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Dear Colleagues:

You can't find a marketing source these days that isn't buzzing about mobile. Many discuss mobile as a channel or tactic and have developed ways to adapt to this new platform. Others study the change in behavior that mobile represents and examine how this cultural-social phenomenon affects the ways we communicate.

 

In this issue of Marketing Coach, I have tapped the expertise of two mobile marketers: Sunil Baliga (SB) is CEO of Atmio, a software company developing and marketing products for mobile smartphone advertising and Elle Mahoney (EM), the managing partner of We Take You Everywhere.

 

Now let's dive into a review of mobile's role in the marketing mix and what we may expect going forward.

 

Cheers!

Ivy

word cloud 2

"SMS is still the most preferred method because it is cheap, ubiquitous, and

still fresh enough that people look! "

- Elle Mahoney

A Mobile Primer

PR Goes Mobile - Or Does It?
qr

How are companies using mobile devices for Public Relations?

SB

One popular way for a press announcement to be sent is through "push notifications" on iPhone applications. Of course, Apps are primarily a B2C tool. The challenge is that the consumer has to download them on their phone; getting them to install it can be a monumental challenge.
Angry Birds
is one thing, an App for a business is another! Once installed, push notifications are a great PR communication vehicle.

An up-and-coming PR use for mobile is to place SMS Text-To numbers and/or QR Codes on press releases. When the reader scans the QR Code, they could be taken to a mobile landing page that includes a video of the marketing manager talking about the product featured in the release.

EM

For the news, media mobile has created another platform to push news to readers. PR professionals need to adapt the information from their press releases and pitches for the mobile channel. There need to be content blocks of 160 characters if sending or encouraging an SMS. Or, you can send a teaser that will take readers to another experience and use the mobile message to tee up the user to access other media or more information.

What are the most popular and effective ways news and education are being offered via mobile?

SB

Making the page convey the news and educate the consumer is necessary. You want to create custom landing pages that are a quick read and are visually enticing. All too often I've seen companies lead their customers to a desktop page that is too cluttered. Customers will see such pages, not want to hassle with them and leave the page without engaging.

How are companies using mobile devices to build relationships?

SB

Customers are increasingly on their phones, so companies have to follow them there. They do so via mobile ads, SMS, QR Codes, NFC, and of course, Apps. Social media like Twitter or Facebook are popular on cell phones, so companies have to include them in their mobile marketing plans.

This is done with in-store banners to drive consumers to mobile downloads, and QR codes to scan at trade shows. Features that require a particular operating system or phone pose limitations to consumers. SMS/text is widely used, but does not provided the rich media browsing experience other than a link to a web page can.

EM

Companies are looking to measure how many times their names are mentioned for SEO. Companies who are looking for people to engage around their brands are creating more instances for their brand to be visible to their customers and are using the mobile channel to get the immediacy.

Coca Cola and other major brands are really smart at using social media with mobile devices to push engagement, trigger people to react and post comments. Mobile communications is triggering an immediacy of participating in social media. Savvy marketers are encouraging consumers in all settings - away from their desk, with a can in their hand or while looking at other content - to become motivated to respond and post, which could include tie-in campaigns with QR codes for contests, scavenger hunts and sweepstakes.

What is the biggest challenge to communicating with consumers via mobile device?

SB

As mobile marketing becomes more popular, standing out from the crowd will become much more difficult. In mobile messaging, creativity and targeting will be the main factors in getting noticed.

EM

The biggest challenge is the lack of penetration of smartphones and screens. We'll be at 50% penetration for smartphones by the end of 2011. The market is a bit richer and younger. Adoption of new technology leaves out many over 50, poor and more females.

What industries/types of companies are most actively using mobile marketing?

SB

B-2-C companies will be the most active. B-2-B companies are becoming more active, but they are playing catch-up to the consumer marketing folks.

In Europe they are already offering mobile communications to customers from many countries with various languages. When selecting a product on the shelf a consumer will scan the QR code on the phone and, for example, a brand that works with Atmia to generate the QR code on their packages detects the language used on the phone, and can send a QR in a single language with an offer for consumers to select the language they prefer.

EM

Consumer packaged goods and retail are leading the way. It should be more used in health care. While there are many FDA restrictions, anything that is a real utility will gain more traction.

Which mobile marketing strategies are consumers responding to most favorably? Negatively?

SB

Consumer behavior on mobile is very different than on desktop. Mobile is short and sweet -- "just give me the info." Desktop, in contrast, is a more leisurely browsing experience, where consumers may linger on a site. Therefore, consumers react to mobile tactics that are short and to the point.

What really bothers consumers is frequent SMS messages. Consumers respond to SMS vs. email because they get too many emails and only people they care about send them SMS messages. If a consumer opts to receive SMS messages from a company, don't abuse that permission by sending them frequent SMS messages.

EM

A benefit to mobile text campaigns is that the carriers are in control and there hasn't been spam. Email became inundating and it turned off the market. The carriers will shut down a short code (5 digit text address for a promotion) if spamming is detected. The excitement about mobile communication is extended by the policing by the carrier. They say that 85% of texts are looked at and responded to similarly. That's not what happens by email.

What are the most popular ways mobile is being integrated into the marketing mix?

SB

Mobile is being integrated into the marketing mix in marketing campaigns and retail displays. For marketing campaigns, it's the rise of mobile ads and SMS.

For retail, it's QR Codes. Companies are increasingly placing QR Codes on their product packaging. Consumers can scan the QR Codes with their phones, bringing up custom mobile landing pages that provide additional info, including videos, on the products - a virtual sales person.

EM

The ability for consumers to scan bar codes in a poster or on a circular - the information that is digitally encrypted takes them to an activity - from seeing a video to listening to music to a coupon -- creating an aperture to engage or motivate or option.

What is the next BIG thing in mobile marketing?

SB

In 2010 the mobile advertising market was about $3 billion and it is expected to grow to $25 billion by 2015. Mobile ads are big because mobile Internet traffic is booming and ads must follow users there.

EM

Augmented Reality. This is like the overlay images you see when watching a football game and they show the lines on the field. You'll be able to put information onto a building or an image, hold up your phone and your camera will interpret that image and reveal information about the site related to the spot that your phone points to. Ways this could be used:

  • Tourism is a natural for it. Take a self-guided tour of a city
  • A consumer brand can create a scavenger hunt for entertainment and branding
  • In-store you can overlay information about a product, such as an article of clothing, to see information about the fabric, manufacturing process, etc.

Glossary

For our readers who are seeing many terms and code names flying around, but haven't had a chance to get grounded in the lingo, here are definitions of some of the frequently used terms.

Bounce is when consumers abort a communication or site without engaging.

NFC - Near Field Communication, the new generation of RFID, is a radio signal that can be detected by a phone if it is within 5 centimeters or so. Consumer can scan a product or in-store poster's NFC sticker to bring up a page on your phone to get any information or offer.

QR Code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode reader and camera phones. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

SMS (Short Message Service) is a text message. Technically, it is the text communication service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems. SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application in the world, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers.

Marketing Coach is a publication of Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications, Inc.

ICCC helps companies build reputations and differentiate in a competitive market through

brand building, public relations and strategic communications.To find out how ICCC can

help you and your company build your reputation contact ivy@ivycohen.com,

call 212-399-0026 or visit www.ivycohen.com.

Special thanks to our contributing mobile marketing experts Sunil Baliga, CEO of Atmio,
a software company developing and marketing products for mobile Smartphone
advertising and Elle Mahoney, Managing Partner of We Take You Everywhere.

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