Steven Bartlett: Why mobile marketing is ‘crucial’ amid declining organic reach

The Diary of a CEO host and Dragons Den star, Steven Bartlett has revealed the role of mobile and SMS marketing has become increasingly pivotal for his businesses for not only adapting to technology advancements but also redefining consumer interactions.

Speaking at Mailchimp’s 2024 From Here to There conference in London last week, Bartlett said: “It’s [mobile marketing] really critical. I’m a social media CEO by nature, and you wouldn’t expect me to advocate for direct mail, email and SMS, but I am because I’ve seen the decline in organic reach over the years.”

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He admitted he tracked the company’s organic reach against its competitors and saw a 50% decline yearly.

“So, I started looking for ways to hold the audience and SMS and email became huge parts of that,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Bartlett admitted one of the ways that he learned how to use email and SMS communication that’s personalised was through a conversation he had with a spy called Andrew Bustamante, a CIA spy in America.

“He [Bustamante] said, ‘You all have a public life, you have a private life, which is what your partner knows, and you have your secret life, which nobody knows.'”

According to Bartlett, Bustamante’s job was to get into the secret lives of many people, by using the strategy RICE: Reward, Ideology, Coercion and Ego, which the social media mogul has implemented in his own business.

“Most marketers and most businesses get it wrong because they focus on coercion, and most coercive things you do without even knowing.

One of the things that was really valuable was just sending messages to my audience, whether that be on email, SMS or direct mail, without asking anything from me in return.”

By focusing on providing value without immediate expectation, businesses can build trust and foster long-term relationships with their clientele, he concluded.