4 Key Mobile Initiatives to Boost Branding and Direct Response Marketing

November 3rd, 2011 by

Mobile has emerged from a fascinating new technology to an influential channel that marketers rely on to perform key marketing functions. With the ability to text, e-mail, call, tweet, like, and more, mobile inherently creates a direct two way line for communication throughout the entire purchase cycle and beyond.

Perhaps, the two most important functions that challenge marketers are branding and direct response. Since the early days of the internet, both branding and direct response have been going through a transformation. And now with the emergence of mobile, they are not only opening new avenues for marketers, but transforming other media channels too.

There are numerous ways to use the mobile channel for branding and direct response purposes. Here are four key starting points. Just keep in mind that as with any marketing program, a test, tweak and repeat methodology is critical for success.

Mobile web presence that is worthy of your brand — Building a mobile site strengthens your brand name with mobile users who either proactively seek out your brand via the mobile web or stumble upon your offering when conducting mobile search. A couple of months ago, the marketing news and research service, eMarketer (@eMarketer), estimated that more than 91 million consumers in the US will use mobile searches on a monthly basis by the end of 2011.  A mobile site is your flagship location for on-the-go consumers, so it is very beneficial to the brand. “There is a lot of vapor in the mobile space,” Larry Glenn, senior director of app development at Saks Fifth Avenue (@Saks), said recently.  “Very often, [companies] will come to you to help you solve the problem, but their solution is just three HTML5 pages,” he said. “Customers don’t care if it was complex to execute.” Nothing can tarnish a good brand more than a bad user experience.

Rich media and interactive video ads - Placing rich media or interactive video ads via various mobile ad networks such as AdMob, Millennial Media and InMobi can create memorable branding experiences.  By including audio with the video, the customer gets an opportunity to utilize three senses (touch, hearing and sight) to engage with your brand. However, an interactive ad (however exciting it is) will only take your customers so far. To take the branding experience to the next level, it is vital for a brand to have a supporting mobile site to continue the user experience beyond the ad.

SMS mobile loyalty program – According to Jeff Hasen, Chief Marketing Officer at Hipcricket, an established mobile marketing company and Trilibis’ partner, “permission-based SMS program creates a dialogue with consumers, giving mobile subscribers the ability to ask for and receive exactly what they want.” A successful CRM program involves opting in customers, segmenting your list into particular groups of interest and sending targeted, relevant messages that benefit your users. A mobile CRM program should not only follow these basic rules, but pay particular attention to frequency and relevance of the message, so that your customers won’t get annoyed, but rather feel compelled to follow your calls to action.

To maximize the ROI of your SMS loyalty program, you should have a supporting mobile web strategy in place. Why? Because the mobile web makes it easy to gather valuable information from customers via dynamically optimized mobile landing pages. You can also easily display relevant offers, promotions and coupons to opt-in customers with mobile optimized pages.

QR codes – Mobile has the capability to turn any existing advertisement into an effective direct response vehicle through QR codes. The key to making it work is twofold—a compelling call to action that entices consumers to participate, followed by a beneficial user experience. Most marketers have their call-to-action messaging down to a science. But let’s not forget that user experience after the QR code is scanned is equally, if not more, important. This is where a well-executed campaign oriented mobile site can make a big difference. For example, Trilibis Mobile helped execute a QR code activated sweepstakes called “Beer for the People” for Miller Lite at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The campaign utilized QR codes on Miller branded posters, coasters and other bar POS -related items which were generously sprinkled at numerous SXSW venues. A clever call to action prompted the hipster crowd to scan the QR code, which immediately drove them to the “Beer for the People” branded mobile web landing page tailored to their specific device. Once there, users filled out their details and entered to win music downloads, event passes and prepaid cards. By adding direct response triggers to the campaign’s passive branding assets and following through with a branded user experience via a designated mobile website, Miller Lite drove engagement and garnered loyalty from an influential crowd.

Marketers everywhere realize that mobile provides a unique opportunity to establish a deep relationship with consumers. Already, many brands in numerous verticals utilize the mobile channel for branding and direct response initiatives. As consumers become more entrenched in the smartphone revolution, savvy marketers will devise new mobile strategies that blur the lines between branding and direct response marketing to deliver an even greater impact.

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