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Creative Marketing

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Gone are those days when television adverts, and billboards were the best forms of marketing. Only the most profitable and well-established companies could afford these. Therefore, this made it hard for other smaller companies to survive or become popular. However, times have greatly changed and businesses have switched to contemporary methods of marketing that are more effective and profitable. This article discusses the top 3 creative marketing methods for companies.

Text Message

SMS marketing, also known as mass text service, is the most effective form of marketing. It is a channel that is direct, intimate and reliable. Companies sign up with online SMS platforms such as ExpressText which enables them to send out text messages to a large number of users.

Usage: Text messages can be sent for various reasons: to create awareness about the brand, to announce a sale, event invites, weekly offers, updates about different categories such as; pricing, new products, product developments etc. and other similar purposes. An example of this is McDonald’s which sends out text messages about new products such as the new Snickers McFlurry or to convey the ongoing deals such as share boxes.

How it works: Text message marketing is a permission-based method of marketing. It uses a shortcode and keyword to invite consumers to opt into the campaign. A shortcode is a 4-5 digit number through which the texts are sent. A keyword is a word written in the body of the text. Interested customers are required to type in the keyword and send it to the shortcode. This enables them to receive promotional text messages from the business. Platforms like ExpressText also allow an easy opt-out process. If consumers are not satisfied with the SMS campaign or do not wish to receive further messages, they can send another keyword such as ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ to the same shortcode. In most countries, including the US, it is a legal obligation for businesses to allow consumers to opt in and out of the service. If they fail to do so, they may face legal actions.

Pricing: One of the reasons behind the popularity of SMS is that it is very affordable. Even the smallest of businesses can afford it and still gain a high Return on Investment (ROI). But what is the actual cost of SMS marketing? At ExpressText, there are different packages depending on the size of the business, but whichever package you choose, the maximum amount that a single text can cost is $0.048!

Features: Technology allows for many value-added features, with contemporary methods of marketing. The most commonly used include hyperlinks, which are links inserted into a message for those readers who are interested in having more details regarding the text. Other features include 2 way messaging which allow readers to send feedbacks, queries or complaints. More companies are setting up 24-hours customer care support via SMS because it is fast, convenient and flexible. ExpressText also allows businesses to monitor their activity. They can track the response rate of their SMS campaigns i.e. delivery rates, open and read rates, clicks on hyperlinks, failed messages etc. These are shown in the form of graphs and lists. It is important to check the response rate frequently so that companies can asses the effectiveness of their SMS campaigns. If it is not performing well, a company can take measures to improve it such as changing their target audience, changing the content and length of the messages, sending different offers etc.

Social Media

Social media is another creative marketing method. It has taken the world by storm within the last decade. The most popular social media applications include; Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Each has different features that allow companies to market or even sell their products to consumers. Social media has brought about three different types of marketing methods: business to consumer marketingbusiness to business marketing and consumer to consumer marketing. It has become a platform that has connected buyers and sellers. It has also helped to create a consumer generated market because customers are now more involved and influential in the buying process. Suppose a customer orders a product online and doesn’t like it. He/she can write a bad review which would tamper with the reputation of the business. Thus, companies need to go the extra mile to ensure customer’s satisfaction.  

Each social media application has different features. Let’s take a look at Facebook. It is perhaps the best and most popularly used social media application. Businesses can set up an official Facebook page which consumers can visit to find information about the brand and its products. They can view contact information, location, reviews, updates, pictures and videos. Customers can also post a review about the brand or rate it, which other consumers can view. Facebook also allows for advertisements, as of 2017 Businesses can run advertisements between videos which is much cheaper than TV advertisements. They can also boost promotional posts to their target audience in order to reach a larger audience. Some companies also sell products directly through their Facebook page. Consumers can make online payments and interact with the buyer/company directly through Facebook’s Messenger application. Another popular social media application is Instagram; it is quite similar to Facebook. Companies can create a profile on the application through which they can sell products and services. They can also post photos and videos to remain relevant,  updated, and to also interact with their consumers and potential customers. These can also be used as a platform to sell products. Such methods are usually used  by entrepreneurs e.g. online bakeries by young adults with little start-up capital. Bloggers also have profiles on social media apps on which they review products and services for other consumers. Most times, blogs are turned into a business. The perfect example of this is Huda Beauty, created by the beauty blogger and makeup artist Huda Kattan.  

The newest and trendiest social media app is Snapchat. Snapchat is used to post live updates about events and other social activities. Anything posted on Snapchat remains online only for 24 hours. That is perhaps the hype of this application. It can be used to attract consumers towards an event that lasts a number of days. Coachella is an example of this. It is an annual music festival that lasts for about 3 days. The producers of the event post regular updates on Snapchat. Suppose a consumer who did not plan to visit the event watches the live updates on Coachella’s snapchat account, it looks fun and enjoyable thus, the consumer decides to attend it. Without social media, this hype would not be created and the turnout of attendees would be lower.Therefore, social media can be really profitable for companies who want to attract the ‘teenage’ or millennial generation. 

Email 

Last but not the least, Email is another channel for creative marketing. Contrary to popular belief, Email has a high Return on Investment as well. In fact statistics shows that every pound spent on email creates an ROI of 39 pounds. It is not as popular as SMS, but incurs lower costs comparitively and it is also effective. 59% of B2B marketers say that Email is the most effective channel in terms of revenue generation. Email was perhaps one of the first types of contempoary marketing methods. Most consumers use Email for work purposes so it is best for formal businesses to use as a method of marketing. Emails are longer compared to SMS, so they can include more details about the purpose and context of the message. Technology has enabled businesses to send out scheduled, automated emails and also customise them to each sender’s name. Customised Emails help to retain customers because they make the recipient feel special and thus, remain loyal to the brand. Scheduled Emails can be used by businesses to send out birthday wishes, holiday greetings and other non-work related (but appropriate) Emails to their customers. This also helps to retain customers because it makes the recipient have the feeling that the business remembers them. Therefore, creating a connection between the buyer and the seller.

In conclusion, these are the best creative marketing methods that businesses can opt for in this present time and age. They create the highest ROI and are extremely effective despite the low costs. Even well-established businesses that are backed with many resources are opting for these methods of marketing because they target a more specific audience and reach people more quickly. The gap between businesses and customers has greatly reduced with the help of these platforms.

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