Complexity in mobile market

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While many advertisers have begun incorporating mobile into their programs, the reality is that the channel is new and complex. Marketers are still learning how to collect data, interpret it and use it to support decisions throughout the organization.

While mobile users in Europe and Asia are considered more advanced when it comes to accessing the Web via cell phones, the United States is beginning to show signs that mobile is a formidable medium, according to Tom Burgess, CEO of Third Screen Media, a leading mobile advertising provider that reaches more than 50 percent of mobile Internet users.

"Advertisers demand audience scale. With more than 10 percent of Americans accessing the Internet from their phone each month, the [telecom] industry is at the tipping point where advertisers are taking notice," Burgess said. "The roll out of new devices is changing the behaviors of how consumers engage with their environments; we should expect even more rapid growth in the near future."

In response to US mobile growth, advertisers are seeking mobile marketing best practices examples and looking to better understand measurement and media metrics. According to Gene Keenan, Mobile Marketing Association board member and head of its Mobile Metrics Committee, "Measurement and effectiveness is priority No. 1 for MMA members, which is why the MMA has a mobile metrics committee to develop a recommended set of measurement guidelines. These guidelines will be used to help advertisers understand the true value derived from the mobile channel."

The objective of a consumer packaged goods client's campaign was twofold: First, test mobile as an effective channel for enhancing brand awareness around a new product - by engaging consumers with the brand directly via an online sweepstakes giveaway. Secondly, test the ability to integrate multiple consumer touchpoints during the course of the campaign. How? Each marketing campaign component was executed by a separate agency or provider that controlled the exposure and engagement with the consumer.

During the course of the campaign the advertiser learned how to overcome existing mobile measurement hurdles and how to measure overall impact of the mobile campaign.

One unified marketing warehouse was built with all consumer data collected and utilized to quickly evaluate performance. The advertiser measured campaign results daily with analysis and breakdown by state, time of day, wireless carrier and overall interaction with the brand. By better understanding the campaign response data sources, mobile participation data, Web site prize redemption data and client retail sales impact, the advertiser was able to make changes to the campaign and improve the overall performance. For example, improvements to both the level of opt-in support and the tactical implementation of on pack promotions were optimized, based on analysis of mobile campaign data. Specific changes were made to the length of alphanumeric code, inversion and window clarity.

Overall, the program was a huge success. The mobile campaign generated nearly 56,000 total mobile responses, and more than 40,000 unique users played the sweepstakes via their mobile phones. In total, 36,000 winning entries were awarded. The campaign participation was even better than expected, given the level of opt-in support (on-package-only campaign advertising with no other print, broadcast or online campaign support).

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