Debunking Business Messaging Myths So You Can Drive Marketing Success in 2023
April 13, 2023
In a world so often dominated by misinformation, it’s more important than ever to confirm you know exactly what you’re talking about.
It’s why, when Meta commissioned an online study asking 300 marketing leaders about their views on business messaging solutions, we made sure to ask respondents about the biggest challenges they felt they’d face integrating such a platform – not only to find ways to improve our product and customer experience, but identify misconceptions in the marketplace that might be holding your marketing team back from reaching its full potential.
Taking our findings from this original research – feedback that came directly from marketing leaders like you – we wanted to take a moment to focus on some misconceptions expressed about business messaging, and demonstrate how many perceived shortcomings are often, in fact, strong benefits.
Ready to learn more? Below, we’ll address some of the most frequently expressed misunderstandings about the channel identified in our study.
“Customers Don’t Expect This Type of Marketing”
Of all the misconceptions in this post, this one is perhaps the easiest to address.
To put it plainly: Customers very much expect this type of marketing, and are actively rewarding the brands who effectively put it to use.
In fact, one report found that, while customers still interact with businesses through traditional channels like phone calls or email, most only do so because they don’t believe an option for texting exists. Nearly 67% of respondents said they believed being able to text with businesses would increase their convenience.1
Also consider the fact that customers are 134% more likely to respond to a text than an email, with 86% of businesses who use business messaging platforms also reporting that it generates higher engagement than email.2
While customers may realize that many businesses aren’t offering messaging options (yet), they sure seem delighted when they’re provided!
“Business Messaging Is Hard To Justify From A Cost Perspective”
Unfortunately, many marketing leaders remain under the damaging misapprehension that incorporating business messaging into their marketing spend would require a potentially prohibitive cost.
At first glance, it might make sense to view messaging platforms as an intimidating, and costly, new channel, requiring an upfront investment in staffing and other resources in order to effectively onboard it.
But in reality, business messaging solutions can not only help lower your staffing costs, but increase your agents’ productivity – all leading to shorter call wait times, more efficient time spent interacting with customers, and an improved experience for both your customers and customer service agents.
Consider how elements like automated responses for FAQs, asynchronous messaging, and 24/7 availability will help free up your agents to tackle your customers' more complicated or sensitive problems. For example, one study found that incorporating Meta Business Messaging into an organization’s customer support channels improved agency efficiency by an average of 35%. Researchers estimated that this increase in productivity led to an average of $467,000 in savings for medium-sized brands, and up to $4.7 million for larger businesses over a period of three years.3
As you can see, it may be harder to justify not embracing business messaging solutions from a cost perspective. And business messaging might just be the key to helping your organization reduce costs in an unstable economic environment.
“I Don’t Have Enough Information About Customers To Deliver a Personalized Experience”
Business messaging platforms have become increasingly sophisticated over the past few years, and are slated for some major innovations on the way – particularly when it comes to offering tracking and personalized experiences for your customers.
Until then, marketers employing business messaging platforms have a powerful tool at their disposal: the simple ask.
That’s right – simply asking your customers if they’d like to share information about themselves with your company is a great way to ethically and transparently provide a personalized experience. Such a prompt can be easily incorporated into your initial automated messages with the consumer, or as a pop-up on your website or other sales channels.
And while it may seem unlikely that customers would elect to share their personal information with your brand – particularly in the age of ad-blockers and spam filters – the truth is, most consumers want brands to collect and use this information to create a personalized shopping experience. A recent Zendesk study, for example, found that 59% of surveyed consumers want businesses to use their personal data to personalize their experiences.4
From there, you have nearly limitless possibilities. Can you send your customers a coupon link or other promotional item on their birthday? Employ targeted messaging when a certain high-demand product is back in stock? Enroll shoppers in a loyalty program? Provide product recommendations? If your messages provide tangible value and benefit to your customer, they’ll almost always be glad to hear from you.
So, don’t be shy: use the natural flow of your conversations with customers to ask them if they’re willing to share their personal data to provide a better shopping experience. Just make sure to illustrate the value your request will provide to the customer, and highlight the steps your team takes to protect their personal and other sensitive information.
Combined with the astonishing open rate of marketing text messages5 – 98%! – you can be confident you’re providing a personalized experience your customers will actually read.
“Business Messaging Demands A Different Format From Our Typical Digital Advertising Campaigns”
While the new, conversational nature of business messaging might take some getting used to, there’s really no reason to believe that a campaign content initially designed for say, a social or online advertising channel, couldn’t be easily repurposed into an engaging and interactive marketing message for your customers. There are also a number of opportunities for cross-channel promotions of which your team can take immediate advantage.
Don’t think of business messaging platforms as replacing other channels as much as playing a mutually supportive role in your omnichannel campaigns. For example, content from an Instagram post, like an image or short video clip, can be easily formatted into a message to your customers, perhaps with a call to action to visit your website or subscribe to your social channels. A tease of your email newsletter could encourage shoppers to subscribe on that channel.
Give yourself permission to be creative – your existing assets can almost certainly provide a number of derivative works that would help engage and drive customer interest on a business messaging channel.
Setting The Record Straight
It makes sense for marketing leaders to experience some degree of apprehension about yet another emerging channel, and for that apprehension to lead to some misunderstandings about the scope and potential of business messaging solutions.
That being said, we hope that directly addressing some of these expressed misconceptions might enlighten readers about just how powerful these platforms can be at providing personalized, engaging content to customers, in exactly the channels where they feel most comfortable.