Melissa: Welcome to eM+C’s third eChat. Today we’re going to be discussing mobile marketing programs. Anyone can comment: What types of mobile marketing campaigns have you executed?
Ted: 4INFO has executed a lot on both sides of the fence. We buy a fair bit of mobile media and sell the ad space on our own content.
Josh: We have used [short message service] as a call to action, mobile banners, mobile search and some custom applications for our clients.
Alex: We have mobile product search campaigns.
Josh: We actually have used Alex’s product for our clients.
Ted: We have had a lot of success promoting mobile alerts (like celebrity alerts) through sources such as Google Mobile and AdMob. Those are mostly text campaigns on [wireless application protocol] search and content pages.
Alex: Yes, one of our campaigns was with ID Media for helping consumers find Nikon cameras at their local stores.
David: We execute both promotional and CRM campaigns in many verticals: carriers, music, radio, TV, sports teams brands …
Ted: Were those all mobile Internet campaigns?
David: Scavenger hunts with opt-in objectives have been popular recently, many with integrated [interactive voice response] elements as part of the hunt and/or just entertainment/promotion.
Alex: In our case, it runs across SMS, wireless Web and applications that are GPS-enabled.
Melissa: In your opinion(s), what are the key benefits to using mobile?
Josh: There are several different options for utilizing mobile, but marketers need to have a strong understanding of their objectives and goals for a mobile-based campaign.
David: [I] agree with Josh — mobile augments (or should) the chance of meeting/exceeding existing objectives (which often don’t exist).
Ted: Targeting, interactivity and immediacy are great reasons to get into mobile advertising right now.
Josh: I think engaging a user in a unique way is a key benefit. The difficulty is you need to make sure there is an added benefit to the consumer when they are interacting with mobile devices.
Ted: But I think one element that is often overlooked is cost. We have found it to be a great way to drive a responsible [cost-per-action] on mobile products.
Alex: Agreed … it is a tool for marketers to complement existing campaigns and bring those projects to a more personal level.
Josh: We have found that cost is often a hindrance in moving forward with a mobile campaign. Many times the level of responses won’t pay out based on the high upfront costs. Especially with SMS and banners.
Ted: It engages a different audience, too. We have had a lot of success reaching the 20- to 30-year-old demographic.
Ted: Regarding costs, if you get started with ads on a service like AdMob, where [there] is no minimum buy and it is all [cost-per-click], you can get going pretty cheaply and optimize quickly.
Josh: While CPC may be a tactic, you also have to look at conversion after the click. We have seen varied results, but conversion can be a problem.
Ted: We have found you need to optimize quickly though. It can suck up some money if you are not managing it.
Melissa: What are some challenges facing marketers getting into mobile?
Alex: Education. More often than not marketers are given conflicting information about what is possible, how long execution will take and how many users they should expect to engage.
David: And what about billing/audit for the premium world? A mess …
Ted: The outbound message is always tough. Getting mobile into any media buy requires a lot of education.
Melissa: But you all feel it is worth it?
David: Nascent stage of development … huge industry in the U.S. alone, billions of dollars, jobs, etc. … Yes, very much worth it.
Josh: There is a mobile device in nearly everyone’s hand. That is tough to ignore.
Ted: 250 million in the U.S. right now? That’s huge. SMS is on about 97 percent of those phones.
Alex: Considering that globally, mobile has a higher penetration than television and Internet, it has strong growth potential.
David: The level of service at all stages of mobile is poor/inconsistent — whether it’s carriers, aggregators or marketers. But it will get better.
Ted: And if you look at the next generation in high school right now, texting and mobile is their lifeline.
Melissa: OK, we’ve already talked about some best practices in the course of the discussion, but I’d love to get some more tips.
David: Tip … double expectation on timeline. We try to provide all carrier processes to clients; educate them to the process so they understand reasons for delays/issues.
Josh: Mobile carriers will have to make it work. They need new revenue streams since subscriber growth will be more limited.
Alex: Tip … use mobile to “localize” a national campaign. You can run the same message everywhere, and use the mobile call to action to geo-target your consumers.
Josh: Make sure the client has a clear understanding of the goal and information that will be derived with a mobile campaign. Make sure your budget is projected appropriately (e.g., if SMS, make sure you build in costs for sending messages, etc.).
Ted: I think advertisers need to think simple when it comes to mobile — getting started is pretty easy. Tip: Get your feet [wet] with AdMob or Google Mobile.
David: Think long term, even if only executing a tactic. The rules for long-term engagement are defined (FCC/MMA), and consumers want relevant info pushed to their phone.
Ted: Tip … understand all your options. CRM marketing, WAP graphic ads, SMS advertising can all come together in one campaign.
Alex: Make sure if you use a banner and text-link solution you have the appropriate landing page that supports mobile.
Josh: I still worry about the user experience associated with the mobile Internet.
Melissa: Josh, can you elaborate?
Josh: The ability to access the Internet, the speed of network, having ads take up landscape on what is a very small screen. The iPhone could change things.
Ted: I think as network speeds improve you will see the user experience issues dissipate. iPhone is just another standard in the making!
Melissa: Great! Well, I think that’s all we have time for. Does anyone have anything else they’d like to add?
Ted: It’s a great time to be testing out different campaign ideas … reminds me of the Internet circa 1996.
Josh: I think it is critical to ensure a strong user experience today before diving in. A consumer will not come back and engage tomorrow if they have a bad experience.
Melissa: So true.
Alex: I think the mobile market can be used to meet different goals, and a good agency can help advertisers try different solutions.
Alex: Like with the Internet, you should try before you buy.