While mobile marketing benefits print in many ways, this channel remains a foreign world to most print providers. This is ironic considering how dependent upon text we are as consumers. How can its importance get missed once we open the doors for business? It’s time for that to change.

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What’s the current status of text marketing in the printing industry? It’s hard to say. While a growing number of printers list SMS as part of their service offerings, when you contact those printers, precious few are actually doing that kind of work.

Likewise, when we look at PODi’s database of case studies, none of the 2014 case studies uses text messaging. Considering these studies’ level of sophistication in other marketing channels, this absence is conspicuous. Especially considering that marketing automation solutions like XMPie incorporate mobile marketing as part of the platform.

Even if most printers don’t adopt the full scope of mobile marketing services (which includes things like mobile web banners on apps), SMS marketing is something they need to wrap their minds around.

  • According to Target Marketing’s 2015 Media Usage Survey, 45% of marketers are increasing mobile spending this year, and 43% are using mobile for customer acquisition.
  • While much of this is going for mobile optimization of websites, it includes all forms of mobile marketing, including SMS marketing.
  • According to Transparency Market Research, SMS marketing accounts for over 90% of the total mobile marketing revenue.

Print as a driver of mobile marketing

While the print industry may not instinctively think of mobile as directly relevant to their businesses, it is. Where are the invitations to respond by text given? Generally in print, online, or in-store.

Posters, point-of-purchase, table tents, packaging, window displays, and other forms of print (as well as online) communications are used to invite customers and prospects to engage. Respond to the in-store display to have flash sales texted to your phone. Respond to the counter display to receive a text when your order is ready for pick-up. While 61% of respondents to the Target Marketing survey are not doing SMS marketing, 39% of them are.

Because text marketing is a digital channel, it is offered as just another response channel in today’s marketing automation solutions. Texts can be queued up much like email. Say it’s a quiet Friday and a client wants to bump up sales. “We have special prices from 4PM – midnight! Shop now while they’re hot!” You can send out a broadcast text to all customers and prospects for which your customer has mobile numbers. You define which customers they want to hit, then select the date and time they want to send. Or you can use a short code and track it within your marketing automation software.

Text is part of our business and consumer culture, and printers who don’t understand its importance as part of the marketing mix risk losing customers who do. This is simply a channel that any shop marketing itself as a marketing services provider should be offering—at least in its basic form.