Network operator AT&T announced the launch of its Messaging Toolkit, designed to allow small to medium-size businesses to distribute special offers, product updates and promotions in front of their customers in real time with a do-it-yourself portfolio of mobile marketing solutions that can be accessed from a cloud-based Web portal.
The Messaging Toolkit is a mobile marketing solution enabling campaigns, promotions and information blasts. It offers an integrated marketing approach by rolling several platforms into one solution. The Messaging Toolkit allows customers to develop, execute and customize marketing campaigns using a combination of interactive messaging platforms, including text and picture mail, email, voice broadcasting, a Facebook widget and online sign-up page, Twitter feed compatibility, mobile coupons and keywords, and mobile voting capability.
Market research firm IDC recently reported that more than 2.7 trillion text and multimode messages will be sent this year-or about 800 messages per month per U.S. consumer. As customers become more comfortable with and more receptive to these platforms for marketing, AT&T is working to help small businesses target broader audiences all at once. The IDC report forecasts that the number of text and multimode messages will eclipse the 3 trillion mark next year.
"Small businesses are increasingly implementing mobile marketing solutions into their marketing portfolios. These solutions help drive demand for products and services among consumers," said Suzanne Hopkins, research analyst for mobile consumer services at IDC. "IDC expects small businesses will consider Web-based and mobile marketing solutions from outside companies, such as AT&T's Messaging Toolkit. These solutions allow small businesses, who may not otherwise have the bandwidth, to deliver a fully integrated mobile marketing portfolio."
The Messaging Toolkit also includes templates and aids to assist in campaign message design and development, as well as contact list management. The toolkit is designed to help small businesses drive foot traffic, build a customer base, offer discounts and coupons, analyze marketing program effectiveness, gather customer feedback, and distribute community alerts and emergency notifications. While the toolkit is aimed at midmarket companies in general, the company said it offers special value for restaurants, retailers, health care offices, real estate agencies, places of worship, automotive care and financial services firms.
"We wanted the Messaging Toolkit to be all-inclusive to help small business owners get the most for their money," said Chris Hill, AT&T vice president of advanced mobility solutions. "Many small businesses rely on grassroots marketing to survive, especially in a tough economy. We recognize that text messaging and multimode messaging are widely used, and we wanted our customers to have access to that broader audience, in addition to active social media channels."