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MMS yet to see success of mobile Web, app, SMS: Mobile Marketing Day panel

NEW YORK - Instead of leveraging mobile for other assets, marketers need to leverage other assets for mobile.

There will be 300 million mobile subscribers and 120 million mobile users by 2011, according to a member of the panel discussing the essential tools for WAP, applications, SMS and MMS at Mobile Marketing Day 2010, hosted by Mobile Marketer and the Direct Marketing Association.

?The thing with mobile and it is the thing that often gets lost, is that [companies] need to have an idea ? a business goal,? said Jordan Greene, principal of Mella Media, New York. ?They get into this and they get into it for the wrong reasons.

"WAP sites, the mobile Web, everything you can do on the Web you can do on a mobile device now,? he said. ?We are talking about content delivery, video streaming, RSS feeds and you do not have to have someone who is editing the site in real-time.

?A company can do customer profile acquisitions, see data fields and do viral marketing.?

Hockey-stick growth
Mr. Greene cited a recent cross-media campaign between the National Hockey League?s New York Rangers and the MSG Network, sister organizations that teamed up to give fans the chance to text in to win up to $1 million (see story).

According to Mr. Greene, everyone can take part in the sweepstakes. Kids watching at home can text in and adults at bars can participate ? there is a wide demographic for the cross-media campaign.

?What is unique about this program in particular is that it is completely focused on mobile,? Mr. Greene said. ?Many people are on unlimited plans so it doesn?t cost them anything to participate by texting in.

?They?ve taken a mobile promotion and put it in other places, integrating social media such as Twitter and Facebook,? he said. ?Afterwards, they?re taking the stuff of the guy shooting and it goes up on YouTube.

"This is an incredibly simple contest and we?ve spun it into a platform - they've already extended it for next season.?

There are two types of mobile sites ? a feature phone site and a ?Cadillac? smartphone brand site.

The panelists claimed that mobile Internet marketing should balance features and aesthetics with handset compatibility and user experience.

Landing pages and feature phone sites should be simple to use and streamlined, with a look-and-feel that is good on all models.

?The mobile Web is important,? said Michael Ahearn, vice president of marketing strategies at iLoop Mobile, San Jose, CA. ?In retail, you would be able to derive information from on-shelf communicators using mobile.?

MMS slow to take off
MMS has had a lot of challenges in the U.S. market. In Europe there are vendors that will do MMS marketing, but it has not taken off in the United States.

MS&L Digital, a global communications firm, discussed a campaign where users were asked to take a picture of a UL mark and send it via MMS. Those who sent in the logo - a QR code - were entered to win a $10,000 shopping spree (see story).

Additionally, there was an entry form online. The company saw that more than 11 percent of entries came from a mobile device.

?Email and text messaging are the biggest focus,? said Webster Lewin, senior vice president and director of digital innovation and strategy at MS&L  Digital, New York.

?Mobile applications are becoming more dominate with the growth of smartphones,? he said. ?Every brand out there is saying that they want an iPhone application.

?Not everybody?s application is going to be successful.?