The strength and undoubted potential of mobile messaging for boosting customer engagement has come to the fore with news of IMImobile’s purchase of direct communications platform TextLocal.

The former, a global tech company with reach in over 60 markets, is looking to capitalise on strong growth experienced by its new acquisition with the hope of integrating elements of its technology into an existing mobile engagement product portfolio.

IMImobile currently offers services for customer relationship management and monetising core network and IT assets, but mobile messaging is the department expected to benefit from the purchase of Malvern and Chester-located TextLocal.  

Reports indicate a fee for the deal is around £13 million. 

New segment, new markets

In an announcement from IMImobile, which is based in London,  the company said that it would use its global reach to expand TextLocal into foreign markets as the SMB mobile messaging market enters maturity.

The newly acquired firm is thought to be providing mobile messaging and marketing solutions to around 120,000 businesses worldwide but this figure could grow exponentially under guidance from IMImobile.

Jay Patel, CEO of IMImobile, said the purchase represents a chance for his company to pursue a different type of clientele.

“The acquisition will allow us to target the small and medium-sized business segment that we don’t currently serve and expand our cloud-based mobile messaging offering. We look forward to working with the entire team and we will be integrating TextLocal into the group over the next six months,” he commented.

Direct messaging takes off

Being wholly measurable and highly cost effective, SMS and MMS marketing has benefited from an immense uptick in adoption since the mass prevalence of mobile technology.

Companies use tech providers such as TextLocal to purchase messages in bulk and distribute relevant promotional material to opted-in users.

The offering is generally skewed towards small and medium-sized businesses that do not wish to spend huge amounts of money in promoting their business. However, TextLocal’s client base also lists a number of household brands, such as Debenhams, Paddy Power and P&O Ferries.