Top Marketers Say SMS Performs Better Than Any Other Channel, SMS For Promotions or Offers Drive Revenue Growth For Most, New Survey Finds

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Mitto research shows B2C marketers plan to prioritize customer experience through contactless customer engagement and SMS digital communications
Digital communications deliverability is the biggest perceived barrier to implementation

Mitto, a leading provider of global omnichannel communications solutions, today revealed the results of its State of Customer Engagement in B2C Marketing survey, issued in conjunction with global research firm Demand Metric. Designed to take a pulse check of how B2C enterprise marketers in the U.S. are using and plan to use digital communications in their customer engagement efforts, the results point to nearly all marketers (90%) taking ownership of the customer experience (CX) moving forward. This is coupled with an uptick in digital communications usage to drive customer engagement, which two-thirds expect to deliver CX success.

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Demand for Contactless Experiences Driving Digital Communications

The report aims to detail how marketers are shifting priorities in 2021 following a unique 2020. Consumer behavior towards brands has evolved during the pandemic; over half of enterprise B2C marketers in the U.S. reflected that consumers have increased demand for a contactless experience at every touchpoint.

In light of this shift, the study shows strong appetite and high expectations from enterprise B2C marketing professionals for digital communications to improve customer outcomes. 97% are using or plan to use digital communications to support their customer engagement efforts and objectives, which include:

  • Establishing more meaningful connections with customers (49%)
  • Improving accessibility/ease-of-use (46%)
  • Delivering or optimizing a contactless experience (42%)
  • Improving omnichannel communications (42%)

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The Power of SMS

Marketers whose companies were intentional about prioritizing CX and viewed digital communications as an opportunity – not an obstacle – to improve customer engagement already fared better during the pandemic. Enterprise B2C companies that heavily leveraged SMS, chat apps, live chat and chatbots were more likely to report revenue growth in the last fiscal year than those companies who did not adopt these technologies.

In particular, SMS has emerged as a digital communications powerhouse. Among marketers using SMS, almost 80% report it performs much better than any other channel, particularly for advertising and brand awareness. 77% of marketers who use SMS to send promotions or offers report revenue growth in the last fiscal year, compared to only 23% of marketers who do not use SMS. Marketers cited SMS’ primary benefits as real-time delivery, high open rates, and global reach/ubiquity of mobile devices.

“Last year challenged marketers in new ways and we designed our survey to better understand why some passed the test and how all B2C marketers are implementing learnings from 2020 to their digital communications initiatives in 2021 and beyond,” said Andrea Giacomini, CEO of Mitto. “Just as consumers look for the latest products and services, CX should evolve and map to behavioral changes. It’s encouraging to see that there’s a growing appetite among enterprise B2C marketers to experiment with more digital customer engagement solutions like SMS and chat apps, because this adoption could be the difference between their companies growing this year or falling behind.”

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The study also found that the biggest barrier to digital communications implementation and usage is deliverability, also described as “getting messages through” (37%). Part of this challenge lies in the antiquated tools or technology over a quarter (28%) of marketers report having. Better understanding of the technology a trusted partner could provide, such as an SMS enabler to reliably connect with global customers, would put more marketers on the fast track to using digital communications to improve CX.

The research drew on survey responses from 166 U.S. marketers between December 26, 2020 and January 9, 2021. The respondents are employed at B2C organizations with more than 1,000 employees across a diverse set of industries.

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