Why personalized consumer-
brand relationships are the future
By Kristina Serafim
The nature of consumer-brand relationships is evolving, and personalization has become essential for brands’ messages to be heard. Community is an SMS (text messaging) platform that unlocks the marketing channel’s potential for businesses, entertainers and public figures to reach their audience with a more individualized experience and realize new levels of engagement.
Today’s consumers want to be able to interact with brands and to have that interaction feel authentic and personal. A recent study from SmarterHQ found that 72% of consumers say they only engage with marketing content that’s tailored to their specific interests. While social media has allowed brands and consumers to interact more than ever before, it is primarily used to convey one message to a mass audience. Similarly, SMS has been a successful marketing channel in the past but has declined as consumers increasingly turn away from one-way automated text blasts.
Community rethinks SMS to empower brands to deliver two-way communication that feels more genuine and relevant. At the same time, brands want smarter data and targeting to drive their marketing efforts and communicate with their audience according to their preferences. According to SmarterHQ, 63% of consumers will “stop buying from brands who use poor personalization tactics.” That means to retain customers and build brand loyalty, companies need an interactive messaging experience that is both individualized and scalable – a difficult combination that Community helps achieve.
The Community platform bolsters SMS marketing with a number of data-driven upgrades. Because consumers opt in to receive messages, they are a more receptive audience, which leads to greater engagement. In addition, that audience is more likely to be retained as the messages they receive are both hyper-localized (notifying them of events in their area, e.g., pre-sale concert tickets in their city) and hyper-targeted (pertaining to their interests and buying habits). One media company saw nine times more engagement with Community than on its social channels. On the backend, the platform also seamlessly integrates with CMS platforms and e-commerce options, providing real-time data and analytics on every message, delivering actionable insights and helping ensure relevant messages.
The platform has been utilized by major brands ranging from fast food chains to professional sports leagues, as well as public figures.
Verizon Ventures is a new investor for this round, joining return investors as a strategic investor. As a strategic investor, Verizon Ventures looks for investments that deliver bidirectional value. With Community, we continue to invest in technologies that are shaping the future for brands and individuals – in this case, communications, marketing and the consumer experience. This partnership will help empower brands to deliver a more personalized, satisfying customer journey.
Learn more about how Verizon Ventures is funding the 5G future.
About the Author(s):
Kristina is a Managing Director at Verizon Ventures. She joined Ventures from Verizon's Big Data and Artificial Intelligence product team. Prior to coming to Verizon she was a Director at Intellectual Ventures, where she led investments in machine learning, media, advertising, and gaming technologies.