Duane Reade polls New Yorkers for Delish brand cookie promo

Drug store chain Duane Reade used SMS to ask New Yorkers a question: ?How do you like your cookies??

The company tapped Knotice?s on-demand marketing software to poll New Yorkers on whether they prefer soft or hard Delish brand cookies. Duane Reade offers a variety of food products under the Delish brand.

?Mobile allows marketers to connect with consumers anywhere, whether that connection happens across the country or in the neighborhood,? said Brian Deagan, CEO of Knotice, Akron, OH. ?The portability of mobile, and its ability to initiate a two-way dialogue, makes interactive brand experiences fun and memorable for consumers while providing new ways for marketers to demonstrate value.?

Posters and in-store creative all over New York urged consumers to text the keyword POLL to Duane Reade?s short code.

Upon the request, Knotice?s software sent the poll question to the customer?s mobile phone.

Based on the poll, 65 percent of New Yorkers prefer soft and chewy cookies.

Customers were directed to reply with either HARD or SOFT to lock in their vote.

"Savvy retailers know that SMS is best used to deliver time-sensitive invitations and promotions that are designed to move the hottest items at the highest price points and not relegated to blowing items off the discount racks," said Tim Miller, president of Sumotext, Little Rock, AR. 

"However, when it is time to have a sale or promotion, retailers should think 'quid pro quo' and require an opt-in," he said. "The trend towards private sales is here to stay, and there is not an easier or more efficient way for a consumer to join one of those clubs than to text a keyword to a short code."

For the Duane Reade promotions, customers also received a reply thanking them for voting that included a snapshot of the current live results of the poll. Consumers were also asked to join a database of names for future marketing.

Consumers could also visit the campaign?s dedicated site at http://hardorsoftny.com. The site recognizes their mobile browser and serves up mobile-optimized content accordingly.

The first message that consumers received said, ?Duane Reade: Are you a hard or soft cookie lover? Reply with HARD or SOFT to vote for your favorite cookie now! Wait for up-to-the minute results!?

After consumers voted they received this message: ?Duane Reade: U will receive the poll shortly.?

The poll, powered by Knotice, collected votes and reported on the current results in real time.

Customers were also able to enter their ZIP code to help Duane Reade find the hardest and softest neighbors in New York.

?SMS provides brands with the widest reach since text is nearly ubiquitous,? said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of HipCricket, Kirkland, WA. ?Of course, the call-to-action in a marketing activity needs to be compelling or the consumer will ignore it.

?HipCricket?s recent survey showed that there are more than ?one-off? benefits to mobile marketing campaigns,? he said. ?In our study, 47 percent of consumers had brand recall and 94 percent of those remembered the specific call-to-action.?

Duane Reade?s campaign was a fun and engaging way to get customers involved in a new product offering.

Everyone has an opinion about how they like their cookies.

?Happily, mobile subscribers have told us that their doors are open when it comes to interacting with brands,? HipCricket?s Mr. Hasen said.

?While 37 percent would be interested in participating in a mobile customer loyalty program from a brand they trust, 83 percent say their favorite company has yet to market to them via mobile,? he said.