Messaging is an essential channel management tactical tool, during the customer funnel engagement journey. Today, most agile business operations are embracing this new funnel to drive engagement, increase leads and stronger conversions rates.
According to research in 2017, over 3/4 of the worlds’ smartphone users will use a mobile messaging app to communicate with family, friends and businesses. Over 1/2 of US digital media users will message a brand, instead of email or even call, and 53% of people globally will likely to shop (this holiday season), with brands they message directly.
What We Know:
- People are sending more messages than ever before (a projected 20% increase in 2017).
- Forward thinking and Agile business operations, have responded with 20 million businesses integrating messaging in their funnel strategies.
- An estimated 2 billion messages are sent between people and business every month and constantly increasing.
Messenger Services today, gives Brand Managers everything you need to instantly communicate with their consumers, whether they’re on desktops or on-the-go using mobile devices. Currently, many global brands are gaining significant insights into their consumer psychographics, by engaging the consumers in their native environment, developing an authentic voice and build trustworthiness for the brand.
Some of the tactical functions of Messenger services includes: Initiating a discussions on various topics/issues, new product development, generate campaign idea, teaser programs or reverse-engineer WOM (Word-Of-Mouth) advertising for small brands (with modest marketing budgets).
Case Studies (CS)
CS #1: Stability Strategy – Here am I, wanna Play*…
I currently use various messenger services during my digital media and brand development training/tutorials, in #RealTime. The participants can send me questions (on the specific topic for the day) and their questions pops-up/displayed on the screen/projector during training/tutorials. This is then, integrated into in my training/tutorial for that group and generate FAO for future reference (Their take-Away Document).
Why I do that?
- Native Engagement: Participants are constantly on their phone – So I am allowing them to engage me in their native space
- Adapt or Die Mantra: I am lecturing on a disruptive technology, so why not integrate it into my presentations and usage in realtime.
- Increase Participation: It also, drives engagements with other student, who aren’t likely to engage in conversation during training sessions.
- Book-Shelf Learning Technique: Shared-vision and common goals are critical to the learning process, iterated evolution and enhancing their mental reference point “Learn While You Doing“.
Results: This integration of a messaging (Group, Real Time or Individualized format), stimulated numerous debates during training, during breaks and after training, with the motivation to learn more about the topics. #ProductInnovationStrategies
Note: *Not all questions are addressed during training.
CS #2: Renewal Strategy -Online, Offline, Take us on your journey
On July 2nd, I was invited to have coffee at my favorite spot, with a very old friend from high school. It turns out he joined a major television network, which also has an online subscription services. His main responsible was to drive and integrate digital media engagement for three (3) shows, all targeting the ethnic market. Of course, I mapped (on napkin because I had to visualize the flow) all the possible Channels and Funnel Engagement Tactical Tools available, including the emerging functionalities of direct messenger services to boost engagement and brand loyalty insight.
The main challenge was centered around the realtime execution (i.e. while the show was Onair) and engagement. So we decided to conduct A/B Testing (NOTE: Always test your digital campaigns/strategies in a small group ‘Do It Well, Do It Fast) for scaling potential, adaptation and full SEO/SEM integration. He also had a personal goal to be more involved in network show production process (personal brand relevance). So, we executed a retargeting strategies with messenger to gain insights into the audiences’ exceptions, generate new plots/ideas and refined character development for the programs/shows. This empowered him to access instant feedback, seek clarifications immediately and make relevant recommendations/contributions to the production team, becoming “The Voice of the Consumers” (Personal #BrandRelevance). While, refining the network’s native and authentic brand personality and supporting corporate objectives/ROIs. Today, he shared with me that, he is on the production team charged with developing a new made for #Netflix and #Amazon show, launching next summer. #ProductExpansionStrategies
CS #3: Growth Strategy – Delivering Naive Value
This engagement was one of the most challenging, but most rewarding in both ROIs and strategy development. The assignment was to work with a professional therapist to increase her ability to delivery add value services/products to her existing clients, and attract new clients. Given the fact that this type of service is sensitive and emotional driven, we had to incorporate how to – bridge the gap between clients and provider, maintain a high level of client confidentiality and privacy (#SafePlace). We also had to consider how to reduce/manage organizational exposure (#RiskMitigation Strategies), agree on escalation (crisis management) plan and implemented a “Me Too” Tactical Plan . We conducted a voluntary longitude test with 100 clients (past and existing), on Message Only Service vs. Traditional In Office Service.
The results: (After six months), ‘Message Only’ clients felt reassured, relaxed and calm, knowing they had access to their therapist on their mobile phone (via messages) in their native space (mostly millennials). Compared to the traditional “In-Office” clients, who sometimes struggled to agree on office appointment schedules, made excuses and missed 1/4 of their appointments without notice; which delayed their progress. Additionally, the CPC (Cost Per Client) engagement was 40% lower than her traditional In-Office services; presented her with more versatility, increased opportunities to be creative in her approach and drove several critical ‘break thru moments’ for message only clients in #RealTime. #MarketSegmentStrategies
NOTE: Different restrictions were applied to both groups; but not able to disclose the details.
Why Your End-Users Like Messenger
Messenger gives your brand a faster and convenient way to reach/respond to customers, whether it’s to answer customer service questions or provide product availability. In fact, this is one of the most under utilized digital engagement Funnel and almost all digital platforms has integrated this funnel into their service offering, so brands should start using them effectively.
So what attracts people to messaging platforms in the first place? We see three elements that are generally consistent across this channel, these are:
Immediate: Over the last five years, mobile has shifted from being a secondary device to the primary one that many people use to browse the internet, conduct business, and stay in contact with friends. With this shift, desktop and more traditional forms of communication — such as email and phone calls — are no longer the only immediate means of connecting with friends, family, and businesses.
Emotional: Messaging allows for the sharing of content beyond just text. Messaging apps offer several ways to communicate, like through pictures, video, sound, emojis, stickers, and more. The expressive nature of messaging apps can help businesses send important information like product photos or videos of how a product can be used.
Complete: Messaging apps have evolved to fit the behavior of your customers: features such as peer-to-peer payments, access to transportation, and more have emerged as messaging apps become critical to everyday life. Instead of using distinct apps for each of these behaviors, more people are moving to messaging apps to coordinate activities.
THE CUSTOMER MESSENGER FUNNEL ENGAGEMENT
Start small if you are not sure, and conduct A/B Testing with internal and external customer prior to rolling out implementing complete program on all channels.
FINALLY – GET STARTED:
- Determine which Messenger Services you will use and how.
- Update all your Marketing Collateral with that new channel of communication.
- Create Manual Replies.
- Have Welcome and Away Messages.
- Start with the basics and iterate.
- Determine scaling and escalation process for customer engagement and lead generation.
- Measure and Adjust.
Let me know how your corporate or personal brand is utilizing this tool and the ROIs you have attached to them….