Are missed calls an “innovative” substitute to SMS?

Until now, due to high mobile-internet penetration, marketers preferred mobile marketing to reach its target audience. However, with a rise in the concept of “missed calls”, the same is now emerged as an innovative form of mobile marketing.

Initially missed calls were considered as a gesture of those running low on mobile balance and intended to receive a response in the form of an SMS or callback. Gradually, its usage expanded as a medium of communication. Today, as the missed call culture is gaining impetus in a country like India to an extent that it is on the verge of replacing Short Message Services (SMS) in the process of voting, registration, feedback collection, etc.

Being an audience involvement tool, one can now receive information about a product, service or any other domain by just giving a missed call. As an accepted fact that the customer is not charged for it, the response rate is high. The company just has to publish the Missed Call Number  on the marketing or promotional materials as a part of the campaign.

Some of the use cases are as given below:

  • Voting: Reality shows are progressively using the “missed call” to invite the participation of its viewers. A Toll Free Number is featured when the show is aired and also throughout the day during peak hours.When a viewer gives a missed it is registered as a vote and ultimately determines the final result.
  • Give feedback: Missed calls can also be used to take feedback from customers, employees or prospects by running a polling campaign whereby they can reply to a YES/NO question, expressing their opinion.
  • Registrations: One can register to a particular messaging service (news alerts, weather forecasts, stock tips, jokes etc.) by just giving a missed call.
  • Activate/deactivate a service: Instead of making a customer go through a tedious process for activation/deactivation of service, the same can be managed by way of missed calls.
  • Lead generation: By featuring the Toll Free number in the marketing collaterals and promotional campaigns, the company can develop a database of verified leads; as only interested prospects would reply to such initiatives by giving a missed call.
  • Verification: One can give a missed call to verify his/her bookings and registrations. The incoming missed call functions as a verifiable request for the company and serves as a proof that the person has given his approval for receiving further messages..

Advantages of missed calls:

  • The customer is not charged for the missed call.
  • The service is user-friendly as it is based on dialing and not typing.
  • It is easy to know the status of missed call instantly as against SMS whose delivery report may take some time to display.
  • Missed calls services can be used by mobile users and also landline owners.
  • It is quick as compared to SMS.
  • Being an interactive medium, it is capable of bringing phenomenal results.

As missed call services possess high factor of audience involvement, they are increasingly being used as the basis of entrepreneurial ventures. Considering the pace at which missed calls are preferred by the various enterprises especially the entertainment sector, its scope of application in terms of branding and business opportunities is huge.

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