DMNews spends a few minutes with Kim Breslin, director of marketing communications, 1-800-FREE411

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Kim Breslin
Kim Breslin

Q: Why did you sign on Limbo to help 1-800-FREE411 develop a mobile advertising campaign? What did you want to accomplish?

A: 1-800-FREE411 is an advertiser-supported, free directory assistant service. 2007 was really about test­ing various marketing channels to see what worked for us. We wanted to test mobile because it seemed the most logical, as we are a service on the phone. Our two goals were to build awareness of 1-800-FREE411 and drive call volume and new callers to the service.

Q: What other marketing channels had you tested?

A: Pre-2007, growth was pretty organic; no one wants to pay for 411, and once people realize they have a free alternative they start calling. Last year, we tested radio, e-mail, print and street teams. But as the mobile industry was growing and the advertising was going gangbusters we needed to jump in there.

Q: How did Limbo's mobile cam­paign work?

A: In November we ran a small test, and the campaign went national in December. The message was something like, “Don't pay for 411, call 1-800-FREE411” — something as simple as that gets the brand across. Ads were placed on daily subscription text messages, so if someone signed up for a daily joke, at the end of that message they would get the ad.

Q: What were the results of the campaign?

A: We saw increased awareness of the brand, which was our number one goal. Fifty-seven percent of recipients tried FREE411 because of the ad, and 62% said they were going to try our service. Then, a significant proportion said they would recommend 1-800-FREE411 to friends and would use it again.

Q: What's the next step in market­ing 1-800-FREE411?

A: We're still testing different marketing channels, because the directory assistant space has really changed and grown even since last month. More testing would be more indicative of the space now, but mo­bile is definitely a sweet spot for us, and we will continue to test millions of impressions to drive call volume. Moving forward, we'll do a little bit more targeting and probably target a wider range of ages and demograph­ics so we can see the performance of each.

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