MEF Director of Programmes James Williams shares an overview of a discussion on how brands and SME’s can best make use of messaging in their existing marketing strategies, part of the recent MEF Connects Business Messaging event, available to view online now.

Go to any Business Messaging related conference and the talk almost immediately turns to brands such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Walmart, Unilever and the like. Big companies. Known brands. It’d be easy therefore to think that the majority of Business Messaging transactions are carried on behalf of such large companies but you would be wrong. Very wrong.

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Look around the world and the majority of people are employed by small and medium sized enterprises – SMEs. Most new jobs are created by (you guessed it) SMEs. And most Business Messaging content delivery requirements come from SMEs. I think you get the idea. SMEs are critical to the global economy, never mind Business Messaging.

Given that 80% of the world’s businesses are yet to do anything more in terms of client engagement other than email their customers, there is huge headroom for growth, but so many smaller organisations know precious little about what mobile digital channels are out there to help them better converse with both their existing and potential customers. And even if there is awareness, there are a whole series of myths surrounding Business Messaging. And it is exactly these which our experienced panel of speakers set out to well and truly bust.

many smaller organisations know precious little about what mobile digital channels are out there to help them better converse with both their existing and potential customers, and there are a whole series of myths surrounding Business Messaging

It was very fitting therefore that this discussion be sponsored by Intis Telecom, one of MEF’s newest members. Whilst Intis’ brand itself may not be that well known in Messaging circles until now, Intis have quietly been getting on with delivering content for c. three thousand SMEs for the past decade, predominately across Russia and CIS countries. Intis Telecom are now spreading their wings into the UK and Africa with further expansion plans afoot.

Joining me to discuss the opportunities Business Messaging presents for organisations of any size and type were:

  • Larissa Ryndik – Supply & Routing Director, Intis Telecom
  • Brian D’Arcy – Group Chief Commercial Officer, ANAM Technologies
  • Etienne Dupont – Senior Director of Business Messaging, Rakuten Viber
  • Ira Cohen – VP Business Development & Marketing, MMDSmart
  • Milorad Mitrovic – VP Global Sales, Mitto
  • Nick Millward – VP Europe, mGage

Many of us use the term ‘Business Messaging’ so much but what exactly is it? What channels does it encompass? It was exactly here where our discussions started.

Email absolutely does have an important role to play in client engagement but it is clear there are so many channels out there for organsiations to use: SMS, Push Messaging, Voice, RCS, Chatbots, Chat Apps and more. So where does and SME in particular start when deciding what to use, when and in for what?

All agreed that the key (no matter the size of enterprise) was to keep things simple. Use channels your customers already use and are already comfortable with. ‘SMS’ came up time and again in discussions. As did chat apps such as WhatsApp Business and Viber Business Messaging. But what about this myth that it’s difficult for SMEs to access such things? That was well and truly dispelled in an instant! So many Business Messaging providers make it super easy for even somebody with limited or practically zero technical knowledge to integrate with somebody offering a multi-channel solution.

Commercial models were addressed. I’ve talked with many SMEs myself out there and too many believe that SMS is just too expensive for them. They don’t understand the value proposition and the return on investment channels like it can drive if used properly. Clearly a case of our industry needing to do far more to educate. A topic that comes up time and again and something that MEF and its members absolutely tries to do our best on each and every day.

Time flew, and with such a band of industry professionals to question, we all could have done with another 50 minutes easily! Suffice to say we all did our bit to hammer the message home that Business SMS and other engagement channels absolutely ARE things that every organisation can use to wonderful effect.

If you are an SME and reading this, don’t fall for any of the myths out there and rest assured there are a lot of great Messaging companies who can help you rapidly and simply. Just start with the several dozen who are MEF members – you don’t have to look too far!

James Williams

Director of Programmes, MEF

  

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MEF CONNECTS: Business Messaging brought together the best technology providers across the globe who will share the latest use-cases and technological developments from both mobile network operators and OTT players.

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