Advertisers have always figured out a way to get their message wherever people are looking — from roadside billboards to public bathroom mirrors.
But the most coveted techniques involve reaching customers where they’re most likely to let their guard down, and these days that’s with a text message.
Exploring the Community
Actor Ashton Kutcher and celebrity manager Guy Oseary teamed up to launch a company in 2019 that was initially aimed at allowing entertainers to more easily reach their fans via text.
Since then, however, Community has expanded its reach to include companies like the New York Yankees and McDonald’s. The startup firm has raised well over $100 million and recently named Robert Wolf (a one-time informal adviser to President Obama) as its chairman.
With thousands of clients in its portfolio, chances are you’ll start seeing texts promoting some new product or service alongside a message from your friend asking if you want to grab a drink.
For his part, Kutcher explained that his goal in creating Community was to reach people directly — essentially creating a stripped-down version of modern social media platforms.
As opposed to platforms like Twitter where “the number of people that actually see the post is massively degraded,” he said that Community boasts “45% click-through rates and 98% open rates.”
What happens when you opt in
The emerging trend doesn’t mean companies are just sending unsolicited texts to potential customers (at least not yet). Instead, brands share their number and allow fans to make the first move. From there, the messages are highly individualized. For example, a band promoting a show might only send texts to folks in that area.
And if it gets to be too much, Kutcher said it’s easier to opt out of text messages than it is to unsubscribe from an email list.