Twitter is not database or direct digital marketing
Twitter is not database marketing, and please do not let anyone argue that it is. As noted above, Twitter followers do not represent a marketing database in any viable way, not like the proprietary opt-in database of profiles built with savvy SMS marketing. Additionally, Twitter does not support the scalable application of message relevance and personalization for direct digital marketing on a mass scale.
Twitter followers are fans, and perhaps even loyalists, but they are not individually addressable in a scalable way. Marketers are unable to gather additional data points such as a location, product preference, or purchase history and then layer these attributes to create more comprehensive follower profiles. Marketers cannot segment and target tweets based on these attributes, as is possible with SMS marketing. Marketers cannot personalize tweets in any scalable way.
Marketers cannot insert dynamic text in a tweet, or have the user click through to a personalized mobile web page with a targeted offer, or generate a unique barcode for in-store redemption, or track an individual user's preferences, activity, and behavior. These capabilities are the domain of intelligent database and direct digital marketing and can only be achieved with opt-in SMS programs.
Twitter is a 5/8" socket wrench
Twitter is a single, specialized tool. While it can accomplish some excellent tasks when used well, it falls short as a comprehensive online communications tool at critical mass. In comparison, well-designed opt-in SMS marketing programs provide not just offers or notifications of sales events, but also can automate valuable services, such as providing information on store locations and driving directions, execute delivery and shipping status alerts, provide reminders on bank balances, send alerts when out-of-stock items are now in-stock, or help online shoppers get in-store help with a purchase decision. All of these services -- and more -- are provided through a comprehensive SMS marketing approach that delivers extraordinary value and brand experiences for customers.
So what is that 5/8" socket wrench -- Twitter -- good for? Twitter delivers very real marketing value in these ways:
- Establishes brand key terms and positioning points with hash tags, tapping into the power of trending topics and searches
- Builds a network of advocates who help distribute a message across their social network through one-click retweets
- Develops and hones a brand personality through the highly social, dialog-based nature of the application
- Exceeds expectations with customers by managing fantastic customer support programs that could never be replicated through SMS alone.
Twitter is a microblogging service that delivers real marketing value to organizations, if they are willing to invest education and resources to the management of interactive relationships with their customers. Twitter is a marketing phenomenon unto itself and does not need -- or deserve -- to be muddled in with the definitions of mobile or direct digital marketing. Twitter will be a strong and valuable complement to work in the digital channels, not a replacement.
Bryce Marshall is the director of strategic services for Knotice.
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