There is an obscenely high probability that the last text message you received, which purported to market some product or service for your brilliant benefit, was summarily deleted from your mobile’s inbox within two seconds of your reading the initial lines. If the response rates are so low, how is it that companies – and leading ones for that – are still opting for sms marketing? Does sms marketing hold promise as a relevant marketing tool?
“Cost is one big factor which is attracting many companies to use SMS as a medium to connect with the consumer,” says Monik Mehra, founder of My SMS Mantra, a New Delhi based sms list broking company, which provides sms push engines for companies like Cantabil India. List brokers like My SMS Mantra have now mushroomed like nobody’s business as they have large verifiable databases of mobile subscribers. The better ones even have demographic data on such subscribers, making the SMS marketing engine more target effective.
Irrespective, with the increasing use of this medium by the real estate, retail and stock broking industries, SMS Marketing has taken in the tinge of spam marketing. “Often, the consumers simply delete the text even without reading,” shares Anuj Kumar, ED-South Asia at Affle, one of the leading mobile media and marketing solutions companies.
Industry watchers expect the spam trend to continue, more so as demographic filtering of the subscriber data is not of the highest quality. The realty sector has been one of the perpetrators of this spam issue. Accepts Ravi Saund, Head-Business Development, CHD Developers, “Out of the total texts we send, only 10% consumers revert and out of those, close to 10% convert into a final sales,” adding that people have clearly started getting irritated with the concept of SMS marketing. Saund laments the absence of demographic profiling, mentioning how globally, database selling is such a huge business proposition because of the simple fact that the data is available based on various parameters. “India too, will have such a scenario, but only in years to come,” says Saund.
Still, several players from the automobile industry, like Hyundai, Tata Motors, Volkswagen, Maruti Suzuki etc back SMS marketing to the hilt as even one conversion is a bonus for them. While Volkswagen used SMS marketing to increase awareness about the Polo on a huge scale, market leader Maruti Suzuki has also started marketing via texts recently. “The response of SMS marketing activities have been better than expected. In fact, it can be explained by the high cell phone penetration and its frequent usage for all kind of information and interaction,” says Lutz Kothe, CGM – Marketing, Volkswagen Group Sales India. Maruti Suzuki on its part launched an SMS contest for Eeco, which generated a record 2.4 lakh entries. “As it offers a decent cost-value relationship, we also use it for our after sales services,” mentions Shashank Srivastava, CGM – Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India.
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).
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