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Steve Madden tests MMS as discovery and purchase mechanism

Steve Madden is testing the effectiveness of MMS as a discovery and purchase mechanism, sending timely and relevant news, sales promotions and exclusive content to opted-in consumers on their mobile phones.

Consumers will be able to text various keywords (i.e. JOINSTEVE to 91919) and will receive back relevant text, picture and video messages on their mobile devices. For example, consumers will soon be able to see the newest Steve Madden styles on mobile first, delivered as video slideshows via MMS.

?Steve Madden is a fashion-forward lifestyle brand with a cool, trend-setting customer base,? said Andrew Koven, president of ecommerce and customer experience at Steve Madden, New York. ?Our customers like to be engaged and communicate, which is what makes the mobile experience particularly exciting ? we?re experimenting with lifestyle and product content including images, music and video.

?Our campaign ideas are setting the stage and hopefully will be of value to other marketers looking to succeed in mobile, reinforcing Steve Madden?s brand position as innovators and leaders,? he said. ?Segmentation will be built around consumer?s preferences in a macro sense, and location in a micro one.

?Our mobile marketing objectives are rooted in relevancy ? we?re going to be a bit slower and more deliberate with our approach to this.?

Steve Madden designs, sources and markets fashion-forward footwear and accessories for women, men and children. The brand tapped Mogreet to power this initiative.

Mogreet claims its mobile marketing platform delivers text, picture and video messages to over 2 billion consumers around the world spanning 170 countries.

Product discovery
Consumers will be able to text the name of certain products, such as the Caryssa high heel, to see images of the shoe, its available colors and even purchase it directly from the device.

Furthermore, the Steve Madden mobile marketing plans and strategy are being integrated across all consumer touch points, including in-store, on packaging, online, via in-store television screens and direct mail.

?We?re experimenting with a variety of different in-store signs, messages, store placement and positioning - testing to see which drive the greatest opt-in,? Mr. Koven said. ?Our customers can also sign up on our Web site and mobile site.

?That being said, we?re looking to provide value-added information to support the shopping process which includes both discovery and purchase,? he said. ?In some cases we?re providing special offers to opt-in, and in others, we?re looking to see organically if engagement centered around product and lifestyle information encourages opt-in.

?We think it will.?

Reaching the masses
MMS and SMS are becoming the technologies of choice for retailers and major brands that are seeking effective ways to connect with their consumers on mobile in a timely, relevant, personalized and unobtrusive way.

By leveraging MMS and SMS, brands can reach nearly 95 percent of mobile phone subscribers on both smartphones and non-smartphones alike.

Steve Madden is testing and using SMS and video messaging to:

? Give customers the ability to see the latest styles, see video look books of the upcoming season?s fashions, get exclusive music content and videos from the Steve Madden brand, receive coupon codes, get style tips and more

? Increase in-store traffic and conversion

? Drive online and mobile commerce

? Build a mobile database

? Build one-to-one relationships with customers

? Reach consumers anytime, anywhere

? Make it easier to research and shop

?Most people do not leave their homes without their mobile phone,? Mr. Koven said. ?It?s the most personal, timely and intimate medium for communicating with consumers and a powerful way to reach people anywhere, anytime."

Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Marketer