The Medium of the Moment

Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t lie.  The facts are clear, people are just not communicating verbally as frequently as they once did.  Text messaging, e-mail, internet and the all mighty social networking sites are all so readily available to us through our beloved mobile devices that we don’t need to either.  We can communicate with five people, in five minutes, five different ways without ever making a phone call.  So in today’s fast paced real time world is the shift in the way we communicate and interact with one another simply a byproduct of that?  Sure it is; as individuals we use the technology that is available to us to make our lives easier and more efficient.  However, as businesses, we must recognize the shift, quickly adapt, and market our products and services through the mediums of the moment in order to capitalize.

So how do we capitalize on the fact that people send billions of text messages a month?  The same way that American Idol got viewers to send over a hundred million text messages during their last season and the Mobile Giving Foundation raised over $27 million in just 7 days for the Haitian relief effort; a combination of motivation and desire.  Motivation can come from anywhere, what motivates me might not motivate you and vice versa.  Desire on the other hand is a bit of a different beast.  When we look at desire and how it relates to a business’ ability to capitalize on the shift in the way people communicate, the numbers would indicate that the vast majority of us share a similar desire; immediacy.

As individual’s we consume the latest gadgets to feed our addiction to immediacy, the 3G this and Wi-Fi that.  As businesses, providing the information that our consumers’ desire in an instantaneous fashion can and will produce an array of benefits.  First, by providing the consumer what they want when they want it gives them a pleasant and engaging experience.  As such, there overall perception of our brand is enhanced.  Second, and possibly even more beneficial to the bottom line of our businesses, is the fact that if we use the proper technology, we can capture information never before possible through traditional advertisement; consumers’ mobile numbers.

Last week we touched on the use of short codes.  A short code is a short, easy to remember phone number that can be used for the purposes of receiving and sending back automatic, pre-arranged text messages.  One of the benefits of using carrier approved short codes to facilitate your mobile initiatives is that each and every time a consumer texts in, you as the business can capture their mobile phone number.  In addition, with many mobile marketing platforms, real time alerts can be set up so that you also receive the contact information of the interested consumer at the exact moment they request it.  This means that you can strike while the iron is hot and make a connection with an interested buyer the moment they’re motivated.

In order to set off this chain of events, spark a motivation and fuel a desire, businesses must create a well positioned call to action.  None of this great technology will work unless people know it’s available.  Take real estate for example; when people see a property for sale they primarily want one or more of three things: price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, or to see the inside.  As a realtor you could easily capitalize on motivated buyers by informing them that they could text in right now to get price, property information, and pictures instantly on their mobile device.  All it would take is a sign rider on the for sale sign.  As buyers inquired via text message, you as the realtor would receive instantaneous alerts and be able to call them back right away.  Maybe the house was perfect and they want to see it, maybe it wasn’t in their price range, either way you get to connect with them and find out what that buyer wants.

As individuals, we use the technology that is available to us to make our lives easier and more efficient.  As businesses, we can leverage that same technology to reach people through the medium of the moment; their mobile phones!


Seth Kaplan

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