Breaking the language barrier through multilingual SMS marketing

24th Jul 2018
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Consistent, unbeatable, and a widely chosen means of communication, SMS has proven to be an extremely effective and efficient marketing tool. Besides sending promotional and transactional messages, SMS has an innate ability to send messages in multiple languages, which in turn uplifts the value of SMS technology. This feature not only makes it more feasible but also makes it approachable for most brands who aim to capitalize and devise targeted SMS campaigns in local languages to elevate user engagement.

Evolution has enabled language to be the most powerful expression that allows an individual to exchange thoughts and ideas successfully. However, a person’s approach and perspective reflect the nuances that are followed in the region that he/she comes from. Regions like Asia, Africa, Europe, etc. are dominated by multi-language speaking nations with diverse cultures and outlooks.

This diversity compels brands/enterprises to devise smart communication strategies to market their products and services to their target customers. Therefore, choosing an appropriate language to comprehend and interpret a message in the correct manner becomes imperative. Consider English, a universal business language widely used by enterprises/brands in their global marketing campaigns. Here, one needs to understand that certain countries are multilingual, and choosing a local language to communicate will be a wise move. Moreover, you cannot expect a reaction to a well-drafted message in English from customers located in some deep pocket of the above-mentioned locations.

Considering masses as a whole, multi-language feature in SMS marketing campaigns aids organizations to tailor communication in the language based on their target audience. Additionally, preferential language communication doesn’t only add a tinge of personalisation but also brings customers closer to the brand. Let’s take a look at some other key benefits of multilingual messaging:

Personalization

Have you thought about how global giants like Bata or McDonald’s managed to make it big in India? Well, it’s largely because they focus on personalizing their brand communication in the local language, using local lingo and influencers. If your brand is aggressive in expansion, marketing campaigns in English and Hindi won’t suffice. You need to talk Marathi in Maharashtra, Gujarati in Gujarat, and so on. Multilingual SMS can add a high degree of personalization with the choice of preferred language. Smart messaging APIs can translate messages in multiple languages and should be requisite for any company serious about its local marketing efforts.

Effective communication

An enterprise can communicate effectively without compromising the core content of the message. The translated message is easily comprehended by an audience who may not know English. According to a study by KPMG-Google on the growing importance of language-based communication, there are over 234 million online users in India who use regional languages for browsing. Imagine using the same strategy for SMS marketing – you will be able to communicate constructively in the regional language of your target audience.

Improves interaction

Increasing customer interaction is one of the ways of engaging customers. Customers responding to messages play a good role during surveys and other feedback-based communication. For instance, an NGO in India saw an impressive increase in its referral and response rate from their inactive members using a multilingual messaging service. These examples hold true for every organization that looks for a swift engagement with its target audience using SMS as a tool for communication. A two-way messaging service can greatly enable this process with strong multilingual support.

Brand connect

By 2021, it’s expected that India will have over 180 million regional users for language news. In order to effectively connect with the most avid news consumers, opting for a regional language becomes increasingly important. Even Facebook lets users browse in 12 Indian languages in order to connect better. This helps the brand become more accessible, approachable, and thereby likeable, contributing to building the brand image.

Widens customer base

Expand your product’s reach as customers are more likely to read your messages that don’t need a dictionary to translate. Consider a business growing in South India that wants to expand its customer base. Using merely English and Malayalam will not help in achieving this objective, as these two languages cater specifically to the audience in Kerala. In order to reach other regions, it will also need communication to happen in a local language. Also, if your message has call-to-action content and a responsive shortcode, you will be able to generate enquiries for your products and service.

Hence, adding a multilingual feature in your SMS marketing campaigns will not only boost your customer engagement but also help increase the customer base. It further adds to brand recall, thereby making your audience connect with your product and services efficiently.

Rajdip Gupta is MD and Group CEO of Route Mobile Ltd, a leading company in cloud communications platforms, offering solutions in SMS, Voice, Email, and SMS Firewall (filtering, analytics, and monetisation).

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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