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Ira Cohen, VP of Business Development and Marketing for MEF Member MMD Smart reflects on an eventful MWC 2017, and how the changes seen on the show floor reflect the ongoing evolution of the mobile industry.

“Is this really a mobile congress or is this the Detroit Auto Show?” was my first internal impression of MWC 2017. The dynamic changes from my first time at MWC 20 years earlier in Cannes, when it was still called the GSMA Conference, and even from many previous times attending MWC in Barcelona, are extraordinary.

From a small specifically GSMA community event attended by MNOs and their suppliers, it’s evolved to a showcase of today’s technology- modernity on display.

Much of what I and the other 107,999 attendees found in our forays around the venue, were marginally related to mobile communications, and only somewhat familiar to the average mobile-centric nerd (Me!).

Except of course for those new old Nokia handsets which were exceedingly familiar, but not. (Disclosure: I was on the product marketing team for the original 3310 and some of the other models on display, so they were all too familiar).

Which leads to the 1st takeaway. “Everything in today’s world is mobile”.

It also points to a new maturity of the mobile market. IOT, self- driving vehicles, VR, drones and connected clothing are apparently all the next “big thing”, and an industry that has always looked deeply inwards and been a bit insular, is now embracing these as potential growth engines. An industry that has seen so many “Next Big Things” in the past is hedging its bets.

Which leads to the 2nd takeaway: “Give them what they want.

Which is actually exactly the reasoning behind the design of our smart messaging platform that we’ve just launched. Over the past year, following many conversations with enterprises that are using A2P messaging services, we came to understand that many of them are still unsure of the value that they are receiving from their A2P campaigns.

They use mobile messaging because their counterparts are, and to be able to show their management, board and investors that they have a mobile strategy. But on average they’re unsure what they’re really getting and if it delivers the results that they are seeking.

Our takeaway? The enterprise SMS business model needs to evolve as soon as possible.

While A2P messaging has seen remarkable growth in the last 5 years and has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, we’ve not internalized market changes occurring outside the mobile messaging space.

We’re not effectively leveraging the benefits of today’s mobile platform, the consumer’s trusted relationship to SMS, the instant gratification that SMS enables. We’ve been content to sell to brands, marketers and other enterprises, bulk messaging packages, because it’s easy for us to sell. But it’s not really what they need or want.

Every enterprise that initiates an SMS campaign often uses other channels to communicate with its customers. It needs to be able to attribute the success or failure of the campaign to the channel that is being used.

And in every single one of those enterprises sending SMS messages via our channels, there’s an individual who has decided that SMS messages are an important channel to use to communicate to their customers or partners. That individual has performance targets to meet. That enterprise has business targets to reach.

By analyzing the enterprise clients’ KPIs and implementing smart messaging tools today, we can design more effective enterprise SMS campaigns for marketing promotions, retail, financial companies, travel industry, gaming and OTTs.  Using smart messaging we can design more effective campaigns that achieve higher delivery rates, drive consumer engagement, and dynamically increase conversions

We also need to align our business model, our success metric, to our clients’ success metrics. If we don’t, we risk them seeking and finding alternate channels that are aligned to their KPI. We need to be willing to take a leap of faith with our clients and receive payment for our services, only if we help them achieve their desired result from their A2P messaging.

Takeaway #3: Enterprise Messaging is a mainstay of today’s mobile world. Let’s evolve A2P messaging and give them what they want.

Ira Cohen

VP, Business Development and Marketing, MMDSmart


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  • Ac says:

    Great job!!

  • well written piece. completely agree.

    I was just discussing with someone yesterday the potential for SMS communication to be leveraged further as a more effective communication tool, subject to compliance with data privacy laws and preserving consumer trust.