Two common abbreviations when it comes to marketing in the 21st Century are SMS and MMS. While an SMS is nothing but a promotional text message, MMS is a bit flashier and able to incorporate images and other forms of media into your messaging. Provided below is an overview of what to look for when shopping around for a quality MMS provider.
Consider Your Current Situation
One of the first things to do when shopping for MMS providers is to understand your current marketing setup. Analyze the devices, plans, and carriers you deal with in your current business region. Do you need a global provider, and what do you need out of them?
Maybe you are starting completely raw with no existing framework. If so, you might bring on a partner to assess and organize things so that you avoid major hurdles down the line.
Pick a provider that clearly explains which regions it works best at. While no provider can perform exemplary on a global scale, you can likely find several suited to your business’s specific needs. Be mindful of your current operating location, potential locations for future markets, and what regions you need help penetrating.
Providers do not need to maintain a physical presence within every country on your marketing list and it turns out that centralized management is the best approach when it comes to international marketing. That said, your provider should understand the markets you are hiring them for or otherwise be able to procure experts.
While English is a large part of commerce, it helps to court non-English speakers. Language support is a costly endeavor, so be mindful of what you consider a necessity versus a nicety. If you find a provider that mentions language support, you need to verify which functions that support extends to. Here are some specifics to consider.
- Is the support for service, help desk calls, or both?
- Is there anything written out at the end-user support level?
- Is a dedicated project manager supplied with the language?
- Do they offer one-click platform translation?
- Will you receive translated outputs and reports on your platform?
Multilingual support is rarely itemized in contracts, making it easy to default to English when resources are lacking and sticking you with additional costs without commensurate gain.
You need a provider to operate in the time zones you care about; an American support team for a company with Asian employees is going to have a hard time coordinating. This means that an offering of 24/7 support should be followed up with the question of whether or not the SLA on support is bound to specific time zones. If this turns out to be the case, that synergy may not occur when you need it. Time zones and SLAs need to be closely analyzed.
These are two other fine-print factors. Many providers will make big claims about integrating with hundreds of carriers but their actual functionality tends to be quite a bit more shallow when analyzing automation beyond North America. As providers of MMS marketing have mostly focused on the interests of North American companies, any endeavors going beyond that region require some digging into the provider’s specifics.
A good provider should support all currencies while also being mindful of exchange rates. Most companies abide by major centralized banks for their exchange rates. Since exchange rates are regularly in flux, a quality provider should be able to record them, dynamically calculate an average based on all international rates, then, in real-time, tie that average rate to transactions. This means you can always plainly see how rates adjust when an audit happens. It is worth remembering that while most companies deal with the U.S. Dollar, if you need any reporting to be done in another currency, you should confirm that your preferred MMS provider can handle it.
The Final Message
There are several things to consider when shopping around for an MMS provider. Remember to assess your current MMS marketing framework, look into what countries and regions it works in, what languages and time zones they support, how they automate and integrate messaging and even what currencies they deal in.