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NASA Space Center uses mobile to draw in younger visitors

Space Center Houston, the official visitor's center for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has entered the mobile marketing realm and will send special offers and discounts to visitors and mobile club members.

NASA has tapped Cellit Mobile Marketing to help it with its future mobile initiatives such as text-for-information, mobile coupons, mobile contesting, mobile WAP sites, downloadable ringtones and wallpapers.

"Space Center Houston's stated purpose for this initiative is to draw in younger visitors and reach a tech-savvy demographic who is also predisposed to interest in Space and Space travel," said Jarrett Klein, vice president of the Western sales region of Cellit, Chicago.

"Ultimately, it comes down to increased attendance for their attractions," he said. "I don't think it is a coincidence that this particular campaign is being launched at the beginning of the all important Spring Break travel season and is being supported by their traditional radio efforts."

Yesterday, NASA's Space Center Houston launched its send-to-a-friend feature. This feature allows for each subscriber to pass the message along increasing sign-ups.

"Mobile is perfect for both residents and out-of-town visitors, as it allows Space Center Houston to deliver information and offers directly into the pocket of their potential visitors, regardless of Internet access, lack of physical address or longevity in the market," Mr. Klein said.

The Cellit Redemption Widget operates in tandem with any Windows based Point-of-Sale system, and installs easily on both keyboard and touch screen systems.

Cellit Studio's mobile couponing engine provides a system for delivering unique coupon codes to each customer, enabling trackable offers and targeting.

The Space Center Houston has started offering a 50 percent off admission special to drive visitor traffic during the all important Spring Break season.

Consumers are asked to text SPACE to 30364 to receive current and future offers.

Green Global Messaging served as a consultant to Space Center Houston on the project and was instrumental in the implementation of this campaign.

"Individuals that text SPACE to 30364 will begin receiving semi regular communication from Space Center Houston with promotions, coupons and incentives," Mr. Klein said. "This mobile club is a low cost, highly effective and targeted way of conducting direct marketing activities while reducing their carbon footprint. Green initiatives are important for Space Center Houston.

"Mobile will work in tandem with Space Center Houston's traditional marketing efforts," he said. "However the low carbon footprint and generally low cost ROI that mobile offers is an increasingly attractive proposition for both Space Center Houston and other marketers.

"By starting initiatives such as this, it is our hope that we can augment or replace activities such as direct mail, paper coupons and the like."