Mitto: SMS is still the top digital communication channel for US marketers

Omnichannel messaging provider, Mitto, has revealed the results of its State of Customer Engagement in B2C Marketing report which takes a look at how B2C enterprise marketers in the US are using and plan to use digital communication in their customer engagement efforts.

According to the study, nearly all marketers (90%) are taking ownership of the customer experience (CX) moving forward. This is coupled with an uptick in digital communication usage to drive customer engagement, which two-thirds expect to deliver CX success.

Demand for contactless experiences drive digital communications

Consumer behavior towards brands has evolved during the pandemic; over half of enterprise B2C marketers in the US reflected that consumers have increased demand for a contactless experience at every touchpoint.

The study shows a strong appetite and high expectations from enterprise B2C marketing professionals for digital communication to improve customer outcomes. 97% are using or plan to use digital communications to support their customer engagement efforts and objectives, which include:

  • Establishing more meaningful connections with customers (49%)
  • Improving accessibility/ease-of-use (46%)
  • Delivering or optimizing a contactless experience (42%)
  • Improving omnichannel communications (42%)
SMS still a powerhouse

Marketers whose companies were intentional about prioritizing CX and viewed digital communications as an opportunity – not an obstacle – to improving customer engagement already fared better during the pandemic. Enterprise B2C companies that heavily leveraged SMS, chat apps, live chat and chatbots were more likely to report revenue growth in the last fiscal year than those companies that did not adopt these technologies.

In particular, SMS has emerged as a digital communication powerhouse. Among marketers using SMS, almost 80% report it performs much better than any other channel, particularly for advertising and brand awareness. 77% of marketers who use SMS to send promotions or offers report revenue growth in the last fiscal year, compared to only 23% of marketers who do not use SMS. Marketers cited SMS’ primary benefits as real-time delivery, high open rates, and global reach/ubiquity of mobile devices.

The study also found that the biggest barrier to digital communication implementation and usage is deliverability, also described as “getting messages through” (37%). Part of this challenge lies in the antiquated tools or technology over a quarter (28%) of marketers report having. Better understanding of the technology a trusted partner could provide, such as an SMS enabler to reliably connect with global customers, would put more marketers on the fast track to using digital communications to improve CX.

Just as consumers look for the latest products and services, CX should evolve and map to behavioral changes. It’s encouraging to see that there’s a growing appetite among enterprise B2C marketers to experiment with more digital customer engagement solutions like SMS and chat apps, because this adoption could be the difference between their companies growing this year or falling behind.

Andrea Giacomini, CEO, Mitto