Target your SMS campaign towards the right audience.
A funny quotation I read recently goes like this – “The Target Audience is Males, Females and everyone in between, aged zero and up”. Funny but true, especially in the case of SMS marketing. Everyone carries a mobile phone these days. There is nothing to limit the use of a mobile phone by a school going kid or a septuagenarian in an old age home. Needless to say, everybody in between uses one too.
In the US alone, adults spend about a fourth of their time of media consumption on mobile usage.
Apart from phone calls, texting is the most popular mode of communication on mobiles. A staggering 2.27 trillion messages are exchanged every year in the US, according to a report by CTIA. That’s a mind-boggling 6.3 billion messages per day; a number that cannot be taken lightly by any SMS marketer.
What is SMS marketing? It is a simple permission-based text messaging to promote a product or service. This form of promotion generally starts after you ‘opt-in’ with an initial code into an automated system run by a company.
A brilliant example of SMS Marketing quoted in marketing circles is that of Star Bucks. You might think that texting a customer is one of the many marketing channels the company must be using. On the contrary, Star Bucks relies heavily on SMS Marketing to build a personal one to one rapport with each of their customers. They have been named the 2012 Mobile Marketer of the Year. Though mobile marketing has evolved significantly since then, the case of Star Bucks usage of SMS Marketing is a classic. So, what did Stat Bucks do differently?
One of the key things they did was to tie up SMS with their rewards program. A sure shot combination to get attention. Customers were also cued in about latest offers, special discounts, and promo offers. Their customers felt valued and appreciated. Star Bucks built a strong mobile phone number list. The rest is history. All they had to do was schedule regular SMS alerts and enjoy the benefits.
One of the key things in text marketing, like any other marketing channel, is to find your target audience.
How different is it to choose the target audience for SMS Marketing?
That’s the question we will focus on answering in this post.
On the face of it, all marketing channels use the classic segment, target and position approach for their products. For an SMS Marketing campaign success, segmentation is the most critical. You cannot send the same SMS to a tech-savvy 30-year-old techie using the latest iPhone vis a vis a middle-aged father of three using a basic smartphone! Even if you did, you must not expect the same results!
So, how should you segment your target audience?
Much before you do the actual segmentation of your mobile phone number list (obviously of your customers), you need to answer the following questions:-
- What kind of business do you run?
- What are the products/services you offer?
- How relevant are these products/services to your customers?
- How will your customers benefit from your product/service?
These seemingly straightforward questions, if answered in honesty, help you to come with clear parameters to segment your customer list.
Demographics and more
You can always do the generic segmentation of age, gender or location. But if you have information about their purchasing patterns or the times of the year they purchase, it’s an added thrust to your marketing efforts. Got the point?
If you don’t have such information, you can start with the basics and build your information with contests, giveaways and maybe, even throw in some coupons.
The basic point is the more informed you are about your customers, the more detailed your segmentation of target audience. Naturally, it’s easier to build unique SMS campaigns for each segment.
A customer prefers to buy from the nearest location. It’s easier, involves less effort and there is a comfort to it. When targeting a specific segment via SMS, it is extremely important to get the time zones of the location right. There is no point sending a promotional SMS about a one-day new addition in breakfast menu if it’s reaching your customer in the middle of the day. Paying attention to time zones adds to geo-targeting.
Use the information you have from the segmented lists to build strong buyer persona. A buyer persona in simple words is a fictitious customer which you create based on the information you gather. It is simpler and easier to create text messages for a specific buyer persona than a general populace.
Take the necessary care to create distinct buyer personas that resonate with your product/service.
Unique Campaigns for Unique Buyer Persona
The whole exercise of creating distinct buyer personas is lost if you cannot create unique SMS campaigns for each of them. While creating an SMS campaign for a specific buyer persona, assess mentally, would a person like that feel appreciated or valued with an SMS you have in mind. If the answer is no, then don’t send it.
Each buyer persona has specific needs and buying potential. Your SMS should be designed considering these two key elements.
An SMS is as successful as the attention paid to the end customer. As long as the SMS feels relevant, useful and ‘there is something in this for me’ for the customer, you are on the right track.