The rising SMS costs are proving to be a classic case of ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ for the Digital marketer. Just when the Indian modern marketer is finding his comfort zone with data-driven marketing, the SMS costs have gone up.
Sure, the Indian telecom sector is looking for ways to maintain its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), which has been on a decline at least ever since the entry of a new player more than a year ago pushed existing providers to consolidate and revise their strategies. The fact is, with data becoming cheaper than ever before, the Indian consumer is depending less and less on what are known as ‘legacy’ channels – and SMS is a key part of that, as opposed to the new-age channels such as instant messaging apps, voice/video calling apps that use data.
So, while SMS is unlikely to move out of the channel mix any time soon – brands depend on it for their high-priority communications such as OTP and emergency notifications – marketers are looking for innovative ways to counterbalance the increased costs.
After all, marketers must understand that marketing has a direct responsibility to the bottom lines as well as top lines of the business.
Here is a perspective that is less talked about in the marketing domain itself: The term ‘marketing spend’ is a strange correlation of two words that are supposed to represent the opposites. Marketing is supposed to bring in more sales and drive up valuation with as little spending as possible. The common perception about marketing budget is that this is the amount earmarked for ‘spending’, but this would be an inaccurate one. If you don’t get the desired ROI, is the spending even worth it?
A smart marketer understands this keenly and is always ready with a strategy to keep the ROI up. When you see anything threatening your desired ROI, your inner Samurai needs to kick in and pick up the gauntlet.
So don’t get bogged down. The answer is here. Shuffle your cards and place them where your customer can seem them: digital channels & platforms through the use of marketing automation. Keep in mind that the SPAM quotient of SMS too has risen lately; SMSes also don’t allow your customer to ‘talk’ to you. Engage your customer in ‘smart conversations’ through another kind of SMS – [ Smart. Messaging. Services ]. Use new-age channels such as Web messaging, Audience targeting, Browser Push Notifications (BPN), Cookie re-targeting, App Push Notifications, In-App Messaging, and others.
These all are low-cost channels that allow you to reduce your SMS Marketing spends by up to 40% and maximise your ability to ‘listen’ to your consumer by integrating with Artificial Intelligence. Another solid gain is that new-age channels allow you to hyper-personalise your communications.
This is the kind of thinking and strategy you need to make sure you achieve your growth marketing goals. Be agile, reinvent your channel mix and integrate it with AI on your cross-channel marketing automation platform such as Smartech. Lead the change.
Want more info? Attend this webinar next week on May 23 by our Chief Business Officer, Niranjan Kanade, who’ll tell you in detail how you can make the change.