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EDITOR’S BLOG 010617 Unleashing the power of messaging & engagement

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While election fever grips the UK and the EU looks towards negotiating with our hapless nation, the words messaging & engagement is bandied about like never before. Voter engagement is key to getting people into the polling booths. Having an engaging message and coherent policy is also vital, while engaging one’s brain and ignoring the piffle about all sides that come spewing from the media is perhaps the most important of all.

But in the Telemedia world, engagement is hot for a whole host of other reasons. While the world moves on and ‘digital’ is the carpet bombing Napalm of boardrooms in all sectors, the need to have SMS taken seriously has never been higher.

Sure, there are stats showing how ‘appy’ consumers are these days, but no matter what you read, one keeps coming back to SMS.

In the here and now, SMS is king: 90% of mobile phones are SMS-capable; the open rate of text promotions/offers is a whopping 98%; and 8% of all texts are read within three minutes of being received. Why wouldn’t you use it to engage?

But in people are still shying away from it. It doesn’t have the user base that it should perhaps have garnered by now. The irony is that most of the people not going for it (yet) all probably use text in their everyday and business lives without really thinking of its power.

This week Veoo is pushing out its view on SMS engagement and offers some really compelling reasons to use it. According to CEO Matthew Winters, “When used properly, SMS marketing allows for extremely precise targeting, and can be an effective tool to reach an elusive but lucrative demographic: the younger generation”.

Meanwhile, OpenMarket is taking things a step further, with not only looking at how to push messages out to people through SMS, but looking at when to push those messages. It’s concept of Empathetic Interaction outlines how, while there is a great argument for sending SMS to people to engage them, knowing precisely when to do it, and how to send them exactly what they want to hear at that moment is perhaps even more key.

Together, these two SMS stories showcase just how 21st century old skool text has become. It is the perfect means of engagement for almost all consumers – that we know – but knowing when and what to message them is the new bit. And this is where things get really complicated.

Should we be sending these messages at these key points? Are we going to let people opt out (and perhaps then kill it before it has started)? Is text the best way to do it?

The rise of Rich Communications Service (RCS) format messaging in 5G – the so called SMS 2.0 – will offer a sea change in what can be messaged as text and how that can be used: everything from boarding passes to train timetables and food menus and all very interactive is going to make SMS even more compelling. Connected with Veoo’s six steps to perfect SMS engagement and OpenMarket’s Empathetic Interaction, RCS could truly open up a whole new paradigm in marketing and engagement.

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