In today’s era of feature-packed smartphones, competing operating systems, and a variety of alternative mobile messaging apps and services, SMS stands out as the only tried-and-tested, fully interoperable and universal messaging resource able to reach the broadest range of consumers.
SMS remains a valuable medium for organizational, companies and brands to engage and interact with consumers in an accessible, familiar, and intuitive way. It’s a trend that’s set to continue: according to Juniper Research (August 2012), global advertising spend on mobile messaging will reach $7.4bn (£4.7bn) by 2017.
SMS is an important and affordable tool for reaching and engaging effectively with mobile consumers – but only when used in an intelligent and targeted way. Get it right, and you forge a lasting and lucrative relationship with individual consumers by providing ads and offers that are relevant to them. Get it wrong, and you risk losing customers en masse and damaging your brand.
Faced with this dilemma, brands and companies must consider what important features and functions to look for when choosing an SMA aggregation provider that best meets their mobile campaign needs.
The human touch
The most suitable provider will firstly deliver first-class technical capability and connectivity, using a reliable, stable technology platform. But it will also provide personalized, real-time support from an experienced team of industry experts who will work with the client to make best use of the platform and its features. This extra ‘human’ element to the service adds value and can be the difference between merely a good mobile campaign and a great one.
Ease of use and time to market are also key considerations. As more brands, companies, and agencies move into mobile, they need flexible solutions that are easy to set up and manage. In particular, the ability to launch a service at short notice gives a brand or company an important competitive edge.
It’s also important that the messaging aggregator is able to offer the client the ability to introduce new features and functions into its mobile campaigns.
Scaling up a localized campaign to a nationwide reach harnessing cell ID technology to roll out location-aware features; using MMS to add content such as video or mobile couponing; expanding a campaign by including on-screen push notifications delivered via a mobile app; enabling two-way, personal interaction with individual consumers – these are all options that a brand or company may want to explore as its strategy for mobile engagement evolves.
An aggregator should therefore have the building blocks prepared and in place to enable the client to incorporate these functions, and create relevant and engaging campaigns as and when it needs to.
A trusted partner
Tracking and reporting on the performance of a campaign is also an integral part of an aggregator’s service. Accurate reporting and in-depth analysis of how a messaging campaign is received by consumers enables the client to measure its impact and success against the original objectives. Has the campaign engaged with the intended user demographic? Are they acting upon the message and its content? Which demographic group is most responsive – and which is the least? Armed with this insight, the client can adjust its campaign accordingly.
Ultimately, the relationship between a brand or company and its aggregator is one built on trust. The client needs to trust the performance of the aggregator and its staff. As a trusted partner, the aggregator must deliver not only a stable technology platform and global connectivity, but also a reliable, consistent quality of service, supported by an SLA. With the right aggregator in place, a company has the ideal foundation on which to build engaging and successful mobile marketing campaigns.