Interview with Steve French, Global VP Product Management and Marketing at OpenMarket

Could you tell me a little about your background and how you came to be the Global VP Product Management and Marketing at OpenMarket? I had known about OpenMarket as a mobile company in Seattle. That means figuring out how to send the right message at the right time using the right channel for the consumer. Using our cloud-based mobile messaging solutions, companies can send text messages to their customers throughout the entire lifecycle. What are the key metrics to measure customer engagement for the SMS marketing space? Global reach – every mobile handset can support SMS. Choosing the right customer engagement tool can be challenging for marketers, and there generally is not a ‘one-size fits all’ solution IM, by definition, is instant and brief and will likely be immediately read. It might be a good solution for communicating within an organization, but it’s not the best engagement tool for customers. It’s best to align with the solutions that will help your business over the long term MarTech companies that include communication channels are potentially good prospects for using SMS. As a global marketing team, we use several tools and technologies to help us do our jobs.

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Click here to save in your favourite.Interview with Steve French, Global VP Product Management and Marketing at OpenMarket

1. Could you tell me a little about your background and how you came to be the Global VP Product Management and Marketing at OpenMarket?

After serving eight years in the Navy and going to graduate school for my MBA, I started working at Nortel Networks as a technical product manager in charge of their core routers, optical switches and networking software product sets. That was my first taste of real-world, tech marketing experience – and I was hooked.

I then moved to Tellium and Global Crossing where I broadened my marketing role with global responsibilities for product launches, sales support and training, and marketing communications. I spent time at Tekelec and then at NewBay Software as their VP of Global Marketing, where I managed a team of product marketing managers and marketers across several regions.

I had known about OpenMarket as a mobile company in Seattle. Working at OpenMarket appealed to me because it was in a hot mobile engagement market. The company was transitioning to focus on the enterprise space, and I would be able to use my global marketing knowledge to make an impact right away. I’ve been with the company almost four years and it’s truly been a great experience.

2. What is the core marketing technology capability of OpenMarket that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?

For marketers, our philosophy is that you must have a mobile messaging component to your customer communications strategy. That means figuring out how to send the right message at the right time using the right channel for the consumer.

Most consumers today, including millennials, actually prefer to interact with businesses – especially for real-time time notifications – via text message (or SMS) instead of email, voice or social media

That’s where OpenMarket comes in. Using our cloud-based mobile messaging solutions, companies can send text messages to their customers throughout the entire lifecycle. For example, within sales & marketing, businesses can create awareness, deliver coupons and offers and help drive sales. They can be proactive with new customers and send them a welcome message or order confirmation – followed by order updates, delivery notifications and appointment reminders. Next is customer management, where SMS can really help create loyalty with up-sell or cross-sell messaging, the ability to re-order, security protection and fraud alerts, and support requests. Lastly, text messaging can be used for advocacy by sending customer surveys, Net Promoter Score rankings or asking for reviews and referrals.

3. What are the key metrics to measure customer engagement for the SMS marketing space? To what extent would you say, this kind of mobile marketing fits into the omnichannel customer experience that brands hope to offer the mobile-first generation?

If you look at all the different marketing channels, SMS has proved to be one of the most valuable tools to marketers. Read and engagement rates are much higher than email (SMS has a click-through rate of nearly 20%, whereas email is 4.2%) and, since it has at low price associated with it, SMS provides marketers with a cost-effective solution. In terms of customer engagement metrics, there are a few key ones to consider. Delivery rates will tell you how many SMS messages were successfully delivered. Open rates and opt-out rates measure how many messages were opened by the consumer or opted out of after receiving an SMS campaign. If you include a call-to-action in your message, you can track click-through rates and ultimately conversions like purchases, sign-ups or even page views.

In our experience, there’s always some point in the customer journey when using SMS is best, especially when it comes to millennials who actually prefer to communicate via text versus other channels. In general, you want to be using SMS under the following conditions:

  • Time sensitive – when you really want the message to reach the recipient and be read almost immediately. This is different than email, however, where you know when it has been sent, but you can’t be sure when it will be read. Over 90% of SMS is read within 3 minutes, so this means the message is being opened and read promptly – something you can’t be sure about with other communication channels.
  • Higher response rate – SMS is possibly the best way of guaranteeing a quick response; and by using call back technology, you can make this experience seamless for the consumer.
  • Global reach – every mobile handset can support SMS. In addition, SMS almost always works when you are roaming. The same cannot be said if you are relying on data roaming to be activated, which given the cost, not everyone willingly does. With omni-channel communication on the rise, businesses should examine how their organization engages with its key constituents. Many…

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