Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 24, 200811:55 PM

Mobile Marketing Is Not Mobile Advertising

On the flight home from the Strategy And Innovation Forum, I could not stop thinking about the keynote presentation by Andy Nulman from Airborne Entertainment and Blogger over at Pow! Right Between The Eyes (in the interest of full disclosure, I worked at Airborne Entertainment for a short period of time and I consider Andy a friend). His keynote presentation was titled, One Hand In Their Pocket - The Constant Mobile Connection To Your Customers, and there's a pretty thorough Blog posting on it at the Blog over here: Strategy & Innovation Forum - One Hand In Their Pocket - The Constant Mobile Connection To Your Customers - Andy Nulman, Airborne Entertainment.

Andy did an amazing job of differentiating why mobile has challenged so many Marketers. The biggest issue - from my perspective - is the intimacy and personal links Consumers have with their mobile devices. It's the last safe harbour of media that is free from advertising for them. The price individuals pay for their mobile service also intuitively insinuates that it will be an ad-free experience, so breaking that connection is still considered taboo.

What does it take to be successful in Mobile Marketing? According to Andy, Marketers must follow his N.O.W. acronym:

"Near-by - customers need to be in your radius, close, local.
Only - there has to be a limit [to the offer - only 29 left or the offer is only valid for the next two hours].
Wow - make a compelling offer [50% off everything in the store]."

In the question and answer period, one attendee asked how Retailers can build this database of Consumers in the first place. It's great to know what types of programs work best in mobile, but if you have nobody to send it to...

That's when it hit me (my own little pow! right between the eyes moment): Mobile Marketing is not Mobile Advertising. It's the lifetime value versus the immediate sale.

Building the list is not about running a traditional advertising campaign, scraping the data and using it to send Consumers messages via their mobile devices. For Mobile Marketing to truly work, each and every time you run a program, it has to be treated like it's own little viral marketing campaign (with fingers crossed that it can, indeed, go viral).

To get it right, first create a compelling program following Andy's N.O.W. steps. Next up, ask ten friends (or Brand Evangelists) if they would be willing to take part. Have those ten friends spread the idea to ten "best friends" (only people who would really appreciate the offer) via SMS, email, etc... If you've built it following the rules, got permission from the first ten, it *should* start to spread on it's own.

I know what you're thinking: how is my boss going to feel about building a Marketing campaign around ten people in hopes they can spread it?

Mobile Marketing is so new, there are already too many Brands making big mistakes. This is skunkworks. This is small. But, if it's done right - respecting the Consumer and the relationship they have with their mobile device - the long-term outcome will be that you've managed to build a new and loyal database with huge growth potential as the channel opens up more and more.

In the retail space, getting one hundred more people into a store is a big deal. In the Mobile Marketing space, getting one hundred people on to a Mobile Marketing database is a bigger deal.

By Mitch Joel

Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Crispin Bailey
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch, great food for thought once again!

    You and Andy are absolutely right. The mobile space is extremely personal, so "pushing" mobile ads will only work in an opt-in scenario. The real trick then, as you point out, is to use WOMM tactics to get your target customers to sign up for the program. If you don't have that part figured out, your mobile strategy is dead in the water. In that respect, Mobile Marketing is really just a part of the mix.

  • Posted by Phil Barrett
    Mitch Joel

    Because the space is personal, the value proposition needs to be extremely relevant or you will never get beyond text to win.

    it should be noted that in Canada, mobile marketing is still primarily SMS marketing. Mobile Web is coming...but we are lagging WAY behind every other industrialized nation.

  • Posted by Kristine Buenavista
    Mitch Joel

    "Mobile Marketing is so new, there are already too many Brands making big mistakes. This is skunkworks. This is small. But, if it's done right - respecting the Consumer and the relationship they have with their mobile device - the long-term outcome will be that you've managed to build a new and loyal database with huge growth potential as the channel opens up more and more."

    this is a powerful remark. It is also very realistic. Mobile marketing may just be a piece of your whole online marketing advertising strategy but, I have to agree that you must not rely on it too much or else you would just end up frustrated.

  • Posted by Dennis Blake
    Mitch Joel

    When it comes to mobile marketing most “marketers�? don’t know their posterior from a posthole.

    Marketers have figured out that everyone, from the snotty-nosed Jr. High Schooler to the wobbly Geriatric, has a cell phone…that boils down to about TWO BILLION cell phone users worldwide! Even though they (the marketers) still don’t know which business model or marketing approach will be successful in tapping into that channel, they do know that they want a piece of that $24 billion pie.

    I have been talking to some of my business contacts in Europe, South America and the Pacific Rim about mobile marketing and all of them have said the same thing…SMS advertising is the future of advertising, but just how do you get around the strict “anti-spam�? restrictions that have been imposed by their government? How do they go around getting permission (thus obeying the law) to send text advertisements to their customers and prospects?

    They realize that there is no other advertising or marketing medium that can you assure that their customers will literally have their brand right in the palm of their hand, no matter where in the world they are. The question to most of these agencies is…HOW THE H-E-DOUBLE HOCKY-STICKS do we do it?

    I have been slowly grooming my international business colleagues, to open them up to permission-based mobile marketing. It can be done with the right technology, but few know what the technology is.

    Well, the technology is here! The European Union is Ripe for permission-based SMS advertising! Asia and the Pacific Rim have more cell phones than people! Central and South America have more cell phones than land lines! And every one of those potential consumers would rather read a text message ad than one sent by email…in fact, the majority of the people in Latin America don’t even own a computer, but they do own, and use, a cell phone!

    Permission-based Mobile Marketing has come of age and now is the time to strike.

    If you feel that you are on track and your competition is behind you, be careful…make your right move now or get out of the way…there may be an Express train thundering down the tracks behind you!

  • Posted by Rick Jones
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, in the viral model you describe your "contagious agents" may stumble into a problem. As with any virus that becomes epidemic, it must first break through a critical threshold(large enough group of people). You may want to start with a really, really good virus. Amway did it, chain letters didn't.

    Let me give you a new name for mobile marketing. Lets try mobile suggestion.

    I'll give you a few more clues. Lets see if you guys can figure the rest out.

    There are two algorythms missing in all current marketing data collection methods. The mobile phone is the link and solution.

    Here is the next clue. Pay close attention.
    HAL "what are you doing Dave?"

    The last clue is for you Dennis. Its not the train. Its the satellite.

    Tip. Forget everything you know about marketing.

  • Posted by Sal
    Mitch Joel

    This can be what sort of whiite elephant gifdt exchannge party became so well-known - by cutting recorded on expenditures, minimizing shopping pressure annd addding xceptional enjoyment tto
    any group occasion. It's winter serious amounts oof everyone is gathdred together to slide
    down thhe slopes. Too much temptation, with inadequate risk of being caught.

  • Mitch Joel

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    hass today evolved as the world''. an unrivaled opportunity for YOU to generate a verry substantial income and make change happen for
    you and your family. Haxgala will provide you with
    the cheats, tips, and tricks that you need to make it pass all the

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