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Txt2get_whitepaper.inddWHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response USING TEXT/SMS TO BOOST ADVERTISING RESPONSE WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response The Challenge Of Driving Advertising Response Response Mechanisms Compared 2.1 - 0800 Numbers / Contact Centers 2.2 - The Internet www.yourbusiness.co.nz 2.3 - The Text Option Text Response Usage Scenarios Fig 1.0 Text Response Industry/Usage Scenarios Fig 2.0 Incorporating Text Response Into Marketing Plans Innovation In Text Campaign Creation – Software As A Service By David McNickel. David McNickel is a renowned media and technology commentator and journalist. He is a frequent contributor to AdMedia magazine as well as Mobile Business magazine and iStart magazine. He was the founding editor of MyMobile magazine and is the technology correspondent for NewsTalkZB radio station. WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response PART 1: THE CHALLENGE OF DRIVING In fact, given the response options available today, it ADVERTISING RESPONSE seems almost irresponsible to allocate a large percent- age of marketing budget to ‘themic branding exercise' "I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted," advertising that offers no response options. Certainly a famous ad man once said. "I just don't know which consumers are now well accustomed to using advertis- half." While this scenario has certainly been the case for ing response mechanisms to further investigate prod- broadcast TV and radio for decades, the introduction of ucts or services they're interested in. 0800 numbers and call centers in the 1980s, and then the internet in the 1990s, began to deliver advertisers The issue that faces smart marketers now, however, is the tools to directly measure response rates to their not just the effectiveness of the advertising message in generating responses, but the effectiveness of the response mechanism in meeting the potential custom- Whether it was ‘click throughs' to a website, or consum- er's immediate informational desire, and being able ers dialing 0800 numbers, the inclusion of a ‘direct re- to deliver this information cost effectively. For while it sponse' mechanism (a web site URL or an 0800 number may seem that most organisations are deploying what's for example) in an advertisement allowed advertisers to considered to be a ‘best practice' response mechanism, check both the effectiveness of various media, and the many would be surprised to discover that, rather than impact of different creative executions in generating being a seamless connection, in many cases the link be- consumer response. tween their advertising and their response mechanism is More recently, the introduction and widespread consumer actually broken. By way of explanation, we will examine uptake of text messaging has added another very effective the traditional response mechanisms; tool to the marketers direct response arsenal, with the ubiquitous (mobile subscription rates average in excess of PART 2: RESPONSE MECHANISMS COMPARED 100 percent in many developed countries) mobile phone's 2.1: 0800 Numbers / Contact Centers unexpected ‘killer app' adding huge value to the interac- tion between advertising, consumers and businesses. As There is no doubt a call center is an appropriate mech- a result, the amount of response-based advertising has anism for a complex interaction that requires a human grown considerably in the last 10 years. After all, if the ul- response – a good example of this would be a technical timate purpose of your advertising is to initiate a customer helpdesk for an internet provider, telco or other utility transaction, then why not use your advertising to move company. Also, direct response advertising formats like your prospects one step closer to a purchase? infomercials usually require the immediate response of WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response an 0800 operator – potential customers are ready to 2.2: The Internet www.yourbusiness.com make a purchase when they call an infomercial's 0800 Unlike call centers, a website can deliver a 24x7 custom- number, so an operator must be available to close the er interaction with very low operating costs. Although deal and complete the transaction. data speeds are not always exceedingly fast, over 60% of NZ internet users in developed countries are now Nonetheless, as a customer ‘touch point', call cen- connected to at least a rudimentary broadband service. ters can frequently be a double-edged sword. For The connection between web use and commerce is example, a recent survey of call center satisfaction in also clear as research from Nielson//Netratings in 2007 the US found that 76% of people polled reported 24 showed that 61% of adults made some type of pur- hour-a-day seven-day-a-week call center operation was chase online every month, and 94% used the internet to important to their purchase decision. While a number of research goods or services. Like mobile phone usage, organisations offered 24x7 call centers in the early days e-mail access is also basically ubiquitous, so using the of call centers in NZ, many have now scaled back to internet and e-mail in your advertising/marketing mix 7am to 7pm, fi ve days a week, as the cost of staffi ng a makes good sense. call center 24 hours a day is prohibitive. In advertising terms, however, while inserting URLs Thus, if a potential customer sees a print ad or TV into a campaign is a wise decision, the fact is that most commercial which features an 0800 number outside of consumers will not actually be connected to the internet a call center's operating hours, they cannot respond when they see or hear your advertising. Whether they immediately and the link between the advertising and catch your ad on a billboard, read it in a magazine while the response mechanism is broken. While it's true the out for a coffee, hear it on the radio or even watch it on potential customer may write the number down and call TV in their lounge, chances are they're consuming your the next day, the reality is they usually don't. ad ‘on the move', or not using the web at the time, and, like an 0800 number, the onus is on them to remember Other survey results? Around 30% of callers will hang up your web address and investigate it later. if they have to remain on hold for over a minute. Aside Surveys show only a small percentage will actually from fi ne tuning call queuing technology the only way to interrupt what they're doing to take this action, so once address this is by deploying additional operators, which again, the link between your advertising and its re- means higher overheads. Additionally, how well-trained sponse mechanism is broken. call center staff are is critically important, as 50% of respondents reported being most dissatisfi ed with call Although devices like laptops, PDAs and Apple's new centers when the agent was not well-informed about iPhone do provide internet access on the go, the num- the product or service, or could not resolve problems ber of mobile internet users remains very low and is un- quickly. In fact, the overriding result from almost all likely to grow signifi cantly in the near to medium term. customer satisfaction surveys of call centers found that long wait times, too many IVR choices (pushing keypad 2.3 The Text Option numbers to select options) and poor service results Of all the current response mechanisms that can easily left most callers disappointed with their contact center be incorporated into advertising, text shortcodes are experiences. Clearly the huge investment involved in far-and-away the most user friendly and most likely operating a call center is not delivering the desired to maintain the link between your advertising and its result for most. response mechanism. The reasons are many. WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response For a start, text messaging has become an embedded include ordering brochures or other collateral to be cultural phenomenon, with many people opting to use delivered to either a post or email address, request- text messaging to conduct conversations with even their ing a personal contact from a company representative, closest friends and relatives (instead of initiating a voice providing details of the closest outlet stocking your call). High mobile calling costs in New Zealand com- product, opting in to be notifi ed when a product of pared to other OECD countries has meant our uptake of interest is launched, in addition to the competition entry text messaging is actually greater than the US, UK and and promotional activities that typifi ed the early years of Australia. In global terms there are over three billion business/consumer text interaction. mobile phone subscriptions worldwide which is double In terms of effi ciencies, text responses ensure that no the number of people that can be reached by TV and enquiries are dropped due to a customer hanging up almost three times the number that can be reached via in a call center queue, or deciding not to call because they're enquiring outside of normal business hours Interestingly, Gartner Research continues to predict (research shows that 34% of text response messages are strong growth in texting in 2008 with SMS set to surpass received outside of normal call center operation hours). 2 trillion messages in major markets, a 19.6% increase If a call center does need to be involved (to coordinate from 2007's total of 1.9 trillion. Suffi ce to say, with the a viewing or test drive for example) a text response can penetration of mobile phones at almost 100%, most immediately advise the prospect of when to expect a people have one either on their person, or within arm's call from an operator. reach, for most of their waking day. Ultimately this means that the consumer's expectations Consumers are also very comfortable with using text in terms of a business's response to their enquiry are messaging to initiate an interaction, as, in stark contrast met, as no text goes unanswered, and call centers are to calling an 0800 number, texting a response requires operated at maximum effi ciency. In fact, there is often a a minimal commitment of time (no waiting in a phone signifi cant decrease in the handling costs of an inquiry, queue for example) and no obligation to purchase because much of the process is automated. – making it a ‘low pressure' alternative. Evidence to date shows that adding a text response mechanism PART 3: TEXT RESPONSE USAGE SCENARIOS to advertising can increase consumer response to the So what type of industries or organisations is text re- advertising by around 30%.
sponse appropriate for? The short answer is any industry From your business's perspective, the use of text mes- or organisation that already advertises and wants to cost saging as a response/request for more information effectively increase response to its existing campaigns. Fig mechanism can initiate a range of actions. Examples 1.0 provides a number of examples of usage scenarios; WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response Fig 1.0 TEXT RESPONSE INDUSTRY/USAGE SCENARIOS INDUSTRY OR ORGANISATION TYPE OF CAMPAIGN Use text marketing to point readers to further reading on a subject (such as a web site) or distribute further material. Use a keyword to distribute subscrip-tion forms.
Photographers, Galleries, Auctioneers Market your full catalogue or portfolio to prospective customers.
House/Apartment Building Companies Distribute designs and brochures to prospective home buyers Put keywords on labels so consumers can text to get food match guidelines, ratings and reviews. Let consumers text to get order forms or your e-com-merce site, thus converting indirect customers into higher value direct buyers.
Food Manufacturers Put keywords on labels that allow consumers to text to get recipes and cook-ing recommendations.
Accountants, Lawyers, and other profes- Provide thought-leadership articles, market commentaries, website and exper- tise details to consumers.
Banks, Finance and Insurance Companies Automate loan, deposit, and insurance claim forms.
Distribute brochures on new releases, book test drives, advise interested par-ties of new launches.
Classifi ed Advertisers Distribute photos, brochures, catalogues, etc Movie, Show, Play, Concert, Music Album Distribute reviews, electronic previews, venue date, time and ticketing details.
Government Departments / Councils Automate ordering of information on services and application forms (e.g. IRD forms, tax information, etc) Restaurants, Bars, Gigs, Clubs and Fast Let passers-by and those that see your advertising text to get menus, opening hours, and gig details.
Real Estate/Property Managers/Land- Distribute info, price guides, layout plans and photographs to prospects, and then follow up.
Technology Companies Distribute white papers, case studies, and brochures on your solutions.
Distribute course information and enrolment forms to students to prompt en-rolment. During lectures or on material distributed, use keywords to electroni-cally distribute further reading and point participants to web resources.
Medical/Pharmacy Use text to discretely distribute information on products and services.
Fashion Labels, Artists Add a keyword to clothing labels, signage and completed work so that others can text to get the current catalogue.
Distribute full catalogues or vouchers Share business card information by having people you meet text to get your details by return text.
Alcohol and Consumer Goods producers Use text to get consumers into outlets for your products using vouchers.
Political Parties Distribute candidate profi les and policies.
Recruiters or HR departments Use text to get application forms and job profi les into the inboxes of prospec-tive candidates and students.
WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response In fact, listen to or take a look at to virtually any adver- men when enquiring about Propecia face-to-face at a tisement, package or sign and you will fi nd an advertiser pharmacy or person to person via a call center. trying to push you into a store or to a web site. And In the motor vehicle sector, BMW ran a text response rightly so. How much more motivational is it to check promotion around the launch of its X6 range. X6 cars out a property having reviewed large photos compared were prominently positioned in a number of major to just a small picture or text insertion in the newspa- airports with text response being the method by which per? The challenge, until now, has been getting those interested customers could book a test drive. This photos into consumers' computers.
campaign was therefore able to aim directly at BMW's A few excellent (and diverse examples) of text response target customer (business travellers), but at the same use include the government urging youth voting enrol- time give them a response mechanism they could use ment in the 2004 election, baldness cure Propecia mak- immediately, as being on the move they were unlikely to ers Merck Sharp and Dohme and BMW. The Electoral take the time to phone a dealership while at the airport. Offi ce tagged much of its youth targeted advertising Other prominent users have included several banks, during the 2004 election with text keywords to encour- hardware suppliers and real estate companies. As age young ‘mobile' voters to request a voter registra- mentioned, with evidence suggesting that including tion pack and reported a huge response from hard-to- keywords can increase responses to advertising by up to track-down youth voters. 30 percent, text response is the logical progression for In the case of Propecia, giving prospective custom- marketers looking to increase advertising effectiveness. ers the option to request additional information by Fig 2.0 details a number of ways text response can be text, successfully removed a major barrier to purchase incorporated into marketing initiatives. - namely the potential for embarrassment felt by many Fig 2.0 INCORPORATING TEXT RESPONSE INTO MARKETING PLANS Web and Mobile Internet Site Convert people who see your ads or signage into web and mobile internet (.mobi) site visitors even when they don't have their PC in front of them. Text response can get your .mobi site address into their phones, and links to your web site into their email inboxes.
Text For Product Samples Promote a keyword to gather a database, including postal addresses, of where you send samples.
Call Centre Managers Analyse the most asked questions or problems and make texting your fi rst line of sup-port. E.g. Electricity retailers use text-response to update people with a fault on out-ages. Text-response on evening TV and radio campaigns can save employing call centre staff overnight.
Let consumers text for vouchers to encourage them into your product or service's outlet.
Compare media types for effectiveness and measure cost per lead. Research markets, gain insights and engage audiences with text surveys. These can use a different keyword for each answer, or can distribute a text message or email linking to an online or mobile internet survey.
Generate Call Backs Get enquiries from your ads by getting consumers to text your keyword on the promise you will have a rep call them.
Build opt-in email and text databases that you can send information and offers to by incentivising people to text your shortcode. WHITE PAPER Using Text/SMS To Boost Advertising Response set up their campaigns using simple to use templates, click launch and they're under way. Users register a keyword in the same familiar way they do a web site do- main name, and create the email response – complete with graphics and attachments – in the same way one creates a Word document. As with so many solutions these days, there is also a free usage option. Solutions like TXT2GET's deliver the benefi ts of Software as a Service (SaaS), with quick and easy implementation, at comparatively low cost. As media becomes more and more fragmented (so many competing TV channels, radio stations, print titles and websites), the cost of delivering an advertising message to a broad spectrum of consumers has be- come prohibitively expensive. For years, smart market- PART 4: INNOVATION IN TEXT CAMPAIGN ers have been refi ning the targeting of their ads to hit CREATION – SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE those most likely to purchase, and purchase profi tably for the organisation. Adding textable keywords to advertising, while still in its infancy, is an idea that has been around for a few Despite this, however, the link between even well years now and has been well used by a wide-range of targeted advertising and its response mechanism has organisations in promotions and competitions. routinely been broken. The advent of text response is In almost every case, however, the text campaign was a proven way to repair that link and boost advertising created and managed by a specialist ‘new media' effectiveness. Quite simply, organisations can no longer advertising agency. And although these campaigns may afford to pay to have consumers see their ads, desire have delivered the results the advertisers were looking their products or services, but then have those same for, they also came with the hassle and delay of coordi- consumers take no action for want of a convenient nating with third-party providers and a sizable invoice response mechanism. for service rendered – in many ways negating the added Consumers have shown they are keen to research value the campaign delivered. products or services they are interested in, and they More recently, however, innovation in the text messag- also want the ability to respond to advertising in their ing fi eld has seen the advent of ‘self service' text solu- own time (immediately in many cases), even when this is tions, where a marketing executive or ad agency staff outside of normal business hours. with basic computer skills and an internet connection Organisations that recognise this and provide these can create and manage a text campaign themselves on- potential customers with a convenient 24/7 response line. TXT2GET (www.txt2get.co.nz) is one such solution. mechanism will certainly secure themselves a signifi cant TXT2GET clients simply log into the TXT2GET website, marketing advantage.
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