NEW YORK – Brand marketers are finally discovering mobile as a medium for building unique strategies for one-to-one user engagement. The channel is a new opportunity to have real creative engagement.
A panel of speakers at MediaBistro’s ThinkMobile Conference and Expo in New York talked about their strategies and experiences in leveraging the mobile channel. Mobile Marketer’s Mickey Alam Khan moderated the panel
The travel industry, quick service restaurants and the automotive companies are the leaders in the mobile space, according to Jamie Wells, mobile director, Ignition Factory, OMD, New York.
“More than 75 percent of the brands we work with are starting to ask about mobile,” said David Bear, executive director of mobile and social media at Atmosphere BBDO, New York.
Mr. Bear stressed the importance of educating the agency people on mobile. “If they don’t understand the mobile platform, the ideas won’t get to the client,” Mr. Bear said.
Mobile Marketer’s Mickey Alam Khan moderated
The mobile phone was never intended to be a marketing tool, according to Brad Vettese, Now it is so personal that brands would like to be invited in.
Applications are the Holy Grail of mobile, the panelists all said. However, there are some challenges when developing an application and it is even more daunting to try and get the word out.
An audience member asked the panelists, “How does one go about getting the application downloaded?”
This is where mobile search engine optimization comes into play. Keywords in the application’s description will help get the application found.
“Branded apps make sense,” Mr. Wells said. “Branded apps have great interactive options.”
Lead generation through applications is also impressive.
“Applications are a great way to create a branded experience and an emotional connection with the consumer,” Mr. Arbour said.
Mr. Bear said that because the mobile space is still so new, brands should be looking at what their competitors are doing in the space. This information should drive decision making.
“Think about what you want the user to experience and then figure out how to make it happen,” Mr. Vettese said.
The panelists agreed that 2009 will be a ground-breaking year for mobile commerce.
Brands like Marriot and Papa John’s are proof that mobile commerce is well on its way.
“It’s complicated because there is a limited value-proposition,” Mr. Wells said. “Markets with mature payments systems in place will not be too excited by mobile commerce. But less developed markets are going to be really excited about it.”
Because of the economic slowdown, brands are using mobile more for direct response and less for branding purposes.
“Engagement is key,” Mr. Vettese said. “Brands are really trying to get consumers to take action and do something.”
The panelists gave examples of successful marketing campaigns they created for their clients in an effort to show that mobile works.
“What’s great is that clients have low expectations for their mobile initiatives so it isn’t really hard to blow them out of the water,” Mr. Bear said.
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Textings Political Triumph by Ben Goddard
New media came into its own during the 2008 campaign with the successful use of the Internet for organizing, communicating and fundraising. Many proclaimed the new age of digital campaigns was upon us. Well, we haven’t seen anything yet. Phones are taking over as the cutting-edge political communication device — and I don’t mean those old-fashioned phone banks with their push polls, voter ID and GOTV calls that interrupted so many pleasant dinner hours or favorite TV programs in the past. Those anonymous rooms filled with rows of paid phone operators with their voter registration lists are being pushed out of the game by mobile media.
Mobile phones deliver a reach never before seen by any medium. Eighty-six percent of the U.S. population has a cell phone, providing more reach than cable TV, home Internet access and personal computers. There are more wireless devices in use than televisions and computers combined — and those numbers are growing most rapidly among Latinos, millennials and Americans over 30 years of age.
Of the 262 million cell phones currently subscribed in the U.S., over 95 percent are SMS-capable. Americans using those phones send some 70 billion text messages each month. That is a lot of communication going on out there. Most frequently, text messages are sent and received by younger Americans. Over 75 percent of 18-to-29-year-old mobile phone users are frequent users of text messages. But it’s not just a young person’s game. The fastest-growing group of texters is “soccer moms” who have figured out the best way to reach kids who don’t return calls to their cell phone is via text. As those moms have become more familiar with texting, they’ve used it to reach their peers, creating a viral growth in text messaging among adults, in particular opinion leaders who are so valuable to an issue advocacy or political campaign. They have quickly adopted texting as a quick, easy and reliable way to communicate throughout their busy days. Research, admittedly conducted by mobile marketers, shows that 94 percent of text messages are read.
About five times as many people respond to mobile messages as compared to traditional, off-mobile call-to-action campaigns.Public officials have now begun to endorse mobile media as well. It is difficult to send an e-mail from a Metro car, for example, but simple to text one word and four digits of a short code. The person sending the text gets an immediate response and an invitation to join a movement for change.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) experimented with pages on Facebook, MySpace and other social-networking sites, without great success. Now-President Barack Obama did a better job by producing great content and engaging visitors in a dialogue. Obama even used text messaging to announce Delaware Sen. Joe Biden (D) as his vice presidential choice and to promote some events. In the few short months since the Obama/McCain campaign the technology has become more sophisticated and the users more engaged. The potential uses of mobile media are virtually unlimited.
Look for more and more cell phone messages in the 2010 campaign and in issue advocacy efforts in the months ahead. The technology is opening up whole new communication channels. But, as always, the tool is only as good as the message it carries. The challenge for political practitioners will be to devise creative messages that make best the use of all those phones.Goddard is a founding partner of political consultants Goddard Claussen.
Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in social networking, according to Nielsen.
Nielsen Online found that British mobile Web users have the greatest propensity to visit a social network through their handset, with 23 percent—2 million people—doing so, compared to 19 percent—10.6 million people—in the United States. These numbers are a big increase over last year—up 249 percent in Britain and 156 percent in the U.S.
“Mobile plays a key role in helping social networks monetize their spaces, something they’ve come a long way on but still have considerable room for growth,” said Nic Covey, Chicago-based director of insights for Nielsen. “Our research shows that mobile social networkers rely on their mobile access primarily to exchange messages and communicate via their network.
“Since social networks may have a difficult time monetizing the messaging aspects of their medium, this tendency suggests an opportunity for mobile to play a key role in the functional, if less monetizable, aspects of social networking while the extending the use of PC access to more monetizable aspects of the platform, such as content,” he said.
“That said, there should still be keen opportunities for targeted mobile advertising through social networking, just to a far lesser extent.”
Social networks and member communities now account for one out of every 10 minutes spent online, according to Nielsen.
“This underscores the importance of getting the social networking advertising model right,” Mr. Covey said. “Though naysayers believe consumer reluctance is too grave—fueled by purported privacy concerns or simple hesitancy to allow brands into a seemingly private space—I think the data paint a far more optimistic picture.
“In some ways, for all of the time we’ve spent teaching brands to look at social networks as sacred ground to be tread delicately upon, I wonder whether we should instead view social networks in the online and mobile role they play today: as a first point of entry gateway to the broader online experience,” he said. Read the entire story- mobile marketer.
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Lives in a van down by the river. Great travel blog. http://ping.fm/q80my