ICT FOR AGRIBUSINESS; INCREASE SALES BY 50% WITH TEXT MESSAGE MARKETING
BY Godwin Uwana
Have you considered text message marketing?
Do you know that 90percent of all text messages are read within minutes of their delivery? So, says Jamie Tolentino, Contributor at the next web. He’s not alone, CEO of Trumpia, Ken Richies, also says that SMS marketing is a proven channel that allows marketers to effectively reach their customers.
What is SMS?
SMS means short message service, commonly called text message. It is a protocol used to send short messages over mobile networks. It was the first message platform before the rise of smart phones. Now, we have emails and instant messages like WhatsApp, Facebook messages and much more that can be done via the mobile phone. However, SMS remain a major way of reaching customers.
According to the daily post, the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, says there are about 140million subscribers in the country as at December, 2017. As Guardian Newspaper puts it, this appears to be an upward swing, as the number of subscribers grew astronomically in 2017 resulting in 84percent penetration. And therefore, is expected to increase with time.
What SMS marketing can do for you?
If you’re not yet using text message marketing, you are losing customers. You need to tap into this great resource. This commonly overlooked Information Communication Technology, SMS, can transform your sales by 50%. SMS marketing is simple and fast to implement. It involves reaching out to target customers through SMS. This can be used to both acquire and build customer base. Research shows that people respond more to SMS than emails and other social media. Text messages is sure to reach its target. There is no spamming with SMS since you will get the numbers from your customers directly. Again, remember that 90percent of text messages are opened within minutes. This takes you beyond the good old marketing; giving you an edge in your business.
It is sad to see farmers and agribusiness men and women just sit and wait for customers. This is no more productive; you must become active and engage your customers. Customers are difficult to get, hence don’t let your customers slip off your hands after a transaction. This is the business part of it! It’s no more business as usual in agriculture like before. In this 21st century, if you are not active and engaging, you will be left behind. Being passive and waiting your customers to pass by and notice your goods and fancy banner or board is far past season. Go beyond the ordinary to get the extra ordinary.
The more information you have of your customers, the more equipped you are in meeting their needs. You need to understand that customers buy on purpose. Nobody buys fish or tomatoes to decorate their kitchen. It therefore requires that you engage customers so that when next they have a need that you can provide, they’ll think of you. So whether you operate a farm or are into production, processing or sales of any agriculture product, this will work for you.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT SMS MARKETING
Get to know your customers
This is known in the banking industry as ‘Know Your Customers” (KYC). You can’t open a bank account without this process. In the same manner don’t transact business with your customers without knowing them.
To know someone, is to have more details than the surface. Some people find this awkward, however, it shouldn’t be. On a personal level, I have found it easy to get people’s phone number when I tell them I will like to give them more information. Many businesses that do this, find it very easy because the customers trust a business entity than individual. And the conversation is considered a business transaction.
As a business man or woman, you should ask for the details of your customers with confidence because it’s business to do so!
Collect necessary details from customers
You should collect as much information as possible. (Please don’t give them a jamb form to fill). Get information such as the following:
When you do this properly, you will have insight into your customers. This will allow you differentiate your customers by their needs thereby enabling you to deliver targeted information and sales to them.
Actions to take after a transaction
After a customer has left your farm/stall, reach them within a couple of minutes. Then add their phone number to your database. With this you can send them messages at your scheduled time. The following are things to include in your text message to your customers (it is not exhaustive):
Always include your contact address, and phone number always. This will enable them reach you when they have enquires or want to order.
With the above, you are doing business as it should be; not agriculture without marketing.
Adeyemi, A. (2018, March 16). Nigeria’s Mobile Phone Penetration hits 84 per cent. Guardian’s Newspaper. Retrieved from https://guardian.ng/business-services/nigerias-mobile-phone-penetration-hits-84-per-cent/
Alexa Lemzy (2016, October 5th). 7 Tips to Improve Your SMS Response Rates (Blogpost). Retrieved from https://www.textmagic.com/blog/7-tips-to-improve-your-sms-response-rates/
Amos Tauna (2018, march 2nd ). 140 million Nigerians use mobile phones – NCC. Daily Post Newspaper. Retrieved from http://dailypost.ng/2018/03/02/140-million-nigerians-use-mobile-phones-ncc/
Tolentino, J (2018, February 16). Why are people still using SMS in 2015? (blog post). Retrieved from https://thenextweb.com/future-of-communications/2015/02/16/people-still-using-sms-2015/#gref