Macy's is 2011 Mobile Marketer of the Year, the highest accolade in mobile advertising, marketing and media. The honor tops the Mobile Marketer Awards handed out each year for outstanding work that moved the mobile needle for brands and marketers.
Mobile Marketer is convinced that Macy’s serves as a role model for marketers for its outstanding use of mobile as a marketing medium. The New York-based department store chain won this year's top mobile prize, competing with the best and brightest for the prestigious Mobile Marketer Awards.
“The Mobile Marketer Awards are a recognition of the smartest thinking in mobile advertising, marketing and media,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.
“Macy’s win as Mobile Marketer of the Year 2011 is proof that more Fortune 500 and 1000 marketers understand that mobile is increasingly becoming the epicenter of the consumer’s interaction with family, friends, coworkers, brands and service providers,” he said.
“Giving Macy’s the top gong was not easy, but once the decision was made it was obvious: Here was a marketer that was willing to put resources, talent, thought, boldness and strategic execution behind every action in its efforts to place mobile in a multichannel context.”
The Mobile Marketer of the Year award is the most prestigious honor for smart, strategic and creative mobile marketing. Team Obama won the honor in 2008, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. in 2009 and Starbucks Coffee Co. in 2010.
Like few other marketers this year, Macy’s boasts a 360-degree mobile marketing strategy that encompasses many of mobile’s sub-channels such as commerce, advertising, database/CRM, applications and mobile Web.
The Macy’s Backstage Pass program, for example, brings the retailer’s celebrity designers and fashion authorities into every store location nationwide via QR codes and SMS.
Such marketing taps mobile best advantage – adding legs to other channels, including driving traffic to retail where they can engage consumers while they are shopping in-store.
Besides the Backstage Pass program, Macy’s took its 2011 Thanksgiving Day parade mobile via a dedicated application.
The company also strengthened its holiday efforts through augmented reality for its Believe campaign, an annual national holiday push to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In past years, Macy’s has asked customers to mail their letters to Santa to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
This year, consumers mailing their letters at Macy’s “Believe Stations” in-store can take photos with the campaign’s animated stars Virginia, Ollie and their friends via augmented reality technology.
Additionally, Macy’s partnered with Aflac on a holiday campaign that centers around mobile check-ins this season.
The partnership is using campaigns with GetGlue and foursquare, rewarding consumers with virtual deals and the opportunity to donate to the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Macy’s and Aflac are working to raise up to $1 million in donations.
Macy’s is also fully loaded when it comes to mobile commerce.
The retailer has a mobile app and a mobile Web site, both commerce-enabled and worthy of emulation.
It is not surprising, therefore, to see Macy's win Mobile Marketer of the Year 2011.
Macy’s helped shape the mobile marketing industry this year, serving as an exemplar to other brands and encouraging agencies and service providers to push the envelope.
Here are the other winners of the 2011 Mobile Marketer Awards:
Mobile Advertiser of the Year: Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola Co. is deeply invested in mobile advertising. It has strategic mobile efforts in different parts of the world that leverage the power of advertising to influence and drive desired marketing and retail activity.
The beverage giant most recently teamed up with singer Natasha Bedingfield to get the word out about its Shake Up Christmas global holiday campaign.
The campaign features television spots, as well as online and mobile experiences. Coca-Cola is also publicizing the campaign through in-store promotions and packaging.
Additionally, Coca-Cola is taking its long-term partnership with the World Wildlife Fund mobile in a text-to-donate promotion.
To participate, consumers can text product-specific short codes to a keyword to donate money towards the Arctic Home fund, which is an organization created by Coca-Cola and the WWF to save polar bears.
The campaign, which includes white Coke cans, runs until March and includes a mix of digital, broadcast and mobile initiatives.
“Our primary goal with Arctic Home is to expand awareness and generate funds to help protect the polar bear and its habitat,” said Peter Callaro, group director of integrated marketing content at Coca-Cola, Atlanta.
“Funds raised through Arctic Home will support WWF’s efforts to protect the polar bear’s home through research, local knowledge collection and community-based partnerships,” he said.
The codes for donating are found on select Coca-Cola cans and bottles, which are identified with white packaging.
Users can then text the keyword found on packaging to the short code 357357 to donate $1 towards the Arctic Home foundation.
The donation is automatically added to consumers’ monthly bills via their carrier.
Coca-Cola is matching each dollar donated up to $1 million. The company kicked off the campaign with a $2 million donation
The marketer is also experimenting via a pilot with Google Wallet where consumers can use their mobile device to pay for a drink at 200 of its vending machines across the United States.
Coca-Cola also uses SMS as a key trigger for many of its promotions, especially because it can reach everyone – from users of feature phones to smartphones.
During the summer, Coca-Cola used mobile advertising to ramp up its Facebook presence and further engage beverage lovers with its brand.
The company’s mobile banner ads could be seen within the TV Guide iPhone app. They led consumers to a mobile version of its Facebook page.
Coca-Cola uses mobile to enhance almost every marketing effort it conducts. The company obviously understands the value that mobile brings for both direct response and branding initiatives.
Mobile Publisher of the Year: Condé Nast
Condé Nast is Mobile Publisher of the year because it has a fully rounded content and media strategy on mobile and tablets.
Most recently, Condé Nast rolled out all 18 of its titles to Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet and Nook Color to make sure that its readers can access the editorial content, no matter what device they have.
Besides expanding its reach via mobile properties such as apps and mobile Web sites, Condé Nast also banks on mobile marketing to engage readers beyond the traditional notion of a magazine.
For example, CondéNast’s Glamour magazine saw a total of 512,339 reader engagements for its Friends and Fans campaign that encouraged readers to “Like” a brand by scanning a social mobile bar code featured on advertisers' static pages.
The publisher is constantly expanding its reach as part of an ongoing strategy to be available to consumers regardless where they are or which device they are using.
The company also successfully monetizes its mobile properties via ad support.
For example, W magazine launched the The Daily W iPad edition that was sponsored by Calvin Klein.
The daily updated app, which launched in September, lets consumers shop products featured in the app as well as access to tablet-specific articles, videos and photo galleries. Condé Nast is working with app developer GENWI on the initiative.
On the circulation side, Condé Nast has proven that continued editorial excellence and a great user experience will draw readers to mobile subscriptions and single-copy downloads. The New Yorker and Wired mobile subscriptions and downloads are proof of that.
Condé Nast is Mobile Publisher of the Year because it understands that mobile is key to its future, be it for content consumption, advertiser support, sponsorships or subscriptions.
It is not easy being a publisher in this environment, so for Condé Nast to make science and art of mobile and then integrate across print and online is no mean feat. Condé Nast has set the bar for viable mobile publishing and serves as a role model for others in media and entertainment.
Mobile is clearly an integral part of Condé Nast’s distribution and monetization strategies. Few have the chutzpah to invest as heavily in mobile as Condé Nast has, and few have shown such level-headedness and balance in allocating time and resources behind the various mobile channels.
Mobile Agency of the Year: AKQA
AKQA is Mobile Agency of the Year due to the creative, strategy and marketing results it brings to its clients such as Nike, Delta, Volkswagen and Gap.
The ad agency has gotten more than 1 million downloads for the Nigella cooking application, Nike Training Club, Delta, Gap’s Stylemaker, Heineken Star Player and the Volkswagen GTI app.
AKQA is unique among similar-sized peers in that it does not pay lip service to mobile, but is actively engaged in placing the medium in a multichannel context for its clients.
Mobile advertising and marketing is growing at the fastest clip of any digital or traditional medium.
Perhaps AKQA’s digital heritage makes it easier to understand mobile’s growing clout in the consumer decision-making process.
Still, AKQA is an exemplar to other fence-sitting agencies that judge mobile through print and television standards. Mobile is different, and AKQA gets it.
Mobile Researcher of the Year: Forrester Research
If anything, mobile daily generates mounds of research. Lost in the numbers is strategic insight of what all that data means to marketers looking to devise effective mobile marketing campaigns and programs.
Forrester Research stands out in the crowd for translating numbers into insight.
While the Cambridge, MA-based market researcher does not dish out news releases by the pound, when its well-reasoned reports publish, they resonate and even set the pace for future mobile progress.
The reports produced this year focused on mobile advertising, marketing and social media, as well as tablets and mobile commerce.
Indeed, each report bore Forrester’s signature recipe of highlighting the problem/opportunity with client-side data and offering best practice/solution.
Forrester gets that research is not about data, but what data should spur.
Mobile Service Provider of the Year: Hipcricket
Mobile marketing service provider Hipcricket is Mobile Service Provider of the Year, with notable efforts such as Macy’s Backstage Pass and Le Club Perrier to its credit.
The Kirkland, WA-based provider works with brands such as Miller Lite, Staples, Wiley Books for Dummies, Jiffy Lube, Kikkoman, MTV and Doritos.
While competition is rife in the service provider space, and margins tightening, Hipcricket’s continued push to integrate mobile in all channels for clients is worthy of emulation.
Also, Hipcricket swallows its own medicine, with effective branding, marketing and public relations outreach to constituencies including media. Not surprisingly, New York-based Augme Technologies recently acquired Hipcricket. Be prepared for the new name.
Mobile Program of the Year: Macy’s Backstage Pass
The Macy’s Backstage Pass program lets the retailer connect with its customers on a personal level in every store across the country to help deliver the goods and services that they request.
The goal of the effort is to help customers better understand and navigate seasonal trends, providing requested information via an easy-to-use format direct to their mobile devices.
With Macy's Backstage Pass mobile codes, customers get trend and fashion advice right from the source as they browse the product in-store.
This initiative creates unique interactions between the designers, Macy's and the consumer, which ultimately enhances their overall shopping experience with the retailer.
Macy's Backstage Pass codes are being driven across multiple assets from in-store signage/windows to broadcast, print and online outreach. A television spot promoting the program began airing nationwide in mid-September.
Hipcricket helped with the execution of the Backstage Pass program.
Mobile Campaign of the Year: Hennessey Kaws
LVMH-owned Hennessy’s promotion of its collaboration with the artist Kaws for a limited-edition bottle resulted in 1.3 million scans of the QR code that was created as part of the campaign.
One50one designed a custom-branded QR code to appear on all press releases announcing the collaboration between Kaws and the cognac. The firm also built Hennessy a Kaws-branded mobile Web experience as the back-end of the QR code.
"We wanted to focus our communication in the spaces that both our consumers and Kaws' fans cohabitate," said Billy Paretti, vice president of marketing at Hennessy, New York. "Digital and mobile were key.
"Why mobile? It is a medium that has proven very effective for us in other programming for the brand and it is overall a great way to build a network around a project like the Hennessy/Kaws collaboration," Mr. Paretti said.
QR codes were placed on the bottle itself and also on the press release for the wires, which is a first for a spirits brand.
The fact that the QR code for the press release was custom-created, using colors from the bottle and an image of the actual product as well, is also notable.
The landing page that the QR code brought consumers to was http://hennesseykaws.mobi. It works on all mobile devices.
Visitors can learn more about Kaws once on the site via a short video clip.
The video tells the story of how the Hennessy/Kaws collaboration came about and what inspired the artist when he designed the bottle for the cognac brand.
The mobile landing page lets visitors download the new Hennessy bottle’s label as a wallpaper for their phone. Additionally, consumers can learn about the different cocktails that can be made using Hennessy.
The bottle label has been downloaded 101,000 times since the start of the campaign. The results are as of Sept. 30 and are likely higher now.
Mobile Web Site of the Year: United Parcel Service
Package-delivery giant United Parcel Service has become a staple for shippers with its mobile-optimized site that helps accommodate consumers’ busy lifestyles and lets them control their deliveries via a handset.
In addition to rolling out the mobile site in the United States, UPS has also expanded its mobile efforts to 35 additional international markets – letting more consumers worldwide track packages with maximum ease.
The mobile site is convenient and, in addition to tracking packages, consumers can calculate shipping rates and find the nearest UPS location.
The Atlanta company has also furthered its position in the mobile space via a new service it introduced earlier this year that lets consumers control their deliveries via the UPS mobile site.
The effort is an attempt to increase the likelihood of a successful delivery on the first attempt by providing delivery alerts and specific time frames to a computer or handset.
UPS gets what the mobile Web has to offer: the advantages of the Internet with the ease, immediacy and portability of mobile.
Mobile Application of the Year: Facebook
Facebook has more than 350 million active users accessing its services through their mobile devices. This number will only grow.
Consumers are increasingly social and Facebook is undoubtedly the No. 1 social media destination on the mobile and PC Web.
All told, Facebook has more than 800 million users, with growing access through mobile devices.
The recent upgrade to the app has made the user interface more user-friendly. Also, some glitches from the previous version of the app were resolved with the update.
There is no doubt that Facebook’s mobile popularity translated from its clout on the traditional Web. But 2011 is the year of mocial – mobile and social – and Facebook is ahead of the game.
Mobile Marketer editor in chief Mickey Alam Khan contributed to this article.
The Mobile Marketer Awards were judged by the Mobile Marketer editorial team for overall excellence in mobile advertising, marketing and media from a strategic, creative, tactical, executional and results standpoint. All work considered had to be published in Mobile Marketer in 2011.
Giselle Tsirulnik is deputy managing editor on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily. Reach her at email@example.com.