Archive for the ‘mobile marketing’ Tag

Obama Overload   2 comments

First, a personal disclosure.  I am a registered Democrat and have almost always voted for Democratic candidates. On November 6th, I will cast my ballot for Barack Obama with support and pride.

As a marketer though, I have a beef with the Obama campaign and thus this blog to vent just a bit.

The Obama campaign has gone overboard in the use of email, mobile marketing and mobile apps to generate donations and support.  Overboard to the point of being downright annoying.  I wholeheartedly support the candidate and the use of these marketing tools to engage an audience and to build loyalty and momentum.  But their tactics teeter on a turnoff.

At first I thought it was cool and savvy the way the Obama folks have been sending out messages that feel personal and intimate and important. So at first I’m thinking, “good going, you guys are smart marketers”.  I click, I donate a little here and there. And then… the avalanche of emails begins. And the inbox fills each week with multiple urgent messages about a looming deadline. Really?  Come on, I’m smarter than that.  I know it’s important but the level of urgency – as demonstrated in these email subject lines – is downright laughable.

  • Last call for Dinner with Barack EVER
  • 583,282 people named Amy
  • I’m asking one last time (dated  9/25 but on 10/22, not one month later, Mr. Obama was asking again)
  • Obama Store: Our biggest sale EVER (Is this sale from Macy’s or a presidential campaign?)

And the volume? You may have seen the President on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently.  During the interview Stewart jokingly asked the President how many new emails he’d have in his inbox by the time the interview was over.  I can relate. While writing this blog late one night, I received an email from both Barack and Michelle Obama asking for donations.  And a quick search for “Obama” in my delete box turns up over 200 entries from everyone from Obama himself to Bill Clinton to Joe Biden.

Then there are the mobile solicitations. One day, I received a text that said “Show you’ve got the President’s back.  Reply with a number and we’ll charge your saved credit card.

I mistakenly thought that meant my phone number so I nearly made a 10-digit donation to the Obama campaign. Try explaining that one to your spouse. Luckily, I caught my error when the auto-reply asked for confirmation.

So yes, I support Obama and do have his back and have donated to his campaign. The lesson about marketing though is clear. Whether you are president of a country, a corporation, or a mom and pop retail store, it’s important to personalize the conversation and engage your audience when using email or mobile marketing. But use caution…overuse and overkill are sure to turn them off. If you have had similar experiences with a marketing campaign on steroids, we’d love to hear about it.

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Posted October 29, 2012 by Amy Blum in E-Marketing/Web, Mobile

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Isn’t It Time to Add Mobile to Your Marketing Mix?   1 comment

I just read an article titled “Amazing Mobile Marketing Stats Every Marketer Should Know”. With a title like that how could I resist? Out of the nine stats in the article, two stood out to me. The first noted that it take 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email, but about 90 seconds to respond to a text message (Source: CTIA). It talks to the urgency in which people feel they need to act on text messages. When these messages come from marketers they better be relevant or consumers will opt out. Text message marketing isn’t about brand awareness. It is about providing this audience relevant, fun or useful information they can use on-the-go.

The second stat noted that mobile coupons get 10 times the redemption rate of traditional coupons (Source: Borrell Associates). This stat has been around for a while, but does really speak to a successful tactic for mobile marketers. Mobile coupons are convenient and therefore more likely to be acted on.

Most of the other stats talk about how many people have mobile phones. Having a mobile device is certainly required for mobile marketing, but hardly earth shattering. Once my 90 year old grandmother got one and I have conversations with friends who are trying to decide if their second grader should get one, it is pretty clear we’ve reached mass adoption.

Marketers should strongly consider integrating mobile into their overall marketing strategy because the campaigns work. Adding a mobile call to action like a QR code or text campaign to print or TV ads allows you to track responses and provide more targeted information beyond the piece. Offering a text2win or text2vote campaign in outdoor advertising is a great way to engage a lot of people and quickly build your mobile database. Once opted in you can then provide them additional information about your offerings.

In a world of Do Not Call, Spam blockers and DVRs that allow you wiz right through the ads it can be challenging to determine how to reach your audience. Consumers are in love with their mobile devices. Isn’t it time to connect via mobile?

Posted January 17, 2012 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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Are you missing an opportunity to engage?   1 comment

Marketers are starting to add these odd little boxes that look like crossword puzzles to all types of traditional media. From packaging to print to TV I’m seeing them everywhere. What’s perplexing is that most have little to no explanation with them. Like they are only intended for those in the know. Several will at least let you know to scan it, but the how and why are often left off. Leading to a frustrating experience for the consumer and a missed opportunity for the marketer.

If these are new to you here’s a quick overview. They are 2D barcodes. The most common types are QR codes (short for Quick Response codes) and once scanned allow users to access a richer experience – launch a website, video, opt-into a text message campaign or make a mobile donation. QR codes can be created for free from numerous websites like http://redlaser.com/qrcode/. To scan a code a user needs a smartphone with a camera and the correct barcode scanner. Armed with the right tools QR codes offer a simple and effective way to engage a mobile audience. But not everyone is doing it right. Here are a few things to know before adding QR codes to your campaign.

  1. Let them know what they are going to get. Even if it is just a tease. Make the experience worth the effort. Don’t just launch your main website. It should be a unique, targeted or fun experience for the consumer. (ex. Scan to enter our sweepstakes, scan for a coupon, scan to get show times in your area)
  2. Not all consumers have a barcode reader or the right scanner on their smartphone. There are different kinds of 2D barcodes so make sure to let the user know where to get a reader (ex. Need a barcode reader? http://scan.mobi/). Even if a user has a scanner, if you don’t tell them which one to download they may not have a positive experience. Without the right scanner the user can complete the experience and will leave frustrated. Make sure to let the users know where to get a reader
  3. Add the code in a way users can scan it. A lot of marketers do pretty well here, but when dealing with outdoor advertising you really need to make sure glare and other elements are addressed or users won’t be able to scan the image.
  4. Offer the option to get the same info via text message. Although ATT and Verizon both anticipate that over half their subscribers will have smartphones by the end of this year, there are those with feature phones that can’t scan QR codes. You also have people that don’t want to take the time to download the reader. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage. Offering more information via a text campaign allows user to engage quickly.

Here’s a simple example of how to do it right:

These are just a few quick lessons learned to help you get started. We’ll keep blogging about how to integrate mobile. If you have specific questions add a comment or contact Eagle to discuss how to create or enhance your mobile strategy.

Next up: How to use QR codes and mobile to breathe life into traditional media like direct mail.

Posted August 14, 2011 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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How do you know if they are getting the message?   Leave a comment

Measurement.  The biggest frustration of my marketing career has been from the beginning and always will be clients who don’t measure their response. I am taken aback when folks don’t gather response data but expect to be able to determine whether a campaign is successful or not.

Cataloguers and not-for-profits are great at capturing marketing codes. They simply ask recipients to “Enter the code in the yellow box” or just include a code on the reply. The coded response vehicles give them accurate, measurable, analyze-able (I think I made up that word) information. Information that tells them whether a particular catalog performed better than another, whether a demographic group responded better or whether a rented list is worth mailing to again. Even whether a certain type of donor can be convinced to give more or more often.

Without response information, it is difficult to create a sustained marketing plan. How can you improve on last year’s results if you don’t know what they are? By guessing? By choosing only what you like? Ultimately everything marketers do is to create results. How futile our work is when we can’t define or show our results.

Unsure what to track or how? Eagle Marketing can help you find ways to measure your response. It can be as simple as adding a code to your marketing piece or measuring ratings only in the geographic areas you’ve targeted. Or it can be as innovative as adding a mobile call to action. Adding a simple 2D barcode and brief instructions on how to use it allows recipients to snaps a picture with his/her camera phone for more information.  Adding a quick mobile marketing message instructing them to text in for more info is also an easy way to track engagement. Need help building response info into your marketing plan? Just ask…I’m sure we can help.

Want to build loyalty with your mobile consumers, but not sure where to start?   Leave a comment

Mobile messaging or text/SMS campaigns are a quick way to engage with the largest number of mobile users. Over 90% of mobile devices in the US have the ability to send/receive text messages[i] and pretty much anyone under the age of 44 is texting more than calling[ii].  Even the majority of smartphone owners prefer to receive basic coupons, deals and newsletters.[iii] Seems like the ideal way to reach the largest number of consumers, right? Right! But, before you get started make sure you know the rules.

1. Participation in a mobile messaging or SMS/Text campaign must be 100% opt-in.  As a marketer you can’t purchase a mobile database or spam existing customers’ mobile phones with your message. You must use traditional media to engage and inform them about your campaign and entice them to opt-in.  This is not only a Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) best practice. It is the law (CAN SPAM Act and FTC Act).

The United States Federal Trade Commission is prosecuting those that don’t comply with the CAN SPAM Act. A recent egregious case involves a marketer who, in one 40-day period, sent more than 5.5 million spam text messages, a “mind boggling” rate of about 85 per minute, every minute of every day. 

This is an extreme example, but there are countless cases of legitimate marketers that aren’t complying because they aren’t aware of the laws or misinterpret them. So, simply put – marketers must use traditional media (print/web/TV/radio/outdoor) to inform consumers about a text campaign. Consumers can only participate by actively texting the correct keyword/short code from their mobile phone or a web interface promoting the campaign.

2. Not all mobile users have unlimited text plans: If you send unsolicited messages to consumers they may be paying for them. It is important that the consumer has the control of who they engage with via mobile. Creating compelling mobile campaigns that offer value to the end user will drive them to engage with your brand.

Eagle Marketing can help you determine the right way to build a loyal connection with your mobile audience. For many, connecting with mobile users via simple text is a great way to extend your brand. There are various campaign types and you can include click to call or a mobile web address to extend your engagement. We’ll continue to blog on mobile messaging best practices. Have question or thought on the topic? We’d love to hear from you.


[i] CTIA – The Wireless Association 11/10

[ii] Nielsen Mobile 2009

[iii] Harris Interactive 2/11

Posted March 8, 2011 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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Text2Give – Is Mobile Fundraising Right for Your NPO?   1 comment

When news of the devastation in Haiti was all around us, the Red Cross made a simple plea – Text a $10 donation to help the relief effort. Did you donate? I did. After watching countless stories about the toll taken I took a couple of seconds to text a keyword and donate. It was effortless and made me feel that I was helping, even though it was in such a small way. Ten dollars doesn’t seem like much to give, but because it was so simple and the need so great the Red Cross raised $32 million with these small donations. What is even more incredible is that 95% of the donations came from new donors!

Text2Give has only been around for a couple of years, but because the donation requests are low, the billing is automatic and sending a text message so familiar it is changing the way charities acquire new donors. The real power of Text2Give is in its immediacy and its ability to expand the number of people involved in charitable giving. People can donate at the precise time they are emotionally moved to make a contribution.

So is Text2Give the right approach for all non-profits or for all fundraising efforts? Here are some things to consider when determining if it is right for your organization:

1. Not all non-profit organizations (NPO) will qualify. The NPO must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be exempt from income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • They must be registered as a soliciting charity in all states in which the solicitation will occur. In the event of multi-state solicitations, the NPO must be a registered as a soliciting charity in all states requiring registration, unless sponsored by a qualified 501(c)(3) organization who is registered in all states requiring registration.
  • The organization shall be in good standing in its state of incorporation and have been operational for at least one year.

2. Text2Give works best for acquisition campaigns. Mobile Giving allows you to reach a larger, more diverse audience and offer them the opportunity to act quickly, easily and on their terms. Once they have donated, engage them via a text campaign to strengthen the relationship and educate them about your cause.

3. Text2Give needs to be integrated into your fundraising strategy. As I mentioned, Text2Give allows people to donate at the precise time they are emotionally moved to do so. Therefore, integrating it into live events or in response to a global tragedy, like Haitian relief work well. However, many NPOs don’t address global tragedies or have lots of live events. In order to get the most out of this tool you really need to find many opportunities to insert Text2Give into your campaigns – press releases, social media, web, etc. There’s an art to determining when to push your traditional fundraising methods and when to use Text2Give, but in order for mobile giving to be successful it needs to be a strategic tool.

Not familiar with Text2Give? Check out one of our current campaigns with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation – text REEVE to 20222. Note: You won’t be charged unless you confirm the donation.

Posted October 18, 2010 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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Mobile Marketing Insights from the Best In Class   Leave a comment

Last week’s blog focused on Permission Marketing: reaching people who believe that what you have to offer matters. Mobile Marketing is designed around this premise, creating a personal connection with a prospect or customer by engaging with them on their mobile phone. Today, 25% of Americans participate in at least one SMS marketing program each month. But, how do you get them to start and continue believing in your campaign?

Here are a few ways top brands have succeeded and failed:

ESPN: I think few do it better than ESPN and their “Best Screen Available” approach. The broadcasters clearly understand that their viewers have different needs when they’re watching a big screen or checking their mobile phone. They allow mobile subscribers to segment by sport, teams and other categories so they only get relevant alerts. They save the full play-by-play for Sport Center and deliver real-time scores and highlight to their mobile users. With more than 63 million mobile alerts being sent each month, they understand their responsibility is to get subscribers the relevant information exactly when they want it in a format that is accessible.

ESPN Mobile also designs their mobile marketing campaigns to be agile. They keep tabs on what’s a buzz on social media and infuses this knowledge into campaigns in a similar way you’d react producing a live TV show. Keeping mobile subscribers in the know is the best way to gain loyalty.

Coca-Cola: Coke Rewards is a customer loyalty program where members collect unique codes off Coke products and redeem them for prizes. They have more than a million subscribers and an acquisition rate of around 10% per month. What’s their secret? Encouraging subscribers to pull content of interest to their phones rather than Coke pushing out general alerts and coupons. They develop targeted campaigns where the subscribers decide what they want to receive. They stay focused on offering fresh, interesting contest and prizes that keep users engaged.

Kodak: Kodak learned the hard way that it is critical that you understand how, where and for what purpose your target audience is using mobile. They launched a mobile campaign in movie theaters thinking they had a captive audience, but failed to realize that most people turn off their phones when they get in a theater. The campaign bombed.

These lessons are as applicable to local broadcasters and small and medium brands looking to launch a campaign as they are to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Mobile campaigns, done well, can be an extremely cost effective solution to building real brand loyalty. Have you integrated it into your marketing plan? If yes, how’s it working? If not, is it time to consider it?

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