Key Concepts • Short message service (SMS), or text messaging, provides recipients with timely, personalized information. The ability to set up a text campaign in minutes gives mobile marketers the agility that their conventional marketing counterparts lack. Because most mobile subscribers have text-capable phones, text campaigns tend to be highly inclusive. • The number of senior executives who are enthusiastic advocates of mobile technologies is growing rapidly. They rely on actual results based on successful initiatives that have moved products, raised brand awareness, and given marketers more confidence in mobile marketing and advertising. As a result, greater percentages of marketing budgets are moving into the mobile channel. • Mobile technology has enabled a larger number of people to communicate with one another than any other technical breakthrough in history. Those who market goods or services must be highly sensitive to the reality that customers use mobile technology to express their immediate satisfactions and dissatisfactions. This is why customer satisfaction has become more important than in the past and will continue to increase in significance. • A successful mobile marketing campaign must take the intended audience into consideration. Execution will be different depending on relevance to the individuals in a particular market. Some products require a greater degree of due diligence than others, and competent marketers must recognize the unique characteristics of each market and devise campaigns accordingly. Introduction In Mobilized Marketing, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket Jeff Hasen describes the evolution of marketing through mobile communication devices. Using interviews with numerous marketers, Hasen details the history of mobile marketing and its most effective practices. He illustrates how to integrate mobile technologies into marketing programs, how to effectively measure their impact, and how to optimize the performances of existing marketing expenditures. Hasen’s insights explain the strategies and tactics that sell products and build loyalty through the devices that are rapidly becoming indispensable to consumers.
Part I: The Early YearsRadio once dominated the media presence in the United States. With more than 14,000 stations, radio announcers could form airwave relationships with listeners while promoting a wide range of advertiser offerings. This was the environment that Ivan Braiker entered when he was hired by a CBS television affiliate in 1972. When the technological advancements of the Internet, mobile phones, and other digital offerings arrived, Braiker realized that radio stations were being presented with opportunities that they were not seizing. In 2003, Braiker met Graham Knowles in a Seattle coffee house to discuss a mobile marketing service that was expanding in Knowles’ native Australia. There, radio stations and listeners were using the text messaging capabilities of cell phones to enhance their bonds. Braiker immediately realized that this was a significant event that could change radio marketing dramatically. At the turn of the twenty-first century, mobile devices had made progress in some parts of the world, but were not expected to be communication devices, mini-computers, or even entertainment possibilities in others. In the late 1990s, The Weather Channel entered the mobile world via pagers, a Palm Pilot application, and one of the earliest mobile Web products. It was clear that a considerable number of people would subscribe in order to have local conditions and forecasts immediately on hand. Experts determined that mobile opportunities offered the promise of tapping into large markets by enabling brands to access their customers. The next step would require finding a way to engage with customers and sales prospects through a device that was personalized and always available. American Idol and RAZR The mobile development in the United States continued, becoming an essential accessory for most Americans for three main reasons: 1. The television contest American Idol incorporated text messages into its voting procedure. Over 7.5 million American Idol text messages were sent by AT&T Wireless customers throughout the 2003 season. The number of incoming text votes increased by 5,000 percent from the first to the last voting episodes. 2. Motorola introduced RAZR, a compact and efficient mobile phone. RAZR’s impact on the mobile market was twofold: its sleek, compact appearance made it fashionable, and its ability to offer features beyond wireless conversation made it highly attractive to users who appreciated its ability to browse or obtain an application. 3. Text messaging became available as a cross-carrier product, enabling cell phone users to reach anyone with a message-capable mobile device regardless of the subscriber’s mobile operator. It was at this time that Ivan Braiker, together with business partners Iain Simms and Graham Knowles, set up Hipcricket, a mobile marketing and advertising company. Their goal was to bring a technology platform to America that would facilitate marketers, radio station programmers, and sales staff to engage mobile subscribers via a prompt to text. Hipcricket’s First Successes
Life has become mobile. Consequently, so must marketing. Mobile marketing is an indispensible part of the marketing mix, and it is imperative that every brand and retailer learn how to integrate mobile practices into their overall marketing efforts.One of Hipcricket’s first successes was with Seattle radio station KUBE 93. Listeners were able to contact the station using a short code—a five-digit number associated with text messaging—that was designated for KUBE 93 and promoted by the station. Campaigns to promote an advertiser’s products were set up using keywords (e.g., “Pizza” for a pizza sponsor), and KUBE 93 disc jockeys invited listeners to text in the keyword to obtain a discount. Respondents received a text message that could be shown to the business to receive the markdown. All exchanges were permission-based, complying with carrier rules and the guidelines of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) that prohibit “spam,” or unsolicited bulk messages. In Los Angeles, Clear Channel’s Director of Marketing met with Hipcricket and saw that that their platform could accommodate several types of contesting that would increase ratings for station KIIS-FM in Los Angeles. Hipcricket worked with the local sales and programming teams and convinced the DJs to integrate texting into their shows. KIIS already had a loyal club of online listeners, and Hipcricket enabled the two platforms to communicate through a single point of entry. Listeners could sign up for both simultaneously, making it possible for club members to select how they wanted to communicate with the station (i.e., online, via mobile, or both). Hipcricket’s first brand project was with Doritos, targeting the 12- to 24-year old market. A text invitation was placed on print, TV, radio, outdoor, and online advertising. All participants were entered for prizes and encouraged to go online to join the Doritos loyalty club. Doritos received over 1,000 messages per day and over 60,000 messages total. Of this figure, 28 percent of the participants joined a loyalty club, enabling the brand to remarket to those who indicated a willingness to receive additional information and offers. At radio station KISS in Cleveland, Kris Foley and her team were realizing the advantages of mobile marketing. Traditionally, an advertiser would buy a 60-second commercial and the announcer would mention the client’s website and phone number three times each. Foley knew that listeners no longer consumed media in that fashion; instead, they demanded that the message be immediately relevant. Texting was the solution because it enabled technology to get closer to the listeners. In addition, it was easy to provide advertising prospects with accurate estimates of their return on investment from a texting campaign. One mobile marketing believer was Miles Orkin. He joined the American Cancer Society (ACS) in 2002, and served as its national director of Web and mobile technologies until 2012. He aligned his organization with the Mobile Giving Foundation, a nonprofit group that enabled mobile subscribers to donate to nonprofits through a text pledge connected to their cell phone bills. He ran modest pilot projects within ACS divisions, keeping overhead as small as possible. Orkin took encouragement from a similar effort put forth by the American Red Cross, which raised $32 million in contributions following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Stops and Starts The actual explosion of mobile technologies took place in 2007. Google’s desire to enter the wireless space and buy out wireless carrier Sprint, combined with the market entry of Apple’s iPhone, resulted in a radical expansion. The iPhone updated the wireless experience with an intuitive user experience, access to the Web, applications that addressed practical needs, entertainment applications, and games. The enthusiasm for the iPhone spread to senior executives worldwide who ordered that iPhone apps be built immediately. With half a million apps in Apple’s App Store, these efforts were doomed to obscurity. Hipcricket advised its clients to be more strategic, counseling the use of text messaging to extend reach since over 90 percent of handsets had this capability. Many brands sought to reach customers through advertisements on mobile Internet pages and within applications. At the time, there were no established instructions or metrics to provide direction and it was not until 2009 that ad guidelines allowed for more creativity and the introduction of animated and rich media units. It was in the summer of 2007 that Jeff Hasen joined Hipcricket as chief marketing officer (CMO). He was attracted to the firm because of its permission-based mobile programs. Rather than spamming customers, this model involved the customer “opting in” for information and offers. Hasen quickly saw that Hipcricket could move from the start-up phase by assisting clients in engaging customers who had expressed a desire to have a relationship with their brands or media companies. Hipcricket Matures By the fall of 2007, Hipcricket was listed on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s international market for small but growing companies. Hipcricket, fueled by an influx of money, worked to increase its market share. In the spring of 2008, Hipcricket debuted the industry’s first Hispanic mobile marketing network. The buying power of America’s Hispanic population exceeds $1 trillion, and recognizing that Hispanics are among the most active users of mobile technology, Hipcricket developed a mobile marketing and advertising network to help marketers reach opted in Hispanic subscribers. This network supported the efforts of clients such as Harley- Davidson, HBO, and Arby’s to reach over seven million Hispanic radio listeners in large markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Chicago.
Since day one of commerce, it has been critical to serve the customer. That is, of course, still true today. What is dramatically different is the consumer’s ability to broadcast his or her experiences and to influence consideration and purchase patterns.In March of 2008, the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., publisher of the For Dummies franchise, employed Hipcricket to promote the annual “Dummies Month” with texting, mobile advertising, and a mobile website intended to reach the purchasers of For Dummies titles. This promotion included a text-to-win sweepstakes to win consumer electronics via SMS. When customers texted the word “Dummies,” their e-mail addresses were retained and they were sent $5 rebate coupons off any For Dummies title.