MEF CEO Dario Betti was recently joined by Vibes CEO and co-founder Jack Philbin on a webinar to discuss further the ideas first presented at the MEF Leadership Forum in Miami, where he explored observations from over 20 years in the industry; where it’s headed next, and why SMS is the most valuable channel for marketers – as well as why we have to do everything we can to seize, capture and protect it.
It’s clear we’ve recently passed a tipping point for business-to-consumer messaging. We’re all getting more appointment reminders via text. We’re all getting more shipping notifications via text.
We’re all resetting passwords and confirming our ID with a code sent to our most personal device. These experiences with messaging are all simple and have high utility, both to ourselves and to the business with whom we interact.
Furthermore, these use cases have shifted our mode of thinking and are enabling a comfort and trust with messaging that has the mass market now communicating with the businesses that serve them at unprecedented rates.
Proof of this mindset shift lies in the fact that there’s now little holding consumers back from typing their mobile number into POS terminals to identify and match to a rewards profile at the grocery store or pharmacy. It’s become part of the daily lingua fraca of becoming a better consumer, and it all takes place on the smartphone, not via email.
With this surge of messaging we’ve also seen that, sometimes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The resurrection of the QR code has become one of the easiest entryways into this two-way, interactive world. What was it that drove the QR code comeback? It just came down to how easy and convenient it was to use..“
The cold reality is that email is simply not interactive – and email open rates are now in the single-digits. Just try and find a teenager or an early 20-something who relies on email for their daily communication, as opposed to text, and you’ll be looking for far longer than you’d like.
Two-way interactions are the expectation. The same expectations we have of our closest friends and relatives applies equally to the businesses who engage with us on the most intimate channel that is native to our most personal device.
If it’s not seamlessly interactive, distractions can easily derail a communication attempt. The estimated adult attention span today is 8 seconds – “beating” the 9-second attention span of a goldfish – so if the message doesn’t land, then the marketer risks disrupting a consumer’s day with a distraction they don’t value.
With this surge of messaging we’ve also seen that, sometimes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The resurrection of the QR code has become one of the easiest entryways into this two-way, interactive world. What was it that drove the QR code comeback? It just came down to how easy and convenient it was to use, particularly when Apple and Android devices built QR code scanners into their native cameras. The pandemic then drove the adoption as seemingly the entire population began scanning menus at diners and white tablecloth restaurants alike.
Now that smartphone usage and life on-the-go travel hand in hand, nobody wants to be met with barriers to interaction if they can avoid it. Scanning something that links to precisely what the consumer wants is the new way of consumer + brand relationship building.
The proliferation of newer mobile channels is on the rise as messaging as an interactive communications channel becomes increasingly apparent. Just look at WhatsApp, which has over 2 billion monthly users and delivers over 100 billion messages per day globally. WeChat users send 45 billion messages every single day in China alone.
This suggests that the world is beginning to revolve around messaging, and shows that it has the potential to enable an infinite dialogue that can encompass every imaginable consumer interaction. As such, brand marketers should already have a plan for implementing mobile-first strategies like SMS, push, mobile wallet and more. The challenge for them, however, will be to bring as much of the customer experience — ranging from customer support to commerce and loyalty — into a messaging-based experience as rapidly as possible.