Engagement is key for mobile campaigns: mobile congress speakers

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PALM DESERT, CA - Maximizing brand revenue via the mobile channel was the theme of this year's Mobile Marketing Congress 2007 produced by Worldwide Business Research at the JW Marriott Desert Springs.

Many of the presentations centered around engagement when approaching consumers on mobile phones. In his talk, "Using High-Quality Mobile Content to Spark a Viral Marketing Campaign," Stephen Freitas, CEO of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, talked about the importance of drawing on consumers' emotional responses when creating a mobile campaign.

"By entering the realms of digital media, narrowcasting and direct marketing, out-of-home advertising is allowing advertisers the ability to segment messaging, create dialogue and provide content with a high-perceived value," he said.

The conference, held Feb. 12-13, is at the same hotel retailers are heading to this week for the online retail conference eTail.

Mr. Freitas spoke about interactive digital out of home, which refers to media that consumers opt-in to receive, typically delivering content to a digital device for playback or a conversation with a brand.

Some examples include billboards that provide a short code for consumers to text for more information or an indoor display that sends video content to a consumer's mobile device via Bluetooth.

"It's the choice of consumers to opt-in to content provided throughout home campaigns," Mr. Freitas said. "For example, when Bluetooth transmitters are placed on billboards, the consumers are invited to make Bluetooth discoverable to receive an exclusive clip. When the consumer makes their Bluetooth mobile phone discoverable, the Bluetooth transmitter finds the phone and initiates a communication."

Robert Thurner, commercial director at Incentivated, agreed with Mr. Freitas' sentiment regarding the importance of making consumers interested in hearing from a brand.

In his session, " Strategy to Execution: Applying Lessons Learned from Successful European Initiatives," he stressed the importance of building a brand and targeting mobile marketing that addresses these brand objectives.

Mr. Thurner spoke about successful mobile marketing campaigns in Europe, where the tactic is more common. European marketers sell everything from music and ring-tone downloads and concert tickets by creating strong brands and using highly targeted messaging like offering concert tickets to a consumer who just purchased a CD for a particular artist.

This kind of sophistication in consumer understanding is important to get a consumer's attention.

In his presentation, "Analyzing Your Target Audience to Determine its Compatibility With Your Mobile Marketing Strategy," John Jackson, vice president of consulting and senior analyst at M:Metrics, stressed the importance of understanding customers and measuring analytics when designing a campaign for mobile.

It is important to know whether or not the campaign is right for a mobile lifestyle or if it is something better suited to another channel like e-mail or search, he said.

" Evaluating your audience in terms of demographics is important, because no one wants to be bothered on their cell phone," Mr. Jackson said. "You have to understand your audience's lifestyle, purchasing habits and attitude towards products and technology when you begin a mobile campaign."

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