Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Marketing represents a chance for businesses to have a positive influence on consumer behavior. This means businesses must be quick and timely with their marketing since consumers often act on impulse based on current requirements ultimately leaving a small window of opportunity to do it.
The key to a successful marketing strategy usually combines various channels, yet managing those in tandem poses challenges. Prioritization, measuring Return On Investment (ROI), and even balancing what to send on each channel are just some of the problems faced when conducting such a multi-faceted approach.
Some of the most predominant forms of marketing strategies that can be used to solve the customers’ problems include SMS Marketing, Email Marketing and Social Media. However, businesses continue to use outdated strategies and those which may have worked previously for competitors or firms in other industries. First, the decision to follow such actions can be detrimental to their business as they aren’t customizing the strategy to suit their or their customers’ needs, nor are they utilizing fresh, new technology to work in their favor. Yet, is a constant bombardment of information what consumers are actually looking for?
The number of mobile phone users globally has now officially passed the 5 billion mark, a milestone which subtly signals to marketers that text message marketing is the way forward. With SMS open rates at above 90%, the highest of any marketing channel, consumers have invested immense trust in this form of communication due to feeling like it offers a more personalized approach.
Additionally, unlike any other form of direct marketing, the relationship between consumers and mobile phones is a close one. Even back in 2007 where the reliance on phones was nowhere near as prevalent as the present day, a study completed by Morgan Stanley suggested that 9 out of every 10 Americans keep their mobile within arm’s length at all times. Therefore, consumer behavior in fact suggests that they are enticed by the prospect of receiving constant notifications.
Furthermore, the immediacy of text message marketing means that response rates are at 45%, 7.5x higher than those rates of emails. Despite the obvious benefits of personalization, SMS messaging is more convenient to receive, interact with and respond to as the average consumer checks their phone once every twelve minutes. Text message marketing statistics therefore prove that SMS signals actually motivate conversion down the sales funnel.
A small minority of customers would question the value and integral nature of email; however, it is fair to say that the vast majority of people receive a large amount of emails on a daily basis. Thus, much like an individual in an organization of 100,000 employees, it is extremely difficult for a business to stand out and get acknowledged in a consumer’s inbox. Moreover, another significant challenge for marketers is that consumers have become increasingly overwhelmed over the past few decades with how many emails they actually receive. A research project completed by HubSpot confirms this fact as 78% of consumers actually unsubscribed from emails because brands were sending them too frequently.
Therefore, in contrast to text message marketing, marketers need to weight up and find the correct balance of how many emails to send to a specific customer – perhaps even giving them options for email frequency when they subscribe. In fact, despite all the talk that email has become surplus to requirements, 75% of customers say that they are likely to open branded messages, while 44% say that it’s their preferred method of company interaction.
In order for both customers and brands to be in harmony, marketers need to be savvy and ensure that they find the right equilibrium between too much and too little contact with their prospective audience. The most effective way to use emails therefore, should be to generate new, top of the funnel leads. These can then be trickled down the funnel through marketing automation, namely SMS marketing, so that the customers eventually reach the sales team, a plus for any business.
Even a decade ago, social media was seen as the new kid on the block. However, over a short space of time, social media platforms have been adopted by over 3.4 billion people worldwide, making them fundamental to the success of a business. Whether your business is large or small, such marketing tools have immense power. Something so simple and insignificant as a retweet or a share is priceless for a business hoping to boost brand awareness.
Despite the obvious downside of having to be connected to the internet, 59% of Americans believe that social media is the easiest platform to get questions answered. Coupled with the fact of being able to generate substantial reach with such ease-of-use for the customer, these platforms offer some of the most engaging content out there. As previously mentioned, the majority of people are constantly checking their phones for text messages and social media alerts. These users are often searching for notifications regarding brands and the products and services that they offer, ensuring that they feel a sense of involvement in the whole marketing process.
Without all this content and daily updates, most consumers these days would be lost and feel a sense of confusion.
With a plethora of marketing tools at their disposal, the job of marketers has become increasingly hard to sustain. The sheer range of channels to utilize and manage has in fact become overwhelming for them at points, so how must the consumer feel? By keeping the strategy simple but effective through the use of SMS and email marketing, they can cater for the majority, it is just about finding the right balance.
As a consumer, occasionally separating yourself from the confines of social media can actually be beneficial, allowing you to take control of your own decisions while eradicating the influential effect that it has on your subconscious.
Are consumers overwhelmed or intrigued by the various marketing strategies used by companies? Let us know in the comments.