SMS: Good Enough For Rock Stars, Good Enough For MarketersWord is that this week\’s winners of the Academy Award for Best Song – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, stars of the Irish indie film Once – didn\’t just get a golden statuette.

They also got a congratulatory SMS from none other than Irish rocker/social activist Bono of U2, not long after the duo\’s onstage victory.

\”A busker who plays the Oscars, that’s the poetry,” the text message reportedly said. Once is about a struggling Irish street musician who collaborates with a Czech pianist/singer too poor to buy her own piano.

\”For me it was just like getting a text off the King of the Tribe,\” was Glen\’s reported reaction.

I won\’t stroke any egos by saying that a message from a marketer would mean the same thing to a customer. However, Bono\’s SMS exemplifies how messaging technology can be used to better craft business relations. (After all, Bono and Glen could be considered equals in the industry now that the latter\’s gotten an Oscar. Heck, critics and fans already thought so beforehand.)

It all comes down to personalization and timeliness, which can only be done with a proper database and the technology to leverage it, as well as the sense of immediacy that SMS offers.

A well-maintained database should include not just a person\’s contact information, but demographic and psychographic details – let\’s say birthday, location, and preference of movies. A marketer can then decide to offer a \”birthday special\” to customers. With the right platform, the marketer can coordinate the automatic sending of a message to a customer on the day before (or a week) before his or her birthday.

That message can be made personal with the insertion of tokens such as \”first name\” or \”courtesy title\” (Mr., Ms., Miss, Mrs.). The message can offer a discount or special based on the customer\’s interest. For example, \”Happy Birthday! We want to help you celebrate. Enjoy a free movie rental on us!\”

Such a message should also be tailored according to where the customer lives, such as \”Offer good only at our 123 Sesame Street location,\” if that store is the closest to the customer\’s residence.

Sure, congratulating someone on his or her birthday may not seem as big a deal as a superstar telling someone \”well done\” for winning one of the biggest awards in one\’s industry. But the customer will be grateful – almost as much as the Irish and Czech musicians who highlighted this year\’s Oscars show.

Eydie Cubarrubia
Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
\”I\’d rather you text me\”