Overwhelmed by Marketing? 3 Text Marketing Success Stories That Will Restore Your Faith

June 5, 2013 11:00 am Published by

Before I can talk about 3 of the greatest text marketing success stories, let me share with you the following quote.

John Wanamaker, seen to be the father of traditional marketing, once said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Anyone who plays a role in marketing will be well aware of this phrase and its association with traditional forms of marketing. By traditional marketing, I mean advertising to a mass audience, through radio, newspapers, TV, billboards and so on.

You’re probably reading this, scratching your head and thinking “well yeah, we did do that newspaper ad and I think it worked well; our sales have increased, but I’m not sure if it’s because of the print advertisement or because of the increase in demand for our product.” You know the significance of marketing and what it entails, but you “play it safe” and hope for the best.

Traditional above the line marketing involves communicating to a mass audience, and it can be very difficult to measure its effectiveness. You’re shouting your marketing message from the rooftops, and trying to be heard above all the other marketing messages, from all the other companies who are doing exactly the same thing.

Here’s the problem:

  • Companies, and especially smaller companies, hear the word “digital” and shudder.
  • They associate it with smartphones and high-tech computers that they know nothing about.
  • They think Twitter, Facebook, likes and followers and that’s all there is to it.

Companies need to be introduced to a new phenomenon. The word digital isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

With digital marketing you are in full control and results can be tracked. In order to ease yourself into digital, it’s necessary to do things step by step. In this post, I will start by talking about just one simple form of it.

A very simple form of digital marketing which many of the global players have been using with great success since the early noughties.

Best of all?

It’s probably the most cost effective and simple form of advertising that generates the best results.

I’m talking about SMS marketing. Yes, texting your customers and potential customers; instantly reaching each one of them due to a 98% text message open rate (almost five times more than email on average).

We use our mobile phones to connect with our friends and family on a daily basis. Why not build a relationship with your customers and show them your equally important commitment to them?

So sit back, have a cup of tea and read these three success stories that will open your mind to a different dimension of marketing.

Success Story #1: Starbucks

One of the greatest text marketing success stories: Starbucks

Starbucks use text marketing as part of their mobile marketing strategy.

We’ve heard the success stories of Starbucks. We’ve rarely walked past a Starbucks to see empty seats. They have such a large and varied target audience, and they seem to get their marketing strategy right all the time.

You’re probably thinking “they have such an established brand and market already, so much so that their marketing efforts aren’t a priority“.

Here’s where you’re wrong.

SMS marketing is not even a mere element of Starbucks’ marketing mix; Starbucks rely on this medium to build that personal relationship with their customers.

Their clever mobile strategies have rewarded them by the title of “2012 Mobile Marketer of the Year”.

  • They did it so simply by requesting customers to join their loyalty program through email marketing and in store signage.
  • They used their Starbucks Rewards Program to effectively market to their Rewards members by texting them incentives such as offers, discounts and even free drinks. They used this to engage customers in inspiring ways to show them their loyalty to them.
  • More recently, the company is sending opt-in users a pop quiz offering prizes and encouraging more sign ups, while attempting to drive traffic to their social media platforms creating brand awareness. It all ties in together nice and snug.

Tip: If you have an established client database and a social media platform that could do with more exposure, you can engage with them and delight them through SMS marketing the same way Starbucks have done.

Success Story #2: The Hilton Hotel Group

One of the greatest text marketing success stories: Hilton Group

The Hilton Group has seen an increase of the number of guests in its hotels thanks to SMS.

Here’s another success story. The Hilton Hotel Group has effectively used the simplicity of text marketing to directly contact their customers. Nothing complicated involved.

  • Because of the immediacy of SMS marketing, the hotel could contact customers and potentials at the most flexible times that suited both them and their recipients.
  • The Hotel has said that utilising this form of marketing has seen a “10-25% uptake of offers” and so text marketing has proved to be a highly significant part of their direct marketing and loyalty programs. They use the program to increase the number of guest numbers in their hotels.
  • They send out messages informing leads of special offers and promotions. Customers like to be rewarded and feel appreciated. THAT SIMPLE! All they have to do is build their database, create and schedule their messages for appropriate times of the day/week/month, and voila!

Tip: If your business involves a fairly regular level of purchase frequency and high footfall, and you have plenty of offers and discounts to advertise, then building a mobile database to inform customers directly of these incentives is just what you need.


Success Story #3: Dunkin’ Donuts

One of the greatest text marketing success stories: Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts achieved an amazing 21% increase of their in-store traffic thanks to text marketing.

Another sweet story from a sweet company. Those of us that have visited or lived in the States before recognise the popularity of Dunkin’ Donuts straight off.

The huge franchise is obviously a leader in its field of all-day coffee and baked goods. Here, we see an example of a company making full use of its loyalty programs by undertaking a hugely successful SMS campaign.

  • Their goal was to entice high school and college students in the Boston area to try their hot lattes. They recognised a market to be targeted more and acted effectively. They used SMS marketing to drive in-store redemption of 99c hot latte mobile coupon in the month of October.
  • The SMS offer was sent to thousands of targeted opt-ins. They coupled this with a radio campaign and Mobile Internet ads. Cherry on the cake, workers were trained and educated with marketing materials about how to help customers redeem the SMS coupons.

Dunkin’ Donuts were successful in their campaign, achieving a 21% increase in store traffic. The SMS message proved to be the most important element of the campaign as 17% of participants forwarded or showed their message to a friend.

Research has also shown that 35% considered themselves more inclined to buy lattes and coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts. Loyalty goes a long way!

Tip: Segmenting your database is considered a good practice. Make sure you use a mobile marketing software that allows you to send different content to different groups of customers. This way, you can please everybody with offers that really suit them.

Remember how Coca Cola were famous for their series of ads on television? Their outdoor advertising on billboards and other platforms? They went digital all the way back in 2006. Time to get with the program and start making sales!

How do you feel about this blog post? Do you think coupling traditional with digital marketing is the way to go? Have you any thoughts on using SMS to attract more customers? Let us know what you think.

Image references: Featured ImageStarbucks, Hilton Group & Dunkin’ Donuts

Sarah Woulfe

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