Home  › Social › Social Media
virgin-mobile

Virgin Mobile Director: Social Kills Traditional Sales Funnel

  |  March 10, 2012   |  Comments

At SXSW, brand unveils program aimed at app developers and young adults.

Austin, TX - Virgin Mobile brand director Ron Faris says social media chatter increasingly makes well-worn marketing ideas such as call-to-action obsolete. The traditional sales funnel model, Faris said, "is dead" because of the way digitally native Gen Y and younger consumers have come to think about brands and products.

"They are just as interested in the tweets that come back about a product as they are concerned about price," he said, speaking with ClickZ at South by Southwest Interactive. "They practically do background checks."

On Friday, Virgin Mobile unveiled a program aimed at attracting adult consumers under 34 years old. Called "What the App!?", it will award one Android developer per month with a platform to get his or her app off the ground. Developers can submit ideas to a site, "

Winners will get their apps pushed across the New York-based company's network of web sites and via Virgin Mobile Android handsets. As the triumphant developers are revealed, they'll join the judging panel. Crosswa.lk, named Friday as the first winner, offers a product that lets consumers see what apps their friends are using, as well as what apps are trending in the Crosswa.lk network.

While "What the App!?" is a neat program slated to run at least a year, what's exactly in it for Virgin Mobile? Faris explained the effort is about social media credibility among a consumer set that leans on peer reviews. It will mostly rely on developer community buzz, hopefully spreading from tech-savvy markets like New York and San Francisco to points in between.

"We are trying to be a hyper-connected version of [the consumer's] friends on Facebook," he said.

Drawing an analogy to SXSW's musical tradition, Faris compared app developers to rock stars. Virgin Mobile, he says, wants to get the so-called pop tech culture within its crosshairs.

"We want to own that," the brand director said. "We want to be about more than products and offers. Over time, they will switch over from T-Mobile [and other wireless competitors]."

The "What the App!?" program is the latest part of Virgin Mobile's "Higher Caller" campaign, which is receiving a considerable digital and TV push.

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

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. 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.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...