Better late than never: Why you should finally add instant messaging to your marketing mix
Last year we saw AIM sunsetted, the wildly popular instant messaging service used by tweens, teens and everyone else with a dial-up or DSL connection during the 90s and early 2000s. AIM eventually faded as SMS showed up in our lives and that has since been supplanted by messaging apps.
At its very core, these services have served as easy, expressive and cheap communication tools-an extension and progression from traditional phone communication-for the internet and mobile ages. Sounds like an obvious marketing tactic for brands to communicate with their customers right?
Brands have taken years to fully embrace this approach for their marketing efforts. Sure, some dipped their toes into the SMS pool but it was messaging apps that woke brands up to the opportunity that they were missing.
Their reasons for not using instant messaging vary but they now recognize the short- and long-term benefits it has on their business. The perks are apparent and reaping the results is relatively easy to activate.
Replacement for your own app
Many brands are finding that the mobile apps they spent tonnes of time and money building are not delivering the level of customer usage and engagement they expected. So much so that Gartner cites 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019.
abandon your inefficient app for ones that offer the support and marketing tools needed and deliver on your ROI
They’re missing the mark across the board from an ROI-perspective, cost of support, maintenance, upgrades, customer care and outrageous CPIs. To add fuel to the mobile app dumpster fire, consumers are using fewer of them; meanwhile eMarketer reported that messaging apps grew by 15.5% in 2017, with 1.82 billion people worldwide regularly using them.
The logic here is pretty simple. Abandon your inefficient app for ones that offer the support and marketing tools needed and deliver on your ROI without any of the day-to-day maintenance and headaches. Messaging apps are continuing to develop utilities for brands to engage, connect and transact with consumers. Win-win scenario for brands and consumers.
True 1-to-1 personalisation
Every single day we read about the need for more personalisation. Consumers will stick with and buy from a brand when receiving relevant messaging and promotions. According to a recent Accenture study, 57% of UK consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal and 50% recommend brands or organisations to which they are loyal to their family and friends.
None of this is earth-shattering news, but brands approach to personalisation has been all over the place. Messaging apps make this easier than ever before.
Let’s just state the obvious-messaging apps are inherently communicative. Now remember those marketing tools and utilities mentioned earlier?
When you layer everything from interactive and shareable content to AI onto 1-to-1 or 1-to-many messaging you are able to give your customers everything that they need in a personalised and meaningful way.
Shorten the sales funnel
Messaging apps are now the digital home for billions of consumers. They’re using them for messaging, sharing content, shopping and good ole fashioned calling. With all of this time spent within one digital location, brands have a rare opportunity to build their digital home in the same neighbourhood.
content can drive virality and create FOMO from your customers’ larger network
Building a messaging app strategy that drives awareness, user acquisition, conversions and retention will reduce the steps and time needed to bring a consumer through the funnel.
Exclusive content and branded communication channels are easy ways to drive engagement, intrigue and promotions. Done successfully, that content can drive virality and create FOMO from your customers’ larger network. Bots can see and understand what the consumer needs, whether it be tickets to an event or support for troubleshooting and can then provide relevant solutions in a seamless way.
Adding the timeless element of human interaction with your customers will go a long way in maintaining the relationship and lifetime value with each individual. Cultivating this type of holistic environment will encourage consumers to spend even more time with your brand in that digital community.
The leading brands are the ones that reach their customers wherever they are, and that is now messaging apps. They’re a part of the fabric of consumers’ lives, powered by the constant desire to connect. Integrating within these messaging apps is the most native form of marketing that exists.