Mobile provides instant interaction with consumers: Industry execs

The extraordinary numbers seen by the Red Cross? SMS campaign to raise funds for Haiti disaster relief has caused many to realize how instrumental mobile can be in getting a message out.

Integrating mobile into a marketing campaign can increase consumer response. It is the ease and convenience the channel presents to consumers that draws them in.

?Traditional media has historically relied on a delayed response from consumers,? said Shira Simmonds, president of Ping Mobile, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. ?For example, if a consumer sees a billboard or newspaper ad for a Hawaiian vacation, he may go home and think about it for days or weeks before he takes action.

?Frequently, with traditional advertising, consumers need to receive multiple impressions of an ad before the message sinks in enough to trigger a response,? she said.

?But SMS makes it possible for the consumer to respond instantly, within minutes of seeing an advertising message. Once he sends a mobile response and opts-in to the promotion, he becomes part of the brand, interacting with it through repeated contact.?

Ping Mobile is a mobile marketing firm. Its clients include Unilever?s Axe, Ford and Warner Bros.

Instant success with SMS
Ping recently did a campaign for Unilever's Axe Body Spray.

To launch the fragrance Axe Chocolate Scent, Ping created six separate keywords that were advertised in a variety of traditional media channels.

Consumers were prompted to text the keyword in order to enter a sweepstakes.

A second tier of the campaign prompted users to purchase the product and enter the UPC code online in order to receive an additional 50 sweepstakes entries.

The campaign generated 30,000 entries and a double opted-in mobile database at a rate of 19 percent (see story).

Ping powered a campaign for quick-service restaurant Pizza Hut to generate buzz about its new Hershey's Dunkers offering and built a mobile database of consumers to remarket to.

Calls-to-action ran on Cox Media's cable network asking viewers to text the keyword HUT to short code 269411. Consumers who texted in were entered for a chance to win a Pizza Hut pizza, once a month, for a year straight (see story).

Pizza Hut?s campaign saw more than 2,000 opt-ins within two weeks.

Bar code branding
Text-message opt-ins are far from the only way to engage consumers. Another option? Mobile bar codes.

Scanbuy Inc. has launched a number of products for brands such as American Airlines, Volkswagen and Sprint with the use of bar codes.

?Mobile barcodes are an extremely easy and trackable way to mobilize any traditional media from print to packaging,? said Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of Scanbuy, New York. ?In our experience, the keys to getting results are to give the consumer something of value and communicate clearly with a strong call-to-action. 

?Bar codes make it really easy to get to specific content in seconds, so marketers need to build off of that so the experience after the click is rewarding ? anything from a chance to win to a product discount is going to get noticed,? he said.

PepsiCo?s Pepsi Max mobilized its advertising within the Danish Rail system using 2D bar codes that connect commuters to a variety of content and information.

The soft-drink giant tapped Scanbuy technology to mobilize the ads.

Commuters could scan a code from a poster or window cling to instantly get information about a music festival that Pepsi sponsored in Copenhagen in September.

Consumers could also get a free sample of Pepsi Max (see story).

?The future of this technology is wide open, and now packaging can also become completely interactive with the UPC code,? Mr. Bulkeley said. ?A consumer can use their camera phone to scan a bar code for recipes, product demos and promotional offers.

?That puts a lot more marketing power back into the package,? he said. ?And these codes are everywhere.?