Using SMS and Voice Marketing in a post COVID-19 World
The COVID-19 crisis has led to a rapid digital transformation resulting in major cultural shifts in the way we work, live, learn and conduct business. Driven by social-distancing restrictions and e-commerce growth, consumers have moved online in unprecedented numbers resulting in modified behaviour patterns that increasingly favour mobile commerce (m-commerce). In order to adapt to a changed world with increased mobile usage and online buying, marketing efforts post-COVID must optimize campaigns and boost marketing efforts using digital platforms for SMS and voice marketing.
Why SMS and voice marketing?
With limited in-person interactions during the pandemic, consumers have been reaching for their phones with increased app usage, online purchases, contactless payments, and accessing email and social media. As a result, mobile internet usage statistics are steadily increasing with more website traffic originating from smartphones over desktops. Key usage statistics in 2020 show the following trends:
- Mobile users have increased by 10%
- 40% of people only search on a smartphone
- 50% of B2B inquiries are made on mobiles
While the upward trend in mobile commerce was projected pre-COVID, the pandemic has accelerated this rapidly. Moving forward, the convenience experienced through changed mobile behaviours during the pandemic will be part of consumer expectations past the crisis, creating an opportunity for businesses to connect more personally with customers through SMS and voice marketing. As businesses re-open it will be necessary to keep customers in the know, and SMS and voice marketing ensures the most streamlined alternative to boost interaction and enhanced communication. Additionally, it can be used to increase engagement for marketing, sales and business operations. Examples include:
- Notifications about updated hours and operating schedules
- Broadcasting cancellation notices
- Enabling no contact services for pickup and delivery
- Receiving reservation alerts from restaurants given indoor dining limits
- Appointment reminders for services such as hair salons, dentists, medical services
- Promotional notices regarding sales, specials, coupons, events
- Communicating with staff
COVID-19 has disrupted business like no other crisis before. In order to start the recovery under a restrictive environment altered by safety concerns and no foot traffic, it presents a unique marketing challenge. Given the circumstances, how do you proceed?
- Proactively plan now to adjust marketing strategy to incorporate SMS and voice messaging
- Adapt to consider altered customer behaviour and changing expectations
- Enable digital delivery using a web-based platform such as Main Street Contact
- Engage with customers
- Monitor and adjust
As businesses begin to assess how to function and prosper in a post-COVID world, marketing campaigns must be re-evaluated to consider the impact of mobile commerce. A comprehensive marketing strategy must, therefore, be geared to be delivered across various digital platforms including email and social media, but with the understanding that SMS and voice messaging is the most direct and reliable way to engage and communicate with customers.