What is a Better Way to Market via SMS?

In yesterdays post on ad funded mobiles I mentioned that there were better ways to use SMS as a marketing tool to reach a targeted audience.  I received a question from this about what these were and am posting the response here for others that are interested.  I can illustrate this best with an anecdote of good marketing via SMS I encountered recently.

A maker of a popular cold beverage (PCB for short) ran a competition to win a million dollar beach-house in a lead up to summer promotion.  To enter you needed to SMS a code from a PCB container, your name and suburb to a special number.  Firstly this method of entry (which is becoming increasingly popular) helped to pay for the competition.  I do not know whether this is the same around the world but here (Australia if you are interested) SMS messages to competitions or voting lines (like reality TV show voting) attracts a fee that the organizer gets a cut of.  So PCB got paid for each entry that was placed.  I entered myself and didn’t end up with the beach house.

Later that summer, on a really hot day I received an SMS that said something like “Hi Matthew.  It’s a scorcher today, do you feel like a drink?  PCB is on sale at your nearest retail chain outlet.”  This is good marketing.  They know I have used their product as I entered a competition that required purchase.  They knew that the weather was hot in my town, so there was a decent chance I might be in the mood for a cool drink.  They had already set up a sale with a national retail chain.  They knew my name and phone number.  And they knew not to over do it, I only ever got two of those messages.

This would not work verbatim for everyone of course, but the key message is to know your customer and market to them in ways they will respond to, and won’t be offended by.  Good marketing is about getting information to people who want or need your product.

Tags: mobile, sms, advertising