Targeting the multimillion rand direct marketing industry ConCom has brought a new generation of technology to cellular telephony by offering studio generated voice SMSs that can be transmitted simultaneously to an infinite number of mobile hand sets anywhere in the country.
"At a mouse click a company can send an audio SMS announcing a new product or service to an entire database of cell numbers anywhere in the country at the low SMS rates offered by cell operators," says Roger Robért, MD at ConCom.
When cell phone users are alerted that they have received an SMS they dial their message centre and instead of reading their message, it is automatically broadcast – with music clips or other sound effects - in a clear professionally recorded voice.
ConCom has teamed up with Orion Telecom one of three independent cellular service providers to provide the audio messaging service (AMS) infrastructure. Its national marketing manager Charles Roberts says Orion is providing three key elements – reducing the cost of AMS drops, providing the bulk capacity and automating the process.
A second agreement is in place with Works Group, a Durban-based marketing solutions company. It has already introduced AMS as a pilot site at a large blue chip company, which is using the initiative for the launch of its loyalty program.
Its director Stephen Light says AMS is an ideal vehicle for loyalty programmes, direct marketing, team building and personalised birthday greetings or similar congratulatory messages.
"The fact that audio messages can be sent simultaneously to any number of cell phones anywhere in the country at low cost is a very appealing marketing concept. The feedback we have had from the pilot site has been extremely successful."
Robért says the AMS concept is an extension of the company's core business of on-hold messaging. It entered the SA market with IMS (Intelligent Messaging System) software from Australia offering numerous functions and facilities not found on the traditional hardware-based equivalents.
Following the on-hold messaging service ConCom has also developed a system that allows the voice mails of corporate employees to be enabled with professional voice over messages including company branding and jingles. Current users include SA Breweries, Nedbank, Mica, MG Rover, National car rental and many more. Examples can be heard on www.concom.co.za.
"Since entering the SA market we have expanded our AMS and mailbox delivery operations to the UK where we are currently in negotiations with O2 (formerly BT Cellnet), Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the US, and Norway.
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