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Finding Your SMS Footing in the Global Marketplace

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In the past, we’ve spent plenty of time talking about how small and regional businesses can utilize SMS marketing to capture enhanced interaction and sales with relevant audiences. And for good reason; just see any of the numerous case studies on this blog if you’re a newer member of the community who wants to do a little catching up.

Despite this previous inclination to keep things focused on the smaller and medium portions of the industry, the push for global SMS operations continues to grow stronger and more prevalent, demanding an increased need for guidance on this front. With this in mind, let’s take a moment to highlight the problems facing brands looking to go global with SMS marketing, as well as what your organization can do to avoid these issues and capture the immense amount of reach and awareness awaiting those who understand what goes into taking the world by storm via stellar mobile campaigns.

Problems on a Global Scale

According to the staff over at Venture Beat, the substantial benefits and leverage generated by global SMS operations are gated behind an equally impressive series of issues and roadblocks – specifically technological limitations, varying regional rules and regulations, and a lack of proper guidance for brands navigating this path to SMS success.

As far as the technology side of things goes, the team behind this report explain that taking your SMS approach global can hinder your ability to tap into the “instant” nature of this communication process. Essentially, unreliability of select carriers, as well as off-beat filtering and incorrect delivery confirmation systems, can all wreak havoc on the tech side of your mobile marketing campaign.

The rules and regulation portion of this discussion is a little more cut and dry. While you’re probably familiar with CASL and the other regulatory articles covering the interaction between brands and consumers here in Canada, it’s hard to say the same for the over 190 countries that cover the rest of the globe. For example, if you’re sending messages to contact list members in India, you’d better know that anything between 9 P.M. and 9 A.M. is off limits, regardless of the time difference. Failing to understand these differences – from the substantial to the minute – is a fast way to face penalties or sanctions from governments abroad.

In terms of the need for professional guidance, think of it as a culmination of these stated problems and everything else facing down your brand within the global marketplace. Basically, while there’s nothing stopping you from going this route on your own, if you try and dip your toes into the world of global SMS operations alone, be prepared for the rigors that come with a steep learning curve.

Building a Smart Response

So how can you overcome these hindrances and successfully capture the attention of potential shoppers around the world? You really have two options for answering this question. Your first option is to be prepared to commit to the countless hours that it takes to become an SMS expert who can stay up to date with the latest news and trends from around the globe.

If this doesn’t sound too agreeable with your already busy schedule, then it’s time to connect with an established team of experts. As the writers over at Venture Beat explain in their wrap-up of the discussion, taking this route not only limits your exposure to unnecessary risk, it also ensures that you maximize your impact and reduce the strain this process places on your current business operations – something that’s definitely a welcome relief if you’re already facing down a mountain of tasks and responsibilities back at the office.

Preparing for the Future

Even if you’re not quite ready to jump into the waters of global SMS operations, it’s important to understand that the world continues to move toward an interconnected marketplace, so it’s only a matter of time before your physical and digital audiences converge in this growing shared space. In fact, researchers over at Transparency Market Research report that by the year 2020, the global SMS market will account for over $70 billion in revenue; a substantial jump from the $53.07 billion tallied up in 2013.

The moral of the story is that while your business might be focused on connecting with the local community via SMS now, it’s never too early to start planning for the eventual shift toward global mobile marketing campaigns. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when your more forward-thinking competition beats you to the punch and reaches out to these customers, regardless of where they call home.

About Victor Green

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