Home  › Marketing › Strategies

Mobile Marketing: Initiate Dialogue

  |  May 10, 2004   |  Comments

Textback response is a simple, effective, and comparatively cheap way to initiate a mobile dialogue.

In Europe, mobile messaging has integrated with marketing communications for several reasons. First among them is the fact mobiles are now fairly ubiquitous. By the end of last year, 75 percent of Europeans carried mobile devices, theoretically enabling marketers to access anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Second, packet-based, multimedia-enabled devices encourage consumers to do a lot more with their handsets than simple voice communications. Just look at the rapid growth of SMS. Finally, in 2002 European network operators agreed to create cross-network-compatible five-digit numbers as shortcodes to access common messaging platforms. This greatly facilitated introducing a mobile response mechanic into campaigns.

Though these factors allowed mobile marketing to really take off in Europe, a number of barriers inhibit U.S. activity, particularly network interconnectivity and low SMS adoption. As these issues are addressed and U.S. consumers realize SMS's potential, it won't be long before this marketplace outpaces Europe's.

If you're embarking on mobile marketing, first consider incorporating textback shortcodes into marketing activities. This direct-response channel offers a simple, effective, and comparatively cheap way to initiate a consumer-led mobile dialogue. It's also a low-risk alternative to renting mobile lists from third parties.

Textback response helps establish a permission-based mobile database for future communications. It can also generate revenue through premium rate tariffs, often used to counter activity costs and create self-liquidating campaigns. Moreover, it can help build brand and increase sales.

Providing a textback number option on packaging or in advertising media enables consumers to immediately interact with, and get feedback from, a promotional message. It's convenient and easy to use and can provide instant gratification.

Elektra Entertainment Group was behind one of the first U.S. examples of this technique when it promoted Missy Elliot's album, "Under Construction." A billboard encouraged viewers to text "Missy" to 80808 for a chance to win $1 million; 115,000 viewers responded. The campaign was handled by a small London-based mobile firm, not13, one of many U.K. mobile marketing firms breaking into the potentially lucrative U.S. market.

Media owners can use shortcode textback for content interaction. TV programs such as "Pop Idol" have used the method to provide voting capabilities through mobile handsets. Consumer brands can use textback response on packaging to encourage participation in sales promotion competitions.

Cadbury launched an SMS-based package promotion on 65 million chocolate bars to drive sales, enhance brand awareness among a young audience, and gather intelligence about chocolate-eating behavior. The campaign generated 5 million messages, an almost 8 percent response rate (comparing favorably with email and direct mail).

Shortcodes can generate high response rates and mobile consumer information, making them an appealing direct-response channel. Consider incorporating shortcodes into your long-term offline media strategy to complement other direct-response channels, such as call centers and Web sites.

To maximize response rates, offer a value exchange (prizes, money-off coupons, credits, content) that's relevant and appealing to the target audience. Cadbury, for example, offered chances to win cash, widescreen TVs, Sony PlayStation 2s, DVD players, Palm Pilots, and CDs.

Once consumer interaction is initiated and permission granted for future correspondence, the nature of mobile communications will depend on marketers' objectives and the nature of their products or services. To drive increased conversion, carefully target mobile messaging based on audience characteristics. Pay particular attention to timing and frequency of messages, valuable content, and call to action.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julian Smith

Julian Smith conducts research and analysis on the European interactive marketing and advertising arena as an analyst with Jupiter Research, which shares a parent company with ClickZ.

His areas of expertise cover all aspects of the online advertising industry, e-mail marketing, mobile (SMS/MMS) marketing, search engine marketing, eCRM, online branding and Web site design. His particular area of interest is in the use of digital media for the acquisition, retention and development of customers.

Prior to joining Jupiter Research, Julian spent over six years working in a variety of interactive marketing agencies in London. These included Razorfish, Euro RSCG Interaction and TBWA/GGT where he worked in strategy and client service roles helping develop online solutions for leading blue chip clients. Most recently he assisted in the integrated marketing launch of 3, the new 3G video mobile phone, one of the largest new product launches in the UK in 2003.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...