From augmented reality to SMS marketing, we’re constantly introduced to new revolutionary trends and channels. But how effective are they? And which one do people actually love?

While email marketing and social media still hold their value in today’s market, there is definitely room for a few fresh faces.

A recent infographic from Hubspot indicated that virtual reality, augmented reality and voice assistants were the three top-searched trends on Google. Yet, despite these findings, customers chose mobile payments as the technology they most wanted to use in 2017 (32.1%). In fact, nine out of 10 consumers claimed to have no interest in using augmented reality at all!

This got me thinking; if consumers are searching for one thing, why aren’t they that interested in businesses who deploy it?

Do search trends and traffic tell the whole story?

There’s no denying that an influx in search traffic is a positive thing. Every consumer searching for the trending topic or service is one step closer to stumbling upon your website, it’s just a simple matter of odds and probability.

But although boosted traffic does give you a strong indication of potential future business, it’s not the be all and end all. For instance, I recently discovered some fascinating feedback and stats on whether Facebook Ads really work, with 62% of small business owners believing that they miss their targets.

The findings also revealed that many business owners had received a multitude of impressions and likes, but with little to no click-throughs and conversions. This could be down to the fact that only 9% of Facebook users stated that they wanted to see promotional marketing messages on their feeds. You can read more about this in our latest white paper, Mobile marketing for small and medium size businesses.

The truth is, it all boils down to consumer behaviour. As a generation of smartphone addicts, we’re in love with finding out more. Why? Because we’re curious, and everything is accessible on those shiny little gadgets we carry around with us all day.

Google believes that 82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision, while 91% look for ideas while completing a task. That’s a lot of people looking at their phones on a daily basis.

Where does this leave other marketing mediums?

Although virtual reality and mobile payments are raising intrigue levels, consumers haven’t fallen out of love with some of the older options.

We still spend hours of the day scrolling through our phones, checking emails and making our way through social media feeds.

However, it may come as a surprise to hear that consumers stated that business SMS is their preferred channel when it comes to receiving a business or community-based communication, well ahead of Facebook, app push notifications and Twitter. In fact, 91% of customers like to be contacted by business SMS and 37.2 million of them have opted in to receive them from brands and businesses. This makes text messaging the UK’s fastest growing marketing channel.

And it doesn’t stop there. In a recent study, researchers found that 70% of consumers would have a more positive opinion of a brand if it allowed them to save a loyalty card to their smartphone. The same report also found that over one-third of people are said to store information from businesses in a mobile wallet such as Apple Wallet or Android Pay.

83% of smartphone users also stated that receiving exclusive content, surprise rewards and special messages would have a positive impact on their brand loyalty.

These revelations mark a real shift in the way we (as consumers) like to be rewarded and communicated to. It also emphasises the desire for mobile marketing and digital interactions.

If you ask me, I’d highly recommend using business SMS alongside other marketing channels. While some consumers might still like email marketing and actively search for trendy high-tech such as virtual reality and augmented reality, there’s an undeniable thirst for business text messaging. Give it a go today with our free award-winning platform and we’ll throw in 10 SMS credits to help you get started.

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