Entry By Jason Brick
It seems like just a few years ago that SMS messaging was the king of small business marketing, but times are changing as we watch. The explosion of mobile computing has opened the door for increasingly ambitious electronic messaging. Which is right for your business? Should you invest in new technologies, or stick to the simple, tried and tested?
SMS messaging remains easy to implement. You just need a list and a series of good ideas for broadcast messages. The best results come when you consistently follow the performance statistics of your broadcasts, but making it work remains simple and has a small time footprint.
Mobile access can mean an extensive overhaul of your website and social media platform to accommodate smaller devices and screens. This isn't free -- or even cheap -- but the added functionality of mobile shopping can mean increased business.
Advantages of Text Message Marketing
- SMS is easier to use, and less expensive, than richer mobile marketing formats.
- You can focus on SMS efforts as a stand-alone marketing initiative.
- SMS performance is an older technology, with more refined and proven methods for assessment.
- SMS reaches clients who use regular (feature) phones (still half of all Americans).
- Text messages take less time to load than the images, video and audio that often accompany mobile advertising.
Advantages of Rich Mobile Marketing
- Rich Mobile is sexy. Early adopting consumers may give you more business simply because you're at the front of the wave.
- Rich Mobile is flexible, allowing you to direct potential customers to content that is most likely to make a sale.
- You can make direct sales using mobile platforms, and potential customers can get directions or answer simple questions without occupying staff time.
Every company is different, so the answer to the SMS vs Mobile question depends on your individual circumstances. Consider the following situations when making the decision for your business.
- Companies with a strong SMS Marketing program in place and a little money to burn can benefit from upping the ante with a solid mobile presence.
- Retail and similar industries can increase sales by setting up a mobile platform where customers can buy via their phones.
- A business with a strong customer base that relies on face time -- such as a restaurant or a karate studio -- is likely better off focusing on SMS marketing than on investing in other mobile formats.
- Companies with exiting SMS efforts but no mobile can "split the difference" by pointing to social media platforms via simple text messaging.