Feb 04, 2014
Enterprise mobile messaging is a balancing act: Messages must be sent on a mass scale, but still provide customization for each subscriber–otherwise they’ll appear spammy and fall flat.
That risk is eliminated when enterprises use personalized mobile messaging to connect with their customer base and provide value-added services beyond just marketing promotions.
With the rise of third-party messaging apps–which are already moving into enterprise communication–traditional text and multimedia messaging (SMS/MMS) has something to prove. Flurry Analytics reports messaging app usage rose 203 percent in 2013, but SMS/MMS is far from dead. It’s arguably a more ubiquitous, secure, and reliable solution for enterprise messaging.
Unlike mobile messaging apps, which are still in the discovery stages, the building blocks are all in place for traditional enterprise messaging. It’s a standard service that reaches everyone with a mobile device, it’s based on carrier-grade infrastructure, and it still has an appeal to mobile phone owners.
The Enterprise Messaging Opportunity
According to the 2013 Mobile Messaging Trends Study, 36 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners subscribe to text messages from businesses. Of those mobile phone owners who do not already communicate with businesses via mobile messaging, 48 percent would if businesses customized their messages.
Enterprise messaging services present a huge opportunity for businesses to engage with consumers, as long as they’re convenient and the information provides value for each individual subscriber. But how can enterprises use mobile messaging correctly to reach each audience and avoid irrelevant mass messaging?
Use Cases And Benefits
Traditional mobile messaging already has a strong hold on mobile advertising. SMS/MMS mobile advertising revenues are expected to increase from $2.2 billion to $4.4 billion between 2013 and 2016, according to Informa. Beyond mobile advertising and traditional marketing strategies, enterprise messaging services provide engagement value for numerous industries, including retail, travel, hospitality, and finance.
In order to combat the “spray-and-pray” approach that many mobile marketing strategies follow, enterprise messaging services provide targeted marketing campaigns based on location and consumer preference. For example, through a two-way enterprise messaging service, a retailer could send product availability to consumers, while a consumer could send an online order status query through a mobile message.
The same principle applies to the hospitality industry–guests can check in or out of hotels through mobile messaging. In the finance industry, mobile messaging can be used for one-time password and transaction authentication. There are many such examples among other industries.
Once this type of personal communication is established, enterprises will see benefits that expand beyond increased customer engagement and faster interactions. Through enterprise messaging services, enterprises can provide secure encrypted communications to ensure messages can withstand any security breaches, built-in analytics to monitor messaging effectiveness, and delivery assurance so messages are sent to only the intended recipient.
Implementing An Enterprise Messaging Service
Despite these benefits, many enterprises struggle with deploying a mobile messaging service. According to Burson-Marsteller, only 22 percent of Fortune 50 companies are communicating with their stakeholders via SMS.
Much of this is due to the complexity of integrating messaging services into existing IT infrastructures and business processes. Also, enterprise messaging faces a bad rap: Customer alienation via poorly targeted and irrelevant messaging makes some enterprises leery of providing customer communications through mobile messaging.
But enterprise mobile messaging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon–it will only continue to evolve. In the future, we’ll see enterprise messaging services take a deeper look at enhanced security and encryption, digital messages, WebRTC, and intelligent routing. All of these enhanced features will ensure that enterprises are continually sending valuable messages that increase engagement with consumers.
About Anurag Lal
Anurag Lal is CEO of Infinite Convergence Solutions. He has more than 20 years of leadership and operational experience in technology, IT, and telecom services. Lal also served as a director of the United States National Broadband Taskforce (part of the Federal Communications Commission).