Since 19th-century production and consumption of goods and services have a significant boost. Before that mass production was a concept. As a society moving toward extreme consumerism, new competitors started to rise in every market. In this competitive market environment, people had to take their product and services at customers doorsteps. That was early marketing. As 20th and the digital age has arrived, traditional marketing for product and services started to lose their effectiveness. The consumer is now data-driven, and producers are more diversified. Now this day majority of consumers wants customized product and services. Mass production, commercial advertisement etc. concepts started to lose their effectiveness to draw customer attention. And losing the attention of a customer is a major threat now because of massive competition. And, this is why using SMS marketing in Bangladesh so important.
Definition of SMS marketing
An SMS promotion or an SMS marketing is a type of marketing where marketers use a mobile phone or a computer user interface to send a specific marketing content, promotional message, product launch, new product line, sales, offers to potential customers mobile phones. It is a marketing channel.
A brief History and evaluation of SMS marketing
In 1973 Martin Cooper invented handheld cellular mobile phone. It went on the market in 1983. There was an unnoticed feature on these devices, which was eventually noticed a decade later. In 1992 first SMS was sent from a computer to a cellular mobile phone. Person to person short message service started in 1994 with 2G. At beginning of 21st century, a Finnish news provider had started to give free news headline via SMS sponsored by advertising. This was the first commercial use of short message service for a marketing campaign. In 2002’s SMS marketing started to getting popularity around marketers, for its assurance of delivery and incising numbers of personal mobile phone users. It became the most cost-efficient channel for marketers. By 2007 iPhone had released their and world first commercial smartphone in the market. And 3g technology was ready for market. This phenomenon had a great impact to rise a total number of personal mobile phone users over the world. And it was a great opportunity for marketers, because of reaching people with a specific message was cheaper and easier.
SMS marketing’s area of operation
- Special offer
- Order confirmation
- Service update
- Delivery update
- Tickets confirmations
- Bank statements
- Greetings and congratulations
- News updates
The effectiveness of SMS marketing
According to Statista.com, the current number of mobile phone users in the world is 4.57 billion. Average daily a user checks his/ her mobile phone 80 times a day. The average open rate for SMS is 98% and 90% of users opens their SMS within the first 3 minutes. So, it is one the most efficient channel for marketers to seek an audience.
The effectiveness of SMS marketing in Bangladesh
Currently, 147 million people use a mobile phone in Bangladesh, according to BTRC. Where our total population is 166.8 million. It is a vast market for marketers and marketing agencies to promote products and services. It is also a cost-effective way since average an SMS costs around 0.30 paisa to 0.70 paisa per SMS. Till now this day broadband internet connection is a major issue in so many areas and smartphone are a luxury to a big number of populations. Considering those facts, SMS is the best option for reaching out to customers. Language is another issue when it comes to communication, SMS can be sent in a native language. For those reasons, SMS marketing in Bangladesh is a smart choice.
Types of SMS
When it comes to SMS marketing “Bulk” messaging is an optimal choice. “Bulk” is application/computer interface to the personal messaging system. A single or a large quantity of SMS can be sent by this.
Generally, Bulk SMS has two categories
- Non- Masked SMS
- Masked SMS
Non- Masked SMS: A long code / short code (5 or 6 digits) sender Id use for non-masked SMS. It is like getting an SMS from a friend number, instead of an unknown number it is.
Masked SMS: A customizable sender Id with numeric or alphabetic or both alphanumeric can use for masked SMS. With masked SMS an individual or an organization can send texts with their own name instead of an 11or 6 digits number.
Advantages of Bulk SMS
- Cost effective: Bulk SMS is a cost-effective way to promote product and services. Comparing to Tv advertisements airtime cost or print medium’s cost per inches, SMS is a cost-saving tool for marketing.
- Reachability: Audiences can skip advertisement from paper or online but a majority of peoples reads SMS. So, it is easy to reach a larger number of people at a time.
- Focused audience: Unlike another medium, SMS can be sent to a specific audience.
- Scheduling: Timing for sending SMS is flexible and easy.
- Customization: Tv advertisements or other advertisements are for mass groups of people but SMS can be specified for a single person.
- Trackable: A marketing campaign is easily traceable because of user interface applications. Codes, links, hypertexts etc. are some tools for indirect tracking.
- Cross-functional: Unlike other forms, with SMS customer can directly communicate with produce or service provider.
- Spot on delivery: The fastest delivery. After tapping the send button, within a Nano-second it finds its destination.
- Multilingual: Language diversity is another feature of SMS. Even a Unicode message is suitable for Bulk SMS.
Tactics suggestion for an SMS campaign
- Coupons: Uniquely auto-generated coupons engage customs with campaigns. Pathos 40% off on the next two rides. To use this offer, use this code “AX1” is an example of SMS marketing in Bangladesh.
- Greetings, Congratulations, and Thanks: Sending a text with greetings, congratulation and thank you note makes the customer feel appreciated.
- Rating: Asking rating from customers, makes them feel empowered.
- Sweepstake contest: Sweepstake contest is a great medium for customer involvement. A simple reward for the winner can hype up a campaign.
A basic guideline suggestion for SMS campaign
- Access permission: An access permission to a privet number might be necessary. Depending on the government’s rules and regulations.
- Be aware of Timing: Timing selection is another important subject. Wrong timing can drive the customer away. For example, taxing about winter sales at summer night is pretty stupid.
- Use signature: Using company name as a sender Id gives customers a comfort.
- Content quality: Using poor quality contents will actually annoy customers.
SMS marketing in Bangladesh types
- Campaigns: Campaigns are generally one too many bulk messages. Coupons, sales, events details, update, alerts etc. are message body contents.
- Transactional: Transactional messages are one to one message. Shipping notification from e-commerce, ticket confirmation or bank statements is prime examples.
Some successful case study of SMS marketing
In 5 weeks, Taco Bell had gathered 13,000 SMS subscribers with their SMS campaign. SMS offer “free Frutista Freeze with the purchase of any food item after they subscribed”.
Pizza Hut UK had a geofence based SMS marketing campaign for 15 months. Where Pizza Hut put their 340 outlets with a half-mile radius geofence for customers. Each time a customer crosses an outlet, immodestly they received an SMS. As a result, for that 15months Pizza Hut had 142% efficient increment in sales. Which is 4.4 times more efficient than TV advertisements and 2.6 times more efficient than an online advertisement.
Personal experience with SMS marketing in Bangladesh
In the early 1980 “Bata Bangladesh” used to think that their mass production strategy will be profitable as long as they maintain their market monopoly. But in early 2000’s Apex and other companies started to push market with their customer need approach. As a result, the household name BATA started to fade out with the senior generation of loyal customers. Bata failed because of their unawareness of customer need and legacy marketing strategy.
As a kid in mid- 2000’s I used to went out for Eid shopping with my dad, and he always bought me shoes from Bata. But in 2013 I received a text from some company named Fortuna on my personal mobile phone, in that text they said: “30% off on all sneakers, find your nearby Fortuna showroom and have a nice Eid”. That was the first text with a product promotion to me and sender had no number just a name Fortuna. As a kid, I got excited and bought a pair of sneakers the next day.
I am trying to say, with a simple text message what Fortuna did. Bata could not achieve with their flashy print and costly Tv advertisement. A single SMS costs 1taka or 2 takes but that single SMS had earned Fortuna 1200 take from me. It was a cost-efficient and effective SMS marketing in Bangladesh.
Future of SMS marketing in Bangladesh
As a nation moving toward digital advancement, our approach to promoting product or services should be focused as well as customers need oriented. SMS marketing in Bangladesh has a great potentiality to grasp customers attention in a short time. Especially providing an interactive marketing campaign at a cost-effective price. Which will establish and ensure customer involvement with a measurable output. For its simplicity, SMS marketing in Bangladesh has a thriving future.