Advanta Africa-Top 100 SMEs ICT Winner- On the Power of SMS in Business Communication

Lawrence K Muriuki, Advanta Africa CEO

The mobile medium offers unique moments of consumer engagement due to the close and personal relationships people have with their phones, moments that other platforms are unable to deliver.

The mobile channel is fast becoming an important component of business communications strategies worldwide. SMS or text messaging is an effective tool for business communications because of its simplicity, ease of use and reach. SMS is available on virtually all mobile phones and over all mobile networks, making it the world’s most pervasive communications technology.

Mr. Lawrence Muriuki, Managing Director at Advanta Africa Limited explains why the text message has stood the test of time and continues to play an important role in business communication, despite recent debates suggesting that SMS is dead in the face of instant messaging applications.

Though consumers are ditching texting for over-the-top (OTT) mobile applications like Viber, Snapchat and WhatsApp, small businesses and large enterprises are turning to application -to-person (A2P) SMS messaging as a powerful tool to connect with their customers.

A2P messaging describes the service used to send an SMS from an application to a mobile phone. A well-known example of A2P messaging is when your bank sends an SMS message to notify you of any transactions occurring on your account as they happen.

According to Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), SMS messages are set to increase from KSh 33.3 Billion in 2014/2015 to 46 Billion by 2018/2019. Recent research also suggests that SMS will remain for at KShs 4 billion plus business for Telecommunications Companies for at least the next three years considering the continued growth in A2P messaging.

Admittedly, it is hard to separate man from mobile phones. Studies indicate that mobile has evolved to be the 7th mass media channel with more cell phones in the world than all TVs and PCs combined.

The executive acknowledges that businesses worldwide are actively pursuing text messaging to enhance engagement and loyalty. With a properly executed SMS program, enterprises can engage their audiences in a non-intrusive way. SMS are used in business to build brand awareness, build purchase intent, promote timely offers, build customer loyalty, and improve customer service and decrease call center volume and costs.

The mobile medium offers unique moments of consumer engagement due to the close and personal relationships people have with their phones, moments that other platforms are unable to deliver.

“I don’t think there is a more personal way to contact someone than on their mobile phone. Consider that when people give you their number, that is an indication that they trust you. So any communication via SMS is more private and it has better chances of getting opened and read,” observes Mr. Muriuki.

SMS marketing allows you to send bulk messages with the click of a single button. The text is sent and received almost instantaneously and unlike other types of communication, text messages tend to be opened pretty much straight away. You can spot the benefit here, since whatever you send will be read within few minutes.

SMS marketing is not only easy to set-up and use but also relatively cheap. Small business owners with limited resources can benefit particularly because it is so affordable. Considering the high delivery and open rate, SMS marketing is a great opportunity for small business on a budget to up their marketing game

The team at Advanta Africa SMS remains confident that A2P messaging solutions will continue to become integrated into communication solutions across the globe, improving and aiding customer service and interception, client satisfaction, marketing campaigns and business processes. In this regard Advanta Africa Limited will strive to always offer innovative products in the field of SMS marketing and their large clientele is a testament to their commitment to unmatched customer focused products.

About Advanta Africa

Advanta Africa is a leader of multi-channel solutions provider of value added services and interactive mobile communication services. Formed in 2008, it is licensed by Communication Authority of Kenya and has grown from strength to strength building a dynamic network coverage in East Africa and beyond.

With direct connectivity with leading mobile phone and network operators in the region, the firm enables businesses to communication with their audiences through a raft of its innovative solutions. This has seen it emerged victorious in the Top-100 Mid-sized companies survey run by the Business Daily and KPMG. The firmed was named the winner in ICT category 2016.