Entry By Jason Brick
Mixed Martial Arts has begun to learn from mobile marketing and social media -- a fact evidenced by the UFC's decision to pay four-and five-figure bonuses to fighters who maintain a social media presence.
The reverse is also true. SMS marketers can learn from the example of fighters in this newest of professional sports. The training, tactics and techniques of the Octagon have their applications in the world of mobile media.
Hit With Combinations
In the ring, a fighter never throws a single punch or kick. He throws combinations -- a flurry of strikes that add up to serious cumulative effect. In SMS marketing, a single message won't have much effect. You need to maintain a long-term program of multiple messages. No single broadcast will suddenly turn your business around, but their cumulative effect can bring customers to the door.
Use All Your Tools
Mixed martial arts get its name from the fact that fighters use grappling and stand-up fighting techniques to win a match. Even specialized competitors learn enough of other modalities to defend against the common techniques.
A good SMS program incorporates not just mobile marketing, but your print campaign and web presence as well. The multiple impressions you make will engage customers with different preferences, abilities and needs.
Every fighter comes to the ring with a game plan, but good fighters will change the plan to adjust to what their opponents do. The degree to which a mixed martial artist can do this is the degree to which that athlete is successful.
One of the "killer apps" of SMS is a delivery cycle measured in terms of hours -- meaning you can respond to the reactions of your mailing list quickly and improve your message in real time. Failing to take advantage of this is a mistake.
Set Them Up, Knock them Down
In a mixed martial arts fight, the best competitors will "sucker" an opponent in with a false opening. When that opponent takes the bait, he capitalizes on the mistake with a pre-planned counter that can end the bout.
You should never pummel your customer base or choke them into unconsciousness. However, sending SMS messages that invite an immediate response can "pull in" your customer base by making them feel more engaged and interested in your brand.
The Most Important Work is Invisible
Fights aren't won in the ring. They're won in training through practice, conditioning and skills development. The audience doesn't see that "behind the scenes" action -- but they see the result.
Your SMS campaign should work the same way. It takes effort, training and meticulous attention to detail if you want the message to work -- but your mailing list will never see the rough drafts, corrections and sweat you put into it. All they'll see is the stunning and actionable result.