in a modern setting without mobile phone usage. Let’s take a brief journey through pop cultures mobile obsession.
Although mobile phones weren’t properly introduced until 1973, the idea of a mobile communicating device has been used for over half a century. Maxwell Smart, of the 1960’s comedy Get Smart, had a shoe that was part weapons holder and part rotary phone. Cultural phenomenon favorite, 1966’s Star Trek: The OriginalSeries, had the iconic communicator that actually inspired the creation of the mobile phone.
The mobile phone didn’t become publicly distributed until the 1980’s. Since they were so large and clunky, it was not the sleekest accessory. But both businesses and consumers were desperate for a tool to make communication easier for them – especially on the go.
In 1983, Motorola launched the DynaTAC 8000x with the dimensions smaller dimensions (300 x 44×89 mm) and a lighter weight. This device offered one hour of talk time and included an LED display. This phone must have come in handy for Linda Hamilton while she was stealing vital data in the 1986 movie Black Moon Rising. Mobile phones sometimes end up being just as iconic as the characters that use them.
By the ’90s mobile phones and cordless home phones were just assumed, and so the preferences in pop culture (especially films) grew. Many young women remember the moment in the 1996 “classic” scream when Sidney finds the killer’s costume, mobile phone and voice changing device. It was scary, how powerful technology had become at that point. The other end of that technology power was referenced in more fun ways throughout the valley girl celebration titled Clueless in 1996.
Not everyone could afford a mobile phone though, so pagers were all the rage. Remember those? They were not exclusive to a doctor, nurse or cop-show about drug dealers. Teenagers across America had pagers. It was equivalent to the first text messages.
Back in 2002 and 2003, the rise of mobile phone usage in China – especially text messaging- gave birth to a new sort of culture. Some people called it “thumb culture” because of the speed and dexterity of youth in China who used their thumbs while holding a mobile phone.
In the US, the widespread use of mobile phones began to seep into children’s entertainment too. The television show Kim Possible included a theme song titled “Call Me, Beep Me”.
2007 is the iconic year for mobile phones… the release of the first ever iPhone. It was a big part of Steve Job’s big comeback with Apple. The iPod had blown up our ears with soundtracks we could take on-the-go. And now he was offering the most amazing thing of all – a mobile phone that let us listen to music AND it had a WiFi connection that let you browse the internet.
Adoption of smartphones and the mobile phone in general has changed our world forever. We communicate differently – texting instead of calling. And we expect people to always respond in a minute, instead of hours or days.
Using SMS and Email allows you to reach more customers, faster and more efficiently. SMS (text messages) let you reach your target audience anytime and anywhere, and get instant responses. While email allows you to send targeted messages that customers can read at their own leisure. Syncing all of your contacts into a single contact management space where they receive a message or alert based on preferences creates a vastly improved user experience.
SMS Marketing Compliments Your Email Campaigns
Your customers have evolved, and so must your communications with them. The majority of the people who walk into your shop will do so with a phone within reach. More businesses are adding text message marketing to their marketing communications strategy.
SMS is the perfect compliment to email marketing because both channels allow you to send the right message to the right customers at the right time. While email is great for sending detailed content to the customers’s inbox, where they already go every day, SMS is ideal for short, time sensitive communications.
How SMS Fits In With Your Email Marketing
1. Sign-Up Process. Common ways to gather sign-ups for your email list include lead generation forms, your website’s contact form, events, and other in-person collection. SMS sign-ups can be done in those same ways, but also include some additional options.
The concept of texting-in to join a list allows your company to reach customers in places that were missing before – while riding the bus, waiting in line at the store, watching television, or walking down the street. SMS marketing allows your company to reach twice as many people in more ways.
2. Driving Revenue. Well done email campaigns have proven to drive revenue and bring relevance to content. However, the expanded use of our mobile phones has also changed the ways that we make purchases. Online and in-store shopping are still the highest, but the fastest growing channel is purchases through our mobile phones.
As of the fall of 2014, “51% of visits to retailers’ websites are made via mobile devices.” (Mobile Commerce Daily). So if you are reaching customers with a SMS message that has a link included, the likelihood of driving him/her to make a purchase has increased and your opportunity for driving revenue has too.
3. Engagement. There is a distinct difference between sending a message out like an announcement and asking a customer for input. Email is an excellent medium for blasting out an important message. SMS is a great way to engage your customers to find out what kinds of messages they want to receive, preferences around products, feedback on experiences, and other input. When you bring those two together, it can create a harmonious balance in communicating with customers.
Let’s face it, communications have become more complex and customers are getting their information from multiple sources. We are living in a data-driven age where every customer wants to feel special and unique. As marketers, we must create a consistent experience for customers across all channels that still allows each person to feel special – this is an omni-channel strategy. Omni–Channel Marketing is the newest evolution in the multi-channel marketing strategy and it is all about the data. The key difference is that you are concentrated on a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available mediums ( web, mobile devices, in-store, television, radio, direct mail, print, etc); and letting consumers experience your brand rather than a single channel within the brand.
It is easy to lose track of what content is living where, how it is being delivered, and who is getting that information. With the blurred lines between the online and offline activity of your customers, things can get complicated very quickly. However, when you can create a process for syncing all of the information you have going out to the world about your company as well as the information you are collecting from your customers, then you can improve the results of your marketing tactics.
Marketers Need Data
For example, look at the 4 different applications a company is using – one for email, one for contact management, one for e-commerce, and a fourth for internal communications. How are these applications talking to each other? Is any information shared across these different applications and what message or messages are there? The data shared across these applications may be key to your success, because all marketers need data to improve the customer experience.
To get the data you want, first we need to think about how it is being collected.
1. Start by understanding the basic aspects of how the technology and applications you use work. How can we leverage this technology to build the most effective omni-channel marketing strategies for the brand? This may take some reading or research on your part.
2. Next we want to look at the ways our applications can share information. Are they connected through an API? APIs (Application Programming Interface) will facilitate your need for the data and can potentially provide the solutions to specific customer issues.
Connectivity Between Applications
Companies build an API to connect their technology with other applications – this is purely a software-to-software interface. Developers can create applications that can expand and improve the usage of that software application (such as your CRM system), and this connectivity can potentially improve your data collection and analysis. As a user or customer, we only see the user interface (the website or mobile application). Behind the scenes, however, there are many applications that are working together using APIs. This is a seamless integration where your customer never sees the different applications functioning – it all appears to be the same.
Think about how we have a CRM system for tracking customers to send emails to them or review purchase history. Now imagine that it was plugged directly into your e-commerce to create a more complete analysis of usage and activity. It has become a more robust system for you to gather data, and it is a seamless experience for the customer.
Take Aways:Spend some time with the developers to learn about the technology you use and learn more about APIs.
Mobile Marketing has Infiltrated Television Shows and Commercials
I must admit that one of my guilty pleasures is the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars. They recently announced that women 18-34 are the core audience, so at least I am not alone in my appreciation for teenage murder mystery drama. During the second season of the show I noticed the pop-up ads to join their mobile club. You know I signed up for that in the blink of an eye – a chick who works in mobile and loves drama wants the MMS teasers. Now I get video clips, photos of the characters, special insider information, and text messages from the mysterious character A.
It’s the Interactivity of Mobile Marketing
Walking Dead, which is a less guilty pleasure because everyone in the office loves the show, has also hopped on the mobile marketing band wagon. AMC learned that the audience watching Walking Dead is a tech-savvy group, so they reacted by creating a dual screen experience. Last fall they launched a program called Story Sync. Unfortunately, it is a traditional website rather than a mobile website and the AMC mobile application has very poor ratings because the user experience is not so great. However, the tablet experience is awesome and fun to interact with. You can play trivia, respond to polls, watch video clips and read additional show information.
I read that 86% of consumers are already using their mobile devices while watching television – usually during the commercial break. People want to talk about the show they are watching by text messaging friends and sharing on social media. We are a distracted and multi-tasking audience, so you might as well use that second screen to focus our attention on the show.
Everyone has one – a friend you know everything about, from little dramas to health scares, but they know nothing about you. At times, you may be hesitant to ask how they are doing because you only have 20 minutes before your 2 o’clock meeting. They’ve shown you seventeen versions of the same baby pictures with the Easter bunny, but don’t even know that you have kids too. Sooner or later, you run out of patience, and with reassuring nods you sever the relationship.
One-way conversations are never enjoyable. This is a simple truth that should drive the way businesses market their brand and what they have to offer. A one-way conversation between two people is sometimes unavoidable, the listener must perform under the expectations of what is socially acceptable – smile and nod with some enthusiasm. However, one-way conversations between a person and a business’s marketing tactics are avoidable. In mediums like television, the web, mobile, or the radio the listener has a choice to stay engaged or remove the marketing message.
Interactive Text Messaging
Consumers are bombarded with advertising messages, so the window of time you have to state your case without being a nuisance and win the hearts of potential customers is limited. Think about the way your business handles advertising. You could be driving customers away with all the “talking at” them.
So how do businesses initiate positive two-way conversations with consumers? Enter mobile marketing. Utilizing text marketing allows businesses to:
Only the customers who choose to receive messages from the business will receive messages (100% opt-in). Respecting a consumer’s time and inbox is a small courtesy that goes a long way. Stand out by not forcing yourself into their world, but rather by fitting in. Providing consumers with meaning and valuable content is key to increasing coupon redemption and store traffic as well as building a strong brand image.
Don’t be a brand social bomb, repelling potential customers with one-way communication. Be mindful of how and where you are advertising. Email blasts tend to clog up consumer inbox’s and get lost in the Spam folder. Cold phone calls often go unanswered. Negative experiences with your brand constructs an idea in consumer’s minds of what your business is to the community. A mobile strategy is an easy and effective way to maintain positive two-way conversations with consumers and ultimately facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between them and your business.
Few companies have fully integrated mobile and social media into their larger marketing plans, however 65% of those in a recent survey by Silverpop claim to be somewhat integrated. Texting, tweeting, checking in, and posting photos from a mobile phone are no longer limited to tech geeks. Everyone is sharing their lives in the digital realm, especially from mobile devices, which makes integrating mobile media key factor to marketing success in the future. If you are taking your first steps towards being mocial-savvy, then there are a few things to keep in mind.
Mocial (Mobile strategy plus social media) is most effective for on-going campaigns, rather than short-term periods.
Social Media is more than Facebook and Twitter. Check out LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Meetup. Decide which 2-3 social outlets best fit your business and marketing goals, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
Mobile includes several areas: text marketing, mobile websites, and Mobile Apps. Make sure that you are integrating these channels into your social outlets using hyperlinks and other connecting tools.
Focus your mocial strategy in a couple of areas at first. You may want to begin with a Mobile website that has your Twitter newsfeed on it and links directly to your account.
External channels should be utilized to direct traffic to your mocial campaigns. Anything from a poster with a QR code on it, to a television ad with “Text In” included will drive traffic for you.
Think about how your customers want to hear from you. This is based upon demographic information as well as preferences. Is it through text marketing? Or maybe an email that is optimized for mobile?
Plan your strategy in 60-90 day periods with a calendar that identifies what your core message is, how you will distribute it and where. Remember that your message needs to be appealing, based on behaviors and tailored to your customers.
Mobile is hot! There’s no doubt about that. Ignoring mobile and the different channels within it is the equivalent of burying your head in the sand and delaying the inevitable.
Marketers that sidestep any form of a mobile strategy will most certainly be left behind, much like those who ignored the internet years ago and those that turned their noses up at television before that. There is one problem. Mobile marketing is complex with rapidly changing demographics across a variety of different device types. So where do you start?
While searching for ways to connect with potential customers, lots of businesses find themselves looking into Mobile Ad Networks. Mobile ad networks, such as Google’s AdMob, consist of a network of mobile websites and mobile apps where businesses can place advertisements. Increases in conversation rates, form completions and even purchases have all been directly associated with running a successful mobile ad network campaign. BUT IT’S NOT WHERE YOU SHOULD START!
If you are running an advertisement across a mobile ad network and a potential customer clicks on your ad, where are they directed to? Your website! The first step is looking into a mobile website design! A true mobile website design will deliver the proper end user experience. Some estimate that up to 80% of visitors will leave a poorly designed mobile website immediately after landing on it! How you design your mobile website is a key differentiating factor in determining if a mobile advertising campaign is or is not successful.
Do mobile ad networks work? Yes, but they are only a small piece to the overall puzzle that is mobile!
It started with the invention of the television. Then there was the personal computer. And now the “third screen”, the mobile device, has confirmed that we are, undeniably, screen obsessed. This increase in the availability of entertainment and information has brought about a generation of mobile multitaskers – 86% of people are regularly using their mobile phones while interacting with another screen. This sort of “consumer ADD” can cause an advertisers message to be ignored, unless one properly goes about integrating medial channels with multiple screens to create an engaging brand experience.
Integrating Media Channels – Mobile
Integrating mobile into your existing traditional media campaigns is easier than you may think. While third screen apps are a great option for those with a generous budget, there are several options that are affordable and still highly effective such as QR Codes and text marketing.
On-screen QR Codes during television ads can be used to drive consumers to your brand’s mobile website where they can receive an exclusive offer, get more information about a product or service, or even interact with branded entertainment. With a QR code strategy it is important that you have a true mobile website to ensure a user interacts positively with your brand.
If your brand has not yet adopted mobile web technology, you can still integrate the third screen through text marketing. Whether your existing advertising is on TV or online, you can include language to prompt consumers to text in to a short code to opt-in to an SMS program. This can be anything from a one-time offer to registering for a customer loyalty or rewards program.
For more information on how you can integrate the third screen into your mobile, register here for our free webinar, “Integrating the Third Screen to Get In Your Consumer’s Pocket”, on Thursday, September 20th.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, TrueDialog is the preferred SMS solution for enterprise businesses and higher education. TrueDialog's cloud-based software and API make it simple to send mass text messages, communicate with employees, alert students and parents, and provide multi-user, team-based customer support at scale.