Hyundai's Super Mobile Sunday1 Sep, 2008 By: Thomas Haire Response
Eric d'Ablaing and Patricia Romero say the automaker's successful mobile DR campaign during Super Bowl XLII played an important role in seeding the $80 million marketing launch for the new Genesis sedan.
A Bright Future
The rapid-fire delivery and success of the mobile aspect of the Genesis launch has created a major buzz in the company for continued utilization of mobile as a direct response driver. "Mobile emphasizes the relationship aspect of direct response," Romero says. "This campaign really speaks volumes in terms of, 'Mobile is going to be mainstream.' At one point, people talked about the Internet as if it wasn't going to go anywhere as a marketing space. Obviously, now, any major marketer that doesn't have a direct response program and an Internet marketing program in place is archaic. That's the same thing that is going to be said about mobile marketing, and probably in the near future."
Looking ahead, Hyundai is already preparing its next set of marketing goals — and direct response, especially mobile, appears ready to play a bigger role. "Obviously, we're looking into furthering opportunities that we started with mobile," Romero contends. "We've also got the Genesis coupe upcoming, so we also have some plans for seeding that and doing some pre-launch activities that will obviously include mobile."
At the same time, d'Ablaing and Romero are excited to see what the next two years hold, generally speaking, for mobile as a DR marketing tool. "With this kind of technology, two years is a lifetime. In the most immediate terms when you take a look at the technology, the capabilities you are able to perform on your phone — mobile search, micro-local targeting of the phone — are being perfected. It's going to be mainstream."
D'Ablaing agrees, but says there is much weight on the shoulders of mobile service carriers. "There is an issue with the carriers being so fragmented still," he says. "If you go to South Korea, for example, the capabilities of what you can do and advertise are so far from where the U.S. is. That's what's holding us back now. There are steps being made, but until we can get on a similar wavelength with all the carriers, it will be tough."
Still, the Hyundai team is happy to be positioned as a leader in new marketing media. "I'm proud that we were one of the first OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to even venture into mobile — to put a toe in the water," Romero concludes. "Our previous success means we're only going to continue to grow in the space. Our goal is to be the first to market, full-blown, in terms of entering the space."