I am asked this question every other day of the week… “Is the smartphone app the new way to communicate with a customer and will it replace SMS and other communication channels?” My answer is “No” and here is why.
Over use it…you lose it!
The smartphone app and push messaging in theory is fantastic…communicate with your customers anytime, anywhere and use location settings to deliver location specific content. The issue is that push messaging runs the risk of becoming the next “email SPAM”…hundreds of apps means the potential for hundreds of messages! Every application that you download will have the potential to send you a popup message…how long before the customer switches this off and you no longer communicate with them? What will that do to your brand and communication strategy? And once switched off, it is very unlikely they will switch it back on.
Critical messaging looks at communication that is time specific for your clients, with accuracy and delivery of content of critical importance. Push messaging will have little impact in this market as the customer has the power to “turn off” the application. How does the business send payment reminders, confirmations and other communication content once this channel has been deactivated? A business has to use the push message avenue for specific, value added content and not just a SPAM channel for every deal under the sun.
Strategy is key
The key is strategy and separation of what you communicate to your customers and when. When push messaging is used for marketing and location based information, a business must ensure that they do not abuse it like email has been by some organisations. It will be the next medium on the radar for any Marketing Association to draw up guidelines…or if you are like me, you just switch them off!
If you have a mobile app and haven’t thought strategically about push and SMS notifications, it’s time to start the conversation.