In school, marketers learn a variety of different promotional channels they can potentially use to reach their customers. Traditional channels include T.V., radio, billboard, telemarketing, and newspaper. With T.V., you can really only estimate the number of people that will actually see your ad, and nowadays with TiVo and new ways to avoid commercials, the intended effect of your ad diminishes further. Radio, where it’s also hard to calculate the number of listeners that truly engage with an ad, is still a pretty viable marketing channel, one that mixes quite easily with mobile actually. Billboard? Same as radio. Marketing educators now need to get with the times and update their curriculums to include online and mobile advertising.
Within online and mobile advertising, there are different categories and the effectiveness and reach of each of these varies. Take online for example. You can be online on your computer, laptop, or mobile phone. And each of these marketing channels will need a different approach to make sure consumers see your advertisements. The same goes for a mobile phone. You can either reach people by call, a text message, or online, if they have all of those features. The reality still remains that the vast majority of phones don’t have either the ability or the relevant plan to be online. However, almost all phones have the ability for you to call and text. Narrowing this down even further, a telemarketing call is a tried and tired practice. However, a permission-based text message is still warmly welcomed, and even requested, by consumers.
SMS messaging has the broadest reach of almost any communication and promotional channel. What’s more, it enables you to track the reach of other, more traditional forms of marketing. For example, during a radio ad you could do a contest promotion to win a prize, and ask people to text WIN to 46786. By doing so, you would be able to see how many people text in for this promotion, and then also have the opportunity to ask them to join your permanent list where you send out regular coupons or updates. You could run a similar campaign on a billboard ad, or use your billboard to ask people to text in their preferences regarding your products (with some sort of incentive), turning your billboard ad into a research point and also allowing you to see how many people text in.
All marketing forms add value to your business depending on your target market and campaign appropriateness. However, when it comes to accurately reaching the largest number of people at once, SMS marketing stands out of the crowd.
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