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Half an hour with Charles Stretch

posted February 9, 2018
smsmarketing-1 Half an hour with Charles Stretch

One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is the prevalence of clutter in the market, says Charles Stretch, MD of SMSPortal.

Reaching the right target market at the right time is never easy, but with so much information out there clamouring for attention, marketers should aim to provide their customers with valuable material that enriches their consumer experience.

Stretch places major emphasis on the customer experience, saying that because of the pace of modern life and the fact that people simply do not have time to waste, providing a service that helps consumers to get their jobs done, and done in an enjoyable manner, makes a good product.

With the post office facing its own challenges, consumers are looking to alternative means of communication and are sending documents, vouchers and statement letters via SMS. As a result, there has been a steady increase in the use of SMS as a marketing tool, and a corresponding increase in the security verification of SMS. The forecasts for A2P (application to person) are looking positive. Stretch maintains that the innovative ways in which SMS can be used in the business environment are endless.

“The key is knowing that consumers want to receive information about their brands, and by saying that I mean brands they need, want or love,” he says.

The majority of consumers want to hear from their most valued brands and marketing to them reaps positive results. Where marketers fall short, however, is in trying to communicate with the wrong market – with consumers who don’t want to hear from them. Not only is this unsolicited sending illegal, it tends to have the opposite effect of a very negative user experience.

There is a wealth of opportunity in the SMS space. By focusing on the development of software, companies such as SMSPortal can help marketers use SMS to communicate effectively with their consumers.

“The opportunities in this market lie in providing a good, user-friendly product. While sending an SMS is a simple process, producing a slick experience that makes the process enjoyable and user friendly is more challenging – which is why we have put so much time and effort into software development,” Stretch explains.

He uses the following analogy to describe the goal of any software house: “You should aim to build software that has a V8 engine, but is still easy and comfortable to drive, and gets consumers from A to B.”

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