The Best Way to Market Your Business?

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013

Before I started writing this I thought I would type in the title of this blog into Google to see what came up. As you can imagine there was no definitive answer to this statement. There is a saying in sport that before you can decide who the best player in the world is for that code, you need to know who the second best player is first. SMS is the best way to conduct marketing for your business and every other method, you could say, is equal second.

Let’s have a look at the major contenders and I’ll explain why (in no particular order) –

1. Print – Magazines, Newspapers etc
2. TV
3. Radio
4. Social Media
5. Blogging
6. Email
7. Online Ads (including Google Ads)
8. Billboards
9. Sponsorship
10. Yellow Pages
11. SMS

I’ve excluded word of mouth, which in my opinion is a result of your business performance in the marketplace, not an active marketing technique.

Print – A large majority of the population (69%) read a newspaper at least once per week, however the daily readership figures are about half this, still not a bad percentage of the population. You then have to choose which day you want to run your ad, and which page of the paper to put it in. Getting this mix right to maximise your value for money can be very difficult and take a bit of trial and error and deep pockets. The other problem with this is the shelf life of a newspaper, which is normally read and disposed of each day. Magazines give you a better chance to stay with your audience for longer however you have less of an opportunity to select the frequency of the message or the location depending on its readership base.

TV, Radio – When a business places an ad on TV they select the most suitable broadcasting channels, programs and time slots that fits their target market. Depending on the popularity of the program determines the cost per ad. This gives your business a certain degree of control where you can identify the majority of stereotypes you will be talking to and decide the exact message you will present to them. The pitfalls of these mediums is that you essentially pay to talk to everyone watching the program, not just your target audience which means you are essentially paying to talk to people who are not interested, focused on something else, or even switching between stations because the ads are on. You also have a limited amount of time normally 15-30 seconds in order to engage your audience and stir up a response. If you have caught them during their favourite show or whiling driving what’s the chance they are going to remember you later to take action?

Social Media, Blogging – These are great ways to develop a large following of people and keep them engaged on a regular basis. Best of all you can start both of these for free. However, unless someone has searched specifically for something you are blogging about or they know you, growing your audience from zero to massive will take a long time or require you to pay for it to be promoted on social media sites.

Email – If your email inbox looks anything like mine you will have thousands of unread emails and any number incoming every day. This type of saturation means you become ignorant to all but a few emails which you know you need to deal with when they come in. Email as a marketing form is largely unsuccessful with just a small percentage achieving their purpose.

Online Ads – This type of advertising allows you to place ads on specific websites or allows Google to place your ad on websites based upon search queries people have previously typed into Google or pages they have visited. You pay a fee for each click someone makes on your ad, this is an excellent way to get people you are targeting to visit your website, however if your website is not setup properly to convert traffic into sales you can easily waste a lot of money in a very short time frame because typically these pay per clicks are several dollars each.

Billboards, Sponsorship – The goal for marketers here is to identify which billboard or team/show/event will attract the highest traffic flow or biggest audience. With high traffic and large audiences comes big dollars to win pride of place so everyone can see your brand. Measuring the outcome from this is also extremely difficult. It is also largely out of reach for most small to medium enterprises.

Yellow Pages – This is the most common advertising done by any business. Almost every business can be found in the yellow pages and most businesses keen to source new clients will pay for their business to feature in an ad of one of the many size options available to them. For local businesses this can give them some moderate success, however their competitors are there for all to see and in a highly competitive market, it means you must stand out from the rest.

SMS – Why is SMS the best marketing technique? It has the best success rate of any of these because each recipient you are contacting has given you permission to do so, which means they are interested in what you are selling or have to say to them. SMS is used in conjunction with each one of these marketing techniques to achieve outstanding results which are measurable. When you can measure the impact your marketing is having you can justify the money you are spending on it. Throwing money at expensive ad campaigns without knowing what business it has generated means you will be throwing money at something with the hope that it is working. When a person responds to your ad from TV, Radio, Billboards or whatever medium you choose by sending an SMS with a keyword you can know for sure which Advertisement that person has responded to. You now know what advertising is working and what advertising is not.

So what really sets SMS apart from the rest? Once you have successfully gained a response from someone by SMS this is considered to be sufficient permission to contact them in the future (provided each SMS contains an opt out). You now have the opportunity to send them information or special offers relating to your product or services. You can now choose three very important elements – the timing of your message, the response you desire (Call to Action), the content.

With 97% of text message being opened and 90% being read within the first three minutes you can safely assume that nearly all of your SMS will be received at the moment in time that you want it to be, the SMS will remain in their handset until deleted which means they will see it whenever browsing through their messages and will most likely read it more than once. What other forms of advertising boasts all these attributes?

SMS needs to be integrated with other mediums to allow you to build a database of customers or potential customers and a well balanced approach where you utilise all or most of the mediums mentioned here is recommended depending on the circumstances surrounding your business. However once this is established you can literally slash your marketing to a bare minimum and keep in contact with those in your database wherever they go, whenever you like, as we are more likely to leave everything else at home, but our phone whenever we go somewhere.

Does that sound like the perfect way to reach your audience?

The team of experienced marketing and SMS professionals at Media by Mobile can give you advice or create and manage a complete Marketing Campaign for you so that all you have to worry about is how to best serve your influx of customers.

By Sam McCoombes, Chief Executive (sm@mediabymobile.com.au)