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Choose the best mobile campaign

With an often confusing variety of mobile marketing options to choose from, four experts share tips on how to best use the mobile Web, SMS, proximity marketing and games.

David Spear
EVP of sales and marketing, mobile technologies, LSN Inc.

I am a big believer in the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) rule when marketing to WAP-enabled mobile devices.

Whether a campaign is designed to drive brand awareness, deliver knowl­edge or influence direct response, it must be easy for the subscriber to understand, engage and extract value from it. Make sure you consider all elements when reviewing a cam­paign for simplicity. If the campaign is designed to be simple and straightfor­ward, then traction will follow and viral will grow organically and successfully. If the campaign is overly complicated, it will disappoint in almost every aspect.

As many know, mobile advertising is still nascent. It’s not a mainstream activity embraced by the majority of brand managers across this country, and it certainly hasn’t reached its tipping point. Some people don’t believe it will advance. Others can’t understand the effectiveness and level of influence it can have on an individual.

Despite these obstacles, I’ve seen many campaigns succeed beyond the expectations the client has set. We con­sistently see high engagement and click-through rates for those cam­paigns that are rooted in simplicity. For example, one provider offered free calling minutes to Latin America if the consumer signed up for the featured product. The offer was perfectly aligned to a Hispanic audience, geo-targeted to select cities, and delivered in Spanish on Spanish-language mobile sites. It result­ed in a double-digit click-through rate. This example is not complex, nor did it involve a lot of bells and whistles.

We’ve also seen campaigns perform poorly because of difficult, lengthy sign up pages, low-value offers and a misaligned call to action.

Remember – the more you KISS with WAP campaign design, messaging and implementation, the more your sub­scribers will love your campaign.

With mobile Web campaigns, it’s best to keep the design elements simple

Steve Siegel
VP of brand solutions, HipCricket

If you’re a marketer exploring mobile options for your next campaign, you may be reading this and thinking, why short message service (SMS)?

The answer is simple – text messag­ing is ubiquitous. According to Nielsen Mobile, 53% of US mobile subscribers (138 million) use text on a regular basis as compared to 17% (47 million) using the mobile Web. Mobile Web campaigns are great complements to a strong mar­keting foundation using SMS, but do not provide the sheer reach of SMS.

Beyond its reach, an SMS call to action makes traditional media immediately interactive and measur­able. Not only are you extending the message, but now you can make your other media more efficient. For example, Macy’s is adding its text invitations to print, free-standing inserts, the Web and POS materials. You may even see a spe­cial call to action in this year’s Thanks­giving Day parade.

SMS also allows for remarketing opportunities, thus extending the value of the original campaign. MTV Net­works’ The N recently ran a text promo­tion for its new reality show, Queen Bees. Thousands of viewers opted in during the premiere episode, enabling MTV to effectively remarket throughout the whole season.

Unlike other mobile media, SMS can be stored, referred to later or taken to a store for redemption. Coffee Bean & Tea ran a text promotion via radio in Los Angeles, offering a mobile coupon/voucher. In one weekend, hundreds of people came into the coffee chain for a trial cup of coffee.

Finally, SMS can be used to gather important data points from consumers — even valuable, immediate opinions. So, if you are looking for a strong foun­dation on which to build your mobile campaign, SMS is the best choice.

SMS is a powerful advertising option because it is used by so many consumers

Bryan Morrison
President, Ipsh

If you’re a kid in the mobile candy store and you can’t decide what to choose, I’d recommend focusing on your objectives. After that, you can start thinking about the virtues and hurdles of each of the mobile channels.

Whether you’re an experienced mobile marketer or not, when you get to this point, you’re going to have to con­sider proximity. Most marketers use the term “proximity” synonymously with Bluetooth but, in reality, proximity is the concept that makes mobile special.

While the Internet forced marketers to learn interactivity, mobile layers con­text on top, making your location the most important benefit the medium can offer. Understanding proximity allows brands to provide consumers genuine utility in their day-to-day lives.

Typically, the most effective, easily accessible way to enable the consumer to tell you where they are is to simply ask them to enter a ZIP code via voice, SMS or a wireless Internet site. But there are ways to leverage handset- and environ­ment-based technology, too. Near field communication (NFC), radio frequency ID (RFID) and global positioning sys­tems (GPS) are all “coming to America” and should be on your radar.

The one you may already be familiar with here in the US is Bluetooth — transmitters that “ping” or outwardly contact people passing by and create a broadband-like connection with their handset. In the tests we’ve been running for years, Ipsh has found this to be a viable channel. There are pros and cons to this channel, but consumers accept the connection more than 50% of the time when they think it’s relevant.

Proximity solutions give a brand the opportunity to reach out to con­sumers, which is unique considering mobile marketing in the US is complete­ly opt-in. But be warned: If you’re going to introduce yourself, have something good to say, and make the consumer want to come back for more.

Proximity marketing offer brands a way to reach out to consumers

Michael Chang
CEO and co-founder, Greystripe

In-game mobile marketing breaks out from the restrictions of mobile ban­ner ads on mobile Web pages by offer­ing a richer, fuller experience for brands and advertisers. The distinguishing feature of this format is that in-game creatives can be full-screen, so the advertiser has 100% share of voice and isn’t competing with clutter for the user’s full attention. In addition, a posi­tive association is created for the brand, as they are sponsoring free, high-value content. Although every ad network varies, companies like Greystripe offer the coupling of multiple full-screen ads, with the added impact of animation.

In-game ads are primarily priced on a CPM basis, reflecting the strong branding opportunities available from full-screen ads and rich data-gathering features. Pricing is also impacted by tar­geting. As with WAP banners, regional targeting is almost always available, and some providers offer more refined tar­geting such as by carriers, types of hand­set, or based on user demographics.

When making a buy, discuss your required targeting. Networks should at least be able to offer regional or country targeting. Also, if your offering or WAP site is available only on limited carriers or to certain handsets, ask about carrier and handset targeting as well.

Finally, ask about reporting. Impres­sions and actions — for example, clicks and survey responses — are basic and should be available. Also, ask about the breakdown of this data by country, car­rier, handset or other criteria that you may want to see.

Advertising in mobile games pro­vides bigger and richer ads than SMS or WAP banners, as well as a positive brand association for the advertiser. In-game advertising offers unique fea­tures, a great user experience and allows advertisers to benefit from a positive association with fun mobile content.

Mobile gaming gives advertisers 100% share of voice, with no clutter

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