Earlier this week, Tripolis connected with MessageBird Marketing Director, Michael Bevan, to learn more about omnichannel strategies for marketing professionals.
Can you tell us about what MessageBird does?
MessageBird is a cloud communications platform—also known as a Communications Platform as a Service or CPaaS—that enables businesses to communicate with their customers via WhatsApp, SMS, Voice calling, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and other popular communication channels. As a cloud communications platform we make it easy for businesses to apply an omnichannel approach to their customer communication experience. With this approach, we help you to communicate with customers as if you’re talking to a friend.
Let’s talk about omnichannel communication. Businesses like Amazon are paving the way for modern, convenient customer experiences, and it seems like customer communication plays a big role in that. How does omnichannel factor into that and how does it apply to marketing professionals?
We’re well past the age where people were limited to static communications devices (pay phones, fax machines, etc), and into a time where customers are mobile and expect information and even services to be on demand. Customers aren’t as inclined to pause their day to wait on hold for a support agent or to tether themselves to desks while waiting for an email response. In order for businesses to fit into customers’ busy, digital lives, they need to communicate with them on the channels that they’re most likely to use. However, those channels can vary between customers, or even within a single buying cycle. An omnichannel approach provides customers with a seamlessly integrated experience.
Today, there are 2.5 billion smartphones in use*, which means that as a global communications channel, a mobile outreach strategy is critical to reaching your audience. And 92%* of people use their smartphone as their primary communications device! While businesses can try to tap into this market by spending hard-earned dollars on a custom app, increased app fatigue can make it challenging to cut through the noise.
Can you explain what you mean by ‘app fatigue’?
The mobile app marketplace is saturated, with over 2 million apps and counting available for the iPhone alone*. Smartphone users are less and less willing to download new apps, with only 35%* downloading new apps. Moreover, 85%* of consumer’s time is spent on just five apps alone.
This information shouldn’t deter marketing professionals from taking a mobile-centric approach. Instead, communications strategies should rethink mobile from the ground up, building interactions and transactions that take place entirely within their customers’ preferred messaging apps. WhatsApp alone hosts 1 billion monthly active users*. Messenger, WeChat, Viber, and more, all present an unprecedented opportunity for customer engagement.
Do you have any industry examples to illustrate this?
Retail is at the forefront of this shift to mobile-driven experiences. For e-commerce, smartphones accounted for 68% of visits and 46% of orders last holiday season*. At MessageBird, we’ve worked with a variety of global retailers, from Rituals to Hugo Boss to Suitsupply to personalize their customer experiences. There are so many different ways to action an omnichannel strategy. If you’re sending anything from delivery updates to special offers based on customer preferences, from location-specific promotions to feedback surveys, it’s really easy to implement an approach that suits your specific business needs.
As a marketer I’m sure you can relate to technical resources being scarce—are there ways to build omnichannel experiences without depending on a developer?
At this point, these solutions are actually more accessible and painless to implement than ever. For technical and non-technical teams alike, MessageBird’s no-code Flow Builder tool enables retailers to build omnichannel communication flows that handle customer calls, power chatbots, manage subscriptions and opt-outs, and automate customer feedback requests in a matter of minutes.
Great, so are there any final takeaways for the readers?
At this point in time, customers have access to the world at their fingertips. And as a business operating in a loud and crowded world, prioritizing easy, two-way communications with your customer is a no brainer. With the technology at our fingertips and accessible to even non-techies, there really isn’t an excuse not to go the extra step.