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Email vs. mobile marketing: Finding the right medium for your brand's message

As any good marketing strategist will tell you, when it comes to planning and executing a digital campaign - a holistic approach is one of the best ways to go about making sure your brand gets optimal exposure. This means employing all the digital channels that suit your company in a way that allows them to work together.
However, sometimes constraints, be it budget or time, compel companies to choose a particular facet of digital to focus most of their resources on. In this article we will consider two of the big players in the field of digital marketing in South Africa, namely mobile and email marketing. By considering your brand's goals and objectives and the message that you are trying to convey to your consumers, you will be able to distinguish which medium will suit your campaign.

Different kind of messages

One of the first things your brand will have to consider is what kind of marketing message you want to send to your subscribers. This will of course largely be influenced by your objectives and the 'feel' of your campaign as a whole. For instance, if your campaign is expansive and part of a brand awareness exercise, rather than say a once-off promotion - email marketing would be your best bet. Email's ability to utilise rich media, images and social media integration allows it to convey a powerful marketing message that 'stick' with your subscribers. Mobile on the other hand demands immediate, but fleeting attention and this works best for simpler campaigns and messages.

Different audience

Although most of the users who use mobile also use email, there is still a divide when it comes to these two mediums in terms of target audience. In South Africa mobile is ubiquitous with more than 76% of the population using them on a daily basis. This means that mobile marketing in Africa, particularly SMS, has become a way for marketers to connect to the lower LSM groups. Email on the other hand traditionally suited brands that wanted to connect to higher LSM groups. However, due to the rapid changes in technology this allotment is starting to blur. As more and more South Africans gain access to smart phones and the internet - email is becoming even more widespread.

Well-timed messages

Timing is always key when it comes to planning a direct marketing campaign, but if your brand is deciding whether to go with email or mobile - this aspect becomes even more important. As a rule, mobile marketing, especially SMS is best when you want an instant response from your subscribers, whereas email should be your pick when your messages have a longer life-span. The majority of consumers use their mobile phones while out and about, which means if your brand can contact them with a short message that could influence their immediate shopping behaviour - SMS or mobile marketing is the way to go. If the message is more complex and less time-sensitive an engaging email marketing campaign will pack more punch.

Mobile and email complement each other

Mobile and email marketing share a lot of common ground -both mediums are forms of direct marketing where brands can connect on a very personal level to subscribers who want to receive messages from them. However, just because these marketing mediums share similarities, it does not mean that they cannot work in conjunction with each other. Planning a digital campaign means looking at all the available options and selecting which of them can work together best. When aiming to make mobile and email marketing work as a team -email can be used as the basis from which your campaign departs, while mobile can supplement with shorter more concise messages.

10 Jul 2012 09:18

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