DMNews speaks to Jerry Nevins, State Farm marketing analyst

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Last November, State Farm, aided by Moblico, ran a text contest when Missouri played Kansas in college football. Jerry Nevins, State Farm marketing analyst, discusses the initiative. 

Q What challenge motivated State Farm to run this mobile campaign?

A The goal of the campaign was to reach the young adult market: 18-to-25-year-olds. We tried to reach them in a tech-savvy way. Our competitors are vying for that same business, and we do well there. We want to make sure we continue to do well there.

Q What did you want to accomplish, and how did you try to reach that goal?

A On game day, we had a lot of signage, but we wanted to do something interactive and something that spoke to this age demographic. We knew they are heavy texters, and we realized that a lot of other people [beyond that demographic] would play it as well. The game itself was a competition between the schools where fans had 30 seconds to text a short code indicating their support of their team. A pair of animated carnival strongmen on the scoreboard then struck a hammer for the two teams based on the volume of text support.

Q Do you feel the approach worked?

A It was competition-based, and something that people connected to because it's such a big rivalry. We sold it that way, and it caught people's attention. It was something they wanted to play because it was playing out on the scoreboard in real time. It wasn't just, 'Hey, would you like to win some money?' Some people just don't play those games.

Q How did you use the customer information from the campaign?

A Once they played, we did a "bounce back" [message] by e-mail or phone to gather information and to see if they were interested in State Farm products or services. When they responded that they wanted to be contacted, we filtered that through our follow-up process.

Q How did it go?

A More than 5,000 attendees participated, an increase of five times compared with the 2008 promotion. It let us know that we need to continue working with the mobile component. We had a lot of that success because we used a customized deployment vs. a traditional mobile campaign. Previously, we took some things we did in a different medium and tried to apply them to mobile. We found it takes different strategies and tactics to execute them in this mobile atmosphere.

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