Dialling up the accuracy of mobile marketing

If you’re a typical consumer, I can bet that you rarely let your mobile phone out of sight. In fact, recent research by SecurEnvoy of 2,000 consumers found that over a third would notice if they’d lost their phone within 15 minutes. My handset is so important to my working and family life that it would probably take me only 30 seconds!

It’s therefore not surprising that marketing managers are dedicating an increasing amount of their budget to permission-based mobile marketing campaigns. With mobile phone usage reaching saturation point and SMS marketing slowly maturing, mobile marketing is quickly becoming a popular way of communicating with customers.

It opens up opportunities to send offers and promotions, provide product and service updates, increase repeat business and attract new customers. It is also increasingly being used as a way of reminding consumers about critical and time sensitive events such as bill payments and appointments or asking for their feedback on customer service.

And it is effective. According to recent reports by analysts Frost & Sullivan, the open rate for SMS messages is over 98%.

Critical to getting mobile marketing right is ensuring organisations have the correct mobile phone numbers to communicate with in the first place. Spending time and money investing in campaigns that don’t arrive in the SMS inbox of the customers that subscribed to them is something to be avoided.

The key to overcoming this hurdle is investing in the right solutions that improve the accuracy and validity of mobile phone numbers, both at the point of capture – on a web form or over the phone at a call centre, for example – and in bulk from a contact database.

To do this organisations can use real-time checks with the mobile phone networks to ensure that telephone numbers provided by customers entered into contact forms or databases are accurate. They can then verify the mobile numbers in question are correct, connected to a supplier network and switched on.

Doing this enables organisations across sectors to reduce time and resources wasted on managing and correcting incorrect mobile phone numbers by first identifying disconnected or invalid ones. And it improves customer service and brand perception as inaccurate mobile numbers create a communication gap between organisations and their current or potential customers.

As with all aspects of contact data, it is important not to think of mobile phone numbers as isolated pieces of data. They play an integral role in how an organisation engages with its customers, whether that is for marketing or service related communications. The more accurate this data is, the more valuable it is for customer acquisition and retention.

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Joel Curry is managing director of Experian Data Quality, previously known as Experian QAS. Joel joined Experian QAS in 1997 as a Sales Account Manager in the London-based operations. In 2000, he relocated to Boston to set-up the US sales operation where he successfully built the first sales team. Prior to Experian QAS, Joel Curry worked in sales at ATI Technologies. Joel earned a degree in Human Physiology from the University of Birmingham in Birmingham and a MBA from City University Business School in London.