Delta’s newest perk is better than free booze – it’s free in-flight mobile messaging.
The airline company announced recently that customers on its Wi-Fi enabled planes will be able to communicate via WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger - at no charge.
As per Tim Mapes, CMO of Delta:
“We know many of Delta’s customers want or need to stay connected in the air and on the ground, which is why we’re investing in an easy, free way to send and receive messages inflight through some of the most popular global platforms.”
Mobile messaging has become an attractive channel for business professionals to quickly exchange information with 80% of people using text messaging for business. Messaging applications like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat, and others have over 3 billion users globally. And as adoption of SMS and mobile messaging tools continues to rise, it's opened up a plethora of low-cost, high-return channels for B2B marketers to engage prospects.
Here are a few statistics that highlight the growing impact of mobile messaging:
- The average Millennial exchanges around 67 text messages per day
- American women text 14% more than men
- 79% of companies believe customers want SMS/text support (ICMI)
- Over 80% of people use text messaging for business, and 15% said that more than half their messages are for business purposes (eWeek)
- 72% of business professionals prefer texting to messaging apps (eWeek)
Marketing through messaging originated under the umbrella of social media, but has morphed into an entirely different platform. The Wall Street Journal calls this new form of brand and consumer communication “chatvertising.” While social media drives branded content to a consumer, in messaging applications the content is mainly conversational - it involves shorter messages, specifically aligned with your brand story, delivered one at a time.
Because conversations are more personalized, it's critically important that you align the dialogue with your audience. Here are a few tips to get started with your mobile messaging marketing strategy.
1. Pick your Poison
To address this emerging, and massive, discipline, you first have to examine how “chatvertising” fits into your brand’s marketing strategy.
- How will mobile messaging improve your customer’s experience with your brand?
- How will it get you closer to your brand destination?
Once you've identified how mobile messaging fits into your marketing strategy, you then have to identify where your audience wants to chat. Is the ideal channel text message, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or WeChat? You have to be in the right place in order to deliver the right message at the right time.
2. Make Messaging a Habit
Did you know the average adult now spends some 23 hours a week texting, while individual text messages are read on average in under five seconds?
“Mobile Messaging is rapidly becoming the primary way users engage socially on mobile.” – Keith Teare
Adopting mobile messaging as a marketing strategy is a significant commitment - in order to be successful, mobile messaging needs to be made a habit within your organization.
Remember how your organization had to adapt to engaging on Twitter and Facebook? You need to build up your messaging muscles, and keep them in shape with regular use.
3. Measure your Mobile Messaging
As technology advances, marketers are finding better, more reliable tracking capabilities for their messaging efforts. Compared to digital marketing and social media, mobile messaging has much higher engagement and return on marketing investment.
Snapchat, for example, has made large strides in its ad measurement tools. Heavily criticized for poor tracking capabilities in the past, the platform currently tracks brand awareness, purchase intent, conversions, and app install performance data. The company is also testing audience targeting capabilities for up to 60 groups, based on the content viewed in the publisher’s section.
For mobile messaging to be an effective customer engagement strategy, it has to be non-disruptive, and a part of the dialogue. And before adding another tool to your marketing toolbox, it's essential that you're able to tell a simple brand story, and clearly align it with your brand strategy and systems.