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HotBox Pizza runs mobile loyalty program

In its second attempt at a mobile loyalty program, HotBox Pizza turned out better results with the help of mobile marketing company Tetherball.

Tetherball renovated the initial "BoxStar" mobile marketing campaign with hopes of yielding fresh interactions without losing the original HotBox style. HotBox saw a redemption rate of 24 percent on the first opt-in offer before a 10 percent redemption rate on offers to follow.

"HotBox's goal is to increase awareness in a very crowded, noisy market, the pizza business," said Jay Highley, president/chief operating officer for Tetherball, Carmel, IN.

"The big brands have such top-of-mind power that through the use of mobile we can move the HotBox brand into top-of-mind status," he said.

According to HotBox Pizza, its initial attempt at a mobile campaign lacked the level of experience necessary to accrue the results it wanted.

With the rise in popularity of the mobile marketing medium, HotBox had the right intentions in its first campaign, but admits that it was working with a mobile marketing company that wasn't producing as hoped.

However, Tetherball came to the rescue with a clear strategy that was aimed at connecting the mobile loyalty program and traffic within the stores.

"What HotBox wants to do is be laser-targeted to this younger, viral audience through mobile to compete with bigger brands with bigger budgets in a crowded marketplace," Mr. Highley said. "Through frequency, they've established they can move up that ladder of awareness."

Members of the loyalty program receive HotBox discounts and notifications via their mobile phones. The notifications indicate menu items, special deals and upcoming community events involving HotBox Pizza.

The HotBox campaign initiated by Tetherball is completely permission-based and, after proving its power in the mobile market, has been implemented system wide.

In fact, during the campaign's pilot program, HotBox saw a redemption rate of 24 percent on the first opt-in offer before a 10 percent redemption rate on offers to follow.

It seems that paper and online coupons are becoming outdated as this traditional marketing system usually yields less than 2 percent redemption rates.

HotBox claims it was important to maintain originality in the mobile marketing world and Tetherball made that possible using an approach that left the HotBox style untouched. Instead, the company reached out to the young people in the community with the medium they use the most: mobile.

According to Tetherball, their level of experience puts them ahead of the game in delivering measurable results to their clients.

"We see mobile as the next evolution, in terms of media, that effectively reaches a 25 and younger marketplace," Mr. Highley said.

"As we speak, mobile is replacing newspaper, radio and TV with this younger audience and the brands that get into this game early will establish themselves with this audience as a cool, innovative and intimate brand," he said.