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The Mann Center for Performing Arts turns to mobile marketing

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park has added mobile to its marketing mix.

The outdoor musical venue has partnered with M3 Mobile Marketing for the mobile initiative. "The Mann Mobile Rush Club" launched in an effort to inform concert?goers about last-minute ticket sales and special offers.

"The strategy behind the Mann Center launching a mobile initiative is to keep in closer touch with our most loyal patrons, keeping them informed and offering them rewards while on the go," said Phil Sumpter, director of marketing for The Mann Center, Philadelphia.

"M3 Mobile Marketing is helping The Mann Center position itself within the regional cultural arts market as a cutting-edge arts organization with a strategic focus on utilizing new media to both develop new audiences and maintain closer communications with its loyal patrons," he said.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is an outdoor cultural arts center that attracts 173,000 visitors annually. It has been the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra since the 1930s.

Concerts and programs encompass all musical genres from pop, jazz, R&B, rock and contemporary, to dance theater, opera and classical.

M3 Mobile Marketing is a mobile marketing agency focused on SMS, mobile ordering, mobile Web/WAP site design, wallpapers, ringtones and mobile Web advertising.

To join "The Mann Mobile Rush Club," individuals are asked to text the keyword MANN to the short code 89887.

New subscribers will receive an immediate response from M3 Mobile Marketing, confirming their membership into The Mann Center's mobile program and will later receive weekly text messages with details about upcoming performances.

Patrons of The Mann Center can also join "The Club" by entering their mobile number online within their email sign-up form.

The target demographic of the Mann Mobile Rush Club is young urban and suburban working professionals 21"40 years of age, who are mobile-device savvy and have disposable income for entertainment, but tend to make last-minute decisions concerning their options.

Here are some examples of special offers consumers receive via SMS:

"This Friday David Byrne Live @ The Mann! Tickets as low as $25! Order now @ http://www.manncenter.org. Powered by M3 Mobile Marketing."

"This Sat & Sun Celtic Woman @ The Mann. Use code CELMOB09 for 50% off Sunday's show. http://www.manncenter.org or 215.893.1999. Powered by M3 Mobile Marketing."

To make sure their patrons are up?to?date with the latest events and offers, The Mann Center has strategically incorporated mobile into all of its advertising channels.

This list includes local papers such as The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly and Metro, digital forms such as email and on its Web site, and even the most traditional forms of marketing such as on?site signage, season brochures and direct mail.

The Mann Center claims that its advertising has a total reach of close to half a million individuals.

The mobile call-to-action appeared as a footer in all print advertisements, including daily, weekly and monthly publications spanning 22 weeks of the season.

It appeared on the mailing panel of three direct pieces, including the full-season brochure and two monthly reminders.

In addition, the mobile call-to-action appeared in three email blasts announcing the line-up for the season.

"The Mann Center makes its marketing and media-buying decisions based on proven return on investment," Mr. Sumpter said. "While the organization continues to present a range of concerts spanning classical to popular music, its core audience tends to skew between 45-65.

"As an official sponsor of its 2009 season, M3 Mobile Marketing has helped The Mann put mobile communications into its marketing mix, testing its effectiveness in reaching new younger audiences," he said.