Moving Beyond the Silo

By | November 30, 2010

While marketers have been gradually adopting 1:1 printing and personalized URLs, they have been slow to expand beyond siloed programs and really integrate their 1:1 marketing across media or draw in other functions, such as triggered follow-ups and automatic notifications to salespeople. For those few who are expanding into this area, something people seem to be very interested in right now is SMS.

When we talk about “triggering,” what we’re talking about is that, based upon an action or inaction by the recipient, an automated, multi-channel marketing solution takes another action automatically.

For example, say a client does a marketing campaign that asks respondents to fill out an online form. Three days after the initial blast, if targets have not responded, the solution can be set up to send an email or SMS to nudge them. If recipients do respond by going onto the website and requesting more information, it can be set up to automatically send email or SMS alerts to the marketer’s salesforce that includes all of the respondent’s contact information and even answers to their survey questions.

Some solutions — available from most multi-channel marketing software providers — can even integrate with the Intelligent Mail Barcode system (IMB), so if the campaign is supposed to hit Wednesday, it sends out a follow-up email or SMS two days later to nudge non-responders.

Integration of SMS as one of the channels used by these integrated, multi-channel marketing programs is growing. Many of the big brand marketers like Google are making significant investments in this area (Google now offers its own SMS marketing service).

As with all marketing tools, SMS has its challenges. People are more proprietary about their phones than they are email, so list accuracy and opt-in/out management are huge. So is the danger of over-saturation. SMS marketing has to be managed very carefully.

There are many components to emerging multi-channel marketing programs. Every channel has its benefits, challenges, and quirks.  It’s one reason that retooling your business to become a MSP is more than about technology. It’s about the expertise and skill sets of the people behind them. Increasingly, SMS is becoming one of them.

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4 thoughts on “Moving Beyond the Silo

  1. Marty Thomas

    From my experience most marketer’s/sales teams have smart phones and prefer emails. In my opinion, SMS is reserved for friends/family. Whenever I receive an advertisement though SMS (which has only happened to me twice), I see it as a violation of my privacy.

  2. Michael Jahn

    I know we are not supposed to shoot the messenger, but thankfully we have a way to contact our carriers and turn off SMS. I expect that as this becomes more widespread, smartphone app developers will provide a method to create white lists / black lists – or perhaps limit SMS only to people in my contact list. Unlike email, my smartphone is ALWAYS on and ALWAYS on my person, and no, I am not interested in being texted that the coffee and danish are on sale at Starbucks 7:00am.

    This is from the land of bad ideas.

    Andriod ?

    iPhone ?

  3. Geert Venhuizen

    My feeling is that SMS has a stronger sense of privacy to it than e-mail. Therefore I think it will never become a channel that can or will be used in the same way e-mail is being used. However, I do think there still is a bright future for SMS as a function of Customer Care/After Sales.
    Reservations, confirmations, triggering events that you yourself have set (eg. notify me when my phonebill reaches a certain limit).

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