Waterfall platform lets marketers test mobile waters

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Marketing technology provider Waterfall Mobile Inc. has launched a mobile messaging platform called Msgme to help marketers add mobile interactivity to their mix more easily.

Content owners who want to interact with their audience via mobile face quite a challenge, said Matt Silk, vice president of product development at Waterfall Mobile, San Francisco.

"Setting up the simplest mobile marketing campaigns requires thousands of dollars, technology expertise, many months and interactions with numerous partners," he said. "Normally, brands select agencies, mobile marketing experts, who hide this complexity from them but charge $25K-plus upfront, ongoing account management fees, ongoing messaging costs and take two to four months until campaigns are live to their customers."

Waterfall attacks these obstacles with the Msgme platform, which allows self-publishing. Marketers pay only for the messaging costs rather than the engagement fees and ongoing account management fees associated with agencies.

Real-time analytics let marketers see how their campaigns are performing and analyze by region and time. Marketers can update campaigns using the Web or mobile, and content owners can adjust campaigns in real time. Features such as polling, private content, dynamic content and lead capture allow for varied tactics.

"Real-time analytics and a pay-as-you-go model enable test-and-learn in the mobile space," Mr. Silk said. "The Waterfall team saw an inefficient market where a technology solution could be applied to make mobile marketing simple."

Mr. Silk said that 35.9 million Americans participate in mobile marketing campaigns and that 42 percent of mobile customers are open to mobile ads. JupiterResearch estimates the United States will have spent $2.9 billion on ads over wireless networks by 2011.

Mr. Silk cited real-time solutions offered to Waterfall clients:

• E*TRADE wanted to distribute a full PDF schedule for its online seminars, he said. Waterfall presented a simple solution where users could text a keyword from a marketing ad, respond with e-mail address and then a schedule could be sent via e-mail.

• Particle, an up-and-coming band, wanted to engage the audience during its shows. A Text2screen solution let attending fans text song dedications and requests that the band could collect and also incorporate into a display wall, he said.

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