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Marseille: Growth is Written on Mobile for SMS Mode

Do you remember the first text messages? These short message services have gained a royal place in our communication methods in a quarter of a century.

And even if they have lost ground since 2016 in the face of instant messaging applications, nearly 45 billion messages were sent to France in the first quarter of 2018, according to the Authority for the Regulation of Electronic Communications and Posts ( ARCEP) . At SMSmode, installed at the Belle-de- Mai media center in Marseille, Ludovic Pognon did not wait for the explosion of the SMS to attack this promising market. In 2005, this IT specialist, who worked for IBM and T-Mobile in the United Kingdom, launched an internet portal in Marseille allowing companies to send grouped SMS messages.

With two uses: marketing (these famous enticing messages promising exceptional sales …), and notifications (reminders for medical appointments for example). “Customers create an account, then import contact files, and pay by SMS. Today, each message costs between 3 and 5 euro cents, we take an extremely fine margin on the order of 2 to 3 % of what is sold to customers.

Hence the search for volume … “, explains the business manager. And if SMSmode has strengthened its business over the years – it now has nearly 10,000 customers, and should have achieved in 2019 a turnover of around 14 million euros, against 12 M € in 2018 – is that the company knew how to seize a strategic turning point. “Instead of targeting stores, which used the platform once or twice a year, we specialized in applications, and we grew up with customers like Doctolib or La Fourchette, whom we have been following from the start,” explains Fabien Andraud , the commercial director.

In 2012, SMSmode sent 20 million SMS per year. Today, that’s 600 million messages per year. ” Consecrated “messaging operator” by Arcep since 2005, SMSmode is now focusing on two growth levers: to diversify, by giving access to its customers via the portal to WhatsApp business, email sending, voice SMS …

But also internationalize. 2019 saw the opening of a first office outside Marseille – Toronto – then a second, in Paris. “Our ambition is to become the largest French router, and to offer a multi- channel experience to our customers.”, Summarizes Fabien Andraud. In this ultra-competitive market, SMSmode intends to play on one of its strengths.

In the “all -globalized” era, the discreet Marseilles SME is one of the only French platforms still independent. Cock-a-doodle Doo !

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