A New Interaction Mind-set
While well-targeted SMS campaigns can enjoy response rates above 30 percent, says Baker, the trick lies in creating an integrated effort that leverages your existing media buys to develop a list of double opt-in prospects and then following up with a contact approach that continuously resells the audience on the value of mobile communication.
The best example of a value proposition failure in the mobile channel, he offers, is that of a consumer packaged goods company that sent him a daily recipe that used its soup products. “I know people who like soup,” he asserts, “but I don’t think anyone wants a soup recipe a day.” Because the marketer didn’t consider the hassle factor of daily contact or provide the recipient with enough message control, Baker opted out of all further mobile communication from this company.
One way to personalize contact is by creating a contact preference database. For example, says Baker, Sprint subscribers can tell the telecommunications provider what types of mobile marketing messages they want, for instance, alerts on new hip-hop ring tones, delivered once a week and in the morning.
Marketers also are starting to develop profile databases of their mobile prospects to help them better target campaigns to attract more opt-in registrants and to convert more mobile interactions into mobile-driven sales. But Marriott explains this trend is in its infancy. It will take some time to achieve widespread adoption and thus yield any deep insights into the mind-set of the mobile marketing-friendly consumer.
Both Baker and Marriott agree that the best way for direct marketers to test mobile marketing’s effectiveness in reaching their audience is to integrate a mobile component into an existing marketing program. Use your existing spend on print, out-of-home, radio, television and other vehicles to incorporate a short code to entice a request for more information. For instance, an animal rights nonprofit could offer prospects a list of pet adoption centers in their city by texting a particular code. And because the codes are unique, you will be able to determine which channel is most effective at generating mobile contact.