Bulk Text Messaging and Narrowcasting

February 7, 2013 5:28 pm Published by

Bulk text messaging as a form of marketing has been around for many years now but only in the last year or two has it’s full power become fully realised. Something else that has been around for a while now is the infographic shown below… we don’t care though, we like it so much we are still going to show it to everyone.

The infographic deals with the contrast between ‘broadcasting’ and ‘narrowcasting’ and how that pertains to mobile marketing. The term ‘broadcasting’ probably came into being with the advent of radio and television and soon there after became a word closely associated with marketing. Narrowcasting on the other hand is a term only barely in the lexicon and not known to the vast majority of people. It is defined below as –

“To share information or content to a targeted, select audience.”

A great definition, but what we love about it is that it could also serve as a totally legitimate definition for targeted bulk text message marketing as well. For ‘share information or content’ read ‘send exclusive discounts via SMS and embedded mobile webpages’ and for ‘targeted, select audience’ read ‘existing customers who have opted in to receive these messages’.

When it comes to mobile marketing however and bulk text message marketing in particular we hate the idea of ‘broadcasting’. It just feels far too un-targeted to us! By rule of law a SMS marketing message cannot be sent to a consumer unless they have given prior permission to receive these messages. To have given prior permission almost certainly means that the consumer in question has already transacted with the brand or business. This means that they are already an existing customer, and what’s the best thing about existing customers? The best thing about existing customers is that they are between five and seven times easier to sell to than new customers. Sure we all want new customers but it’s businesses that retain and up-sell to existing customers that are the most secure.

So have a look at the infographic now and as well as adding the term ‘narrowcasting’ to your vocabulary also pay attention to some of the contrasting statistics outlined below, such as –

  • ‘98% of all text messages are opened’ v ‘71% of tweets are ignored’
  • ‘We look at our phone 150 times per day’ v ‘57% of people check their email fewer than 4 times a day’
  • ‘6.4 billion text messages are sent in the US every 24 hours’ v ‘3.2 billion facebook likes every 24 hours’

So the choice is yours – spend a lot of money broadcasting to a large group of people who will probably never transact with you, or spend a small amount of money narrowcasting to a smaller group of people who are highly likely to transact with you. It sort of feels like a no-brianer to us… but I guess we would say that!

Bulk Text Messaging and Narrowcasting

Thanks to the guys at Mogreet for the use of their great infographic and for coining the term ‘Narrowcasting’.

Conor McAleavey

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