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Alex Muller
Founder/CEO,Slifter

Mobile phones represent the quickest growing channel in digital mar­keting. Globally, more than 3 billionconsumers have a mobile device with the US representing more than 260 million of those users. Beyond making calls, mobile phones have become inter­active tools with messaging, cameras, Internet capability and GPS. Now, tech­niques such as text messages, mobile banner ads and mobile search are trans­forming the promise of this technology into a marketing reality.

Similar to plain text e-mail, SMS marketing delivers a short message to consumers — the limit is 160 characters. Though most mobile users have SMS capability, marketers have to keep in mind that consumers must opt in to receive promotional messaging — lists cannot simply be purchased. This method is most effective for promotions and contests.

Banner ads on a mobile phone func­tion like those on the Internet, but at a fraction of the size. Clear simple messag­ing is paramount and marketers should remember what happens when a banner is clicked. Is there a product or company wireless access protocol (WAP) site or landing page? It is important for landing pages to be simple — loading time is a factor. Also, a successful mobile banner campaign should be actionable from the device (call-in number, local store finder) and not just a splash page.

As with the Web, mobile search has emerged as a highly targeted and ROI-driven form of mobile marketing. Whether it be through a major local portal (Google, Yahoo) or a specific category portal (shopping, restaurants), marketers can take advantage of reach­ing a local audience on their mobile device. Participation in local search can be as simple as submitting listings or products. Though major search portals have more traffic, the specific portals will drive more qualified leads.

Through various techniques mobile is a compelling addition to a successful marketing campaign and serves to con­nect marketers with local consumers.

THE TAKEAWAY
Mobile search can be a compelling addi­tion to a successful campaign

 

Patrick Flanagan
Director of product management, SmartProducts at ShopLocal

Does your company send out e-mail to your customers? If so, mobile marketing is a logical next step. The same skills needed for success in e-mail marketing are directly applicable to mobile. Forrester Research recently reported that nearly 40% of all US mobile users have sent a text message— roughly 78 million people. Textmessages offer marketers the highest rate of deliverability for any push-based media. It's an opportunity for market­ers who are looking to reach their customers with a timely message in a personal manner.

Texting is a perfect transactional mes­saging option. Unlike other mobile tech­nologies that are still maturing in the marketplace such as MMS(multimedia messaging service) for sending images, or WAP for mobile Web sites, as well as over-the-air downloads and installed programs for ringtones and other add-ons, texting requires very little effort of the intended recipient. At ShopLocal, we found that keeping it simple is the real key in using text messages today.

There are a few other practical tips to consider. Some dos: Be concise — your text messages must have 160 characters or fewer; make sure there is a perceived value exchange in the interaction. Be respectful of your customer's permission and privacy. Few other technologies are as inherently personal to a consumer as a mobile device.

As far as don'ts, make sure you don't oversend messages. Finally, don't con­sider mobile to be a strategy. It is an emerging channel for delivering your message.

THE TAKEAWAY
Mobile isn't a strategy – it's an emerging channel for message delivery

 

Matthew Roth
Mobile practice lead, StudioCom

The true value of the mobile device in driving commerce is the ability for consumers to immediately act on their interest in your brand's message.

It's the one device that nearly all Americans have within just a few feet of them at all times. While using the device as a marketing tool may be a no-brainer, figuring out how to leverage it effectively is often less obvious.

The key to successfully using mobile to spark commerce is to first establish a mobile platform that will serve as a launch pad for your mobile campaigns and initiatives. This platform should allow consumers to interact with your brand, get more information on prod­uct offerings or to alert them of special events. It should include a mobile-enabled Web site that allows consumers to access information that is relevant to them while on the go.

Once your mobile platform is com­plete you can run promotions to help drive traffic to your platform. These could be text-to-win campaigns, sweep­stakes, interactive games or useful tools, but they should all drive the consumer to your mobile platform to complete the desired transaction.

The number one reason mobile cam­paigns fail is due to their lack of cohe­sion with the brand's overall marketing message. Creating one-off mobile cam­paigns might meet immediate goals, but will fail to complement your long-term objectives. Creating a thoughtful mobile strategy along with a well-established mobile platform will enable your brand to create a lasting, personalized, reward­ing experience for your customers.

THE TAKEAWAY
A thoughtful mobile strategy can extend the reach of your brand

 

Hervé Pluche
President and founder, StoreXperience

In the midst of one of the most dis­mal shopping seasons in US history, it's become clear that the current retail system needs more than just a Band-Aid of an economic stimulus package to turn things around. Beyond the reces­sion, the in-store shopping experience is faltering because retailers, brands and marketers haven't evolved and a huge divide has been bridged between the in-store and online shopping experience, where consumers are spending more of their time.

With the introduction of feature-rich mobile phones and data capable tele­communications networks, marketers now have the opportunity to reconcile these two fields, and inform and influ­ence consumer behavior while they are actively shopping in stores before a purchasing decision is made. The crux of the matter is that being online and being offline are not two separate worlds – people now move in and out of being connected every moment.

Consumers' mobile devices can now carry complex data and receive mul­timedia content; and retailers need to stay ahead of the game by using tech­nology that can talk to a consumer via their mobile phones. At the forefront of mobile marketing are 2-D barcodes, which have long been popular in Europe and Japan, and are now making headway in the US market.

The technology harnesses a mobile device's camera and other features of the mobile device by allowing users to instantly scan tiny barcodes for rich product information and ancillary mar­keting messages. Users' cameras can scan the barcodes anywhere: in-store, in a magazine, or even on a billboard. Marketers can then send targeted offers to these potential buyers depending on the context of the scan.

By integrating CRM with 2-D bar code technology, stores, brands and marketers can precisely target customers based on context, and also monitor the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in real time to optimize market spend.

THE TAKEAWAY
Using the mobile phone to scan product information can increase interactivity

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