Mobile Marketing Takes Hold


Considering most consumers' addiction to their mobile device, mobile marketing is looking increasingly attractive to many marketers. In fact, several experts believe that some marketers will soon drop their direct mail campaigns and focus their efforts on mobile marketing.

"We're seeing mobile getting a lot of traction," says Stephan Dietrich, president of Neolane.

Blaine Mathieu, CMO of Lyris, agrees. He says he sees companies expanding beyond email marketing and exploring SMS. "Marketers are experimenting," he says. "2009 is when we'll go out there in a big way."

Studies show that consumers also seem to be ready for the revolution. The Mobile Marketing Association reports that approximately 90 percent of the 2,000 respondents from a recent online panel are interested in learning about the mobile Web, as well as receiving mobile marketing and advertising campaigns. And with mobile applications more sophisticated than ever, there is an opportunity for companies to deliver ground-breaking mobile campaigns.

The 2008 November/December issue of 1to1 Magazine features three examples of highly effective mobile marketing campaigns.

The first is Universal Pictures, which launched an integrated campaign to promote its movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The campaign included a traditional marketing campaign based around movie posters, supported by text message advertising, branded online mobile registration widgets, and mobile video trailers-all designed to engage users, increase awareness, and drive trailer views and movie attendance.

The text message ads asked such questions as "Been dumped?" or "Looking for romantic disaster?" with an option to reply for more information. Long ads included movie information and a link to a mobile-ready video trailer.

Sarah-branded mobile widgets, offered on Facebook and other social networking sites, allowed consumers to sign up for free sports content delivered to their cell phones that included a link to the online movie trailer-and provided Universal with optimal access to its desired target audience (men ages 18 to 34).

The campaign resulted in a 19.7 increase in brand awareness, a rise in recommendation intent of 21.6 percent; a jump in mobile trailer viewing of 14 percent; and an increase in "intent to see the movie" by 21 percent.

While Universal Pictures used mobile for its integrated marketing efforts, Clear Channel uses it to give listeners the VIP treatment.

Listeners of Clear Channel's five local Los Angeles radio stations-KIIS, 98.7, KOSD, MyFM, and Hot 92-can opt-in to join one of three clubs to receive text alerts when a celebrity calls into a show, when a new song is being played, or when new concerts are announced.

For example, KIIS-FM secured an interview with world champion swimmer Michael Phelps soon after his historic Olympic run. The night before the interview, and again a few minutes prior to the actual interview, KIIS producers sent text messages to members of its "celebrity club" to remind them to listen.

"Mobile is about hitting smaller groups of people who have said, 'I want to interact with you.' It's much more personal, and much more effective. That's the way marketing is now," says Eileen Woodbury, director of marketing for Clear Channel Los Angeles

Finally, to satisfy the increasing amount of information fans expect-everything from injury reports on their fantasy players to the name of the third-string receiver in the depth chart-the New England Patriots created a one-stop-shop mobile site,, to complement its site.

Fans can also use the mobile site to access the team store and buy apparel, souvenirs, and collectibles. "This is something fans have been asking for, and it's a function we owe them," says Fred Kirsch, digital content publisher for the New England Patriots.

Overall Kirsch admits that it's early for "m-commerce" (mobile commerce) to take hold in the United States, but he's hopeful that the mobile traffic to the store increases.

He's also exploring advertising to support the mobile site, and expects to have sponsors within the next year or so. Even if that avenue doesn't materialize, though, he says the mobile experiment is worth the effort.