After completing a SurveyMonkey survey today for work, it dawned on me that you could take that basic tool, leverage a SMS gateway application and have a very cool marketing tool. Here are a few general areas I believe SMS surveys could be used:
1.) Product/Service Development – Identify key customers that are put on a team that participates in providing feedback on alpha or beta releases of your product or service.
2.) Trend (Pulse) Analysis (consumer markets, employee morale) – Find out up to the minute insight on how a message is being received in a demographic of people or bounce ideas off of a target group to see what their response is (e.g., “Should we provide a subscription service to iTunes for music?”, “Do you want to know where your friends are on a map from your mobile phone?”
3.) Customer Feedback (amusement parks, restaurants,) – On your exit sign, receipt or other take-away collateral, provide a short message code to have your customers participate in an exit survey. You could find out: how the service was, were the bathrooms clean, will they come back, did they have fun, and what else would they want. You could even follow this up with an electronic coupon.
After thinking this through, I figured there must be some vendors out there that provide this platform. And of course, after some short google searching, I found the following:
– Apollo Mobile
However, my searches seemed challenging and the messaging of these companies seemed to target technology people or application developers rather than marketers. I think the one that understands better how their product could be used and who their likely customers could be will find huge success in the coming years. The other trick will be to provide an easily accessible hosted solution for small to medium size companies that want to leverage this type of mobile marketing service.