How to acquire and maintain loyal customers through mobile media.
Posted Jun 1, 2005
Marketers are realizing that mobile phones are truly a one-to-one communication tool with direct access to the consumer. The next evolution is using mobile media as a CRM tool, directly reaching the consumer at any time and any place...and creating real-time loyalty that no other channel can provide.
Using mobile media to build brands and maximize customer loyalty
Brand owners are rapidly realizing the power of the "third screen as a valuable CRM medium, one that can be used in an integrated marketing effort to strengthen the brand and cultivate customer acquisition and loyalty.
Mobile phones offer a direct customer marketing channel that targets the individual in a way that no other medium is able to do. As a CRM medium, mobile provides an unprecedented level of intimacy: the brand message reaches each individual one-on-one, on a portable personal device that is carried with the consumer at all times.
This direct consumer access represents a powerful messaging vehicle that reaches a highly personal touch point with customers--one that can significantly increase brand loyalty. However, marketers must take precautions when crafting a mobile campaign to ensure that the consumer will welcome their brand message.
Strategies for creating CRM initiatives via mobile media
First and foremost, mobile campaigns should be permission-based, giving the consumer the ability to opt-in or opt-out at any time. Then the key to creating a successful mobile messaging campaign is to offer the consumer a reward or incentive for their participation. This may take the form of a sweepstakes entry, exclusive content, useful information, entertainment, or a redeemable coupon.
A typical opt-in campaign collects consumer information and delivers a text message. An alternate strategy uses a mobile media network to run a content-embedded campaign, which can also collect information that the marketer may use to deliver a message to the consumer at a later time.
Here are two examples of mobile CRM messaging, one using the text-based opt-in method and the other using the content-embedded technique:
Many companies and organizations utilize mobile messaging to communicate with their customers/constituents on an ongoing basis. After the tsunami occurred on December 26 Cingular Wireless used mobile messaging to communicate with subscribers and provide them with a donation tool using their mobile device. Subscribers were sent the following message from Cingular to their mobile phone:
FREE MSG: Cingular is helping U give 2 the victims of the tsunami disaster by giving a 1 time gift of $.99 or $1.99 right on your phone bill! Reply YES 2 give now.
All subscribers who replied with YES were presented with several charity organizations to select from and were asked to select the dollar amount they would like to donate. All donations were made to the charity organizations by Cingular and the donation amounts were added to the individual subscriber's monthly bill. Cingular leveraged the power of mobile messaging to offer subscribers a mobile forum to contribute to the relief effort. Cingular provided an invaluable service while reinforcing the brand.
Mobile Media Network Campaign
Using a mobile media network to build a brand offers the marketer several ways to communicate with the consumer. Content-embedded message formats can simply perform brand promotion, a click-to-call functionality, an information capture, or an opt-in for alerts/messaging.
To reach its customer base, SBC Knowledge Ventures is currently running regionally targeted embedded content within a mobile media network that promotes SBC Home Court, a custom-tailored Web site for consumers within a 75-mile radius of the NBA arenas in Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, and San Antonio. The site allows consumers to view players' videos, take interactive virtual tours through players' homes, and enter the SBC Home Court Sweepstakes and Tell a Friend about SBC Home Court.
Only those consumers within a 75-mile radius of the NBA arena in the targeted regions are served the SBC Home Court banner on their mobile device. To interact with the brand, the consumer clicks on the banner and is asked for an email address. SBC then delivers the consumer an email with instructions on how to access the SBC Home Court site and enter the sweepstakes.
With the ability to specifically target consumers in NBA team regions and drive traffic to the team Web site (and the SBC Home Court area of the team site), the campaign effectively promotes both the team and SBC Home Court content. It delivers an integrated brand image that resonates with very specific consumers and builds true brand loyalty.
The future of mobile and CRM
The number of wireless subscribers in the United States will continue to grow, and with it handset capabilities will become ever more sophisticated. As consumers continue to accept and opt-in for mobile messaging on their devices, brands have an incredible opportunity to reach them in a uniquely personal, targeted, and cost-effective manner.
Three coming trends that will help drive high response rates and high ROI:
more precise geotargeting, pinpointing consumers with unique localized messages;
voice-interactive ads that will enable consumers to speak to their phones when they get a message, e.g., a coupon offer is displayed while a consumer is browsing wireless Internet on his handset. The consumer speaks "send a coupon." A few seconds later they will receive a text message with imbedded coupon for immediate redemption.
better optimization and targeting through predictive marketing, ensuring a maximum ROI for mobile marketing campaigns.
It is a future that holds exciting promise for marketers ready to leverage this unique personal communication medium. If you think your brand can benefit from the potential of mobile media, talk with a mobile marketing company and see how these concepts can be put into action immediately.
About the Author
Tom Burgess is founder and CEO of Third Screen Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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