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At Their Fingertips: Putting Your Ads in Their Hands

15 Jan, 2010 By: Pat Cauley Response

SMS marketing is certainly a great entry point, especially for direct response marketers. “It is very affordable and easily integrates with other forms of marketing, as the SMS calls-to-action can be placed in print ads, radio spots, billboards, etc.,” says Gavin Todes, co-founder of Howzit. “Marketers can create multiple campaigns and have them running almost immediately, and tweaking the campaigns while they’re running is as simple as opening a Web site, adjusting some text or campaign settings, and clicking ‘save.’”

Additionally, Hawthorne suggests that marketers add “text to order” SMS codes to their DRTV commercial tag pages. “No DRTV product moving to mobile can ignore the millions who still operate strictly with text messaging,” says Hawthorne.

It’s All in the Family

The tenets of mobile marketing are actually very much in line with the direct response model. By its very nature, mobile is directly reaching a consumer in real time in an attempt to elicit a response. “The great thing with mobile is the level of analytics you can get is unbelievable,” says Michael Becker, vice president of mobile strategies for iLoop Mobile and the MMA’s global and North American vice chairman.

He explains that specifically with the methodology of text messaging programs, marketers can create custom mobile short codes placed in various media, each having a different keyword for consumers to text in. Thus, by using mobile, marketers can actually track which of their various media channel spends are most effective. “Mobile in effect turns all media into direct response channels,” says Becker. Showcasing its potential in multivariate testing, mobile relates to DR in its ability to continuously amend campaigns.

“We design mobile campaigns upfront and test before execution and production, and then we’re able to execute, measure and use those measurements in real time to make adjustments to the campaign. It’s multivariate testing to change offers on the fly. Design, execute, measure and modify — much like DRTV campaigns,” says Harber.

However, mobile testing isn’t always so simple. “Most testing solutions out there rely on Java script,” says Kim Ann King, CMO of SiteSpect. “The problem is that many mobile devices, including smart phones, don’t support Java script, so they don’t support Java script-based testing solutions. That might be as high as 50 percent of an audience that you can’t test. So it’s important when people are considering doing mobile testing that they’re looking for a solution that doesn’t solely rely on Java script and allows them to test across all mobile devices.”

Beyond Texting
Text campaigns aside, there are many other mobile opportunities. “The mobile marketing space has really matured since the advent of smartphones,” says Todes. “Marketers now have a wider range of ways to engage their audience, and can create much more dynamic, integrated campaigns than what was previously possible. And the interactive nature of mobile applications makes smartphones a much richer point of connection between a company and its customers than the mobile phones of the past. Smartphone development has set the bar high with regards to what consumers expect in the mobile space. As a result, successful mobile marketers must be able to create and execute campaigns that play an integral role in the brand’s overall marketing strategy.”

For King, she thinks a DRTV marketer’s next step might be building out a Web site with product information and building a community online to transact information. “You also need to look at what works in the mobile space: shorter headlines, punchier colors, much smaller page weights and limited images. Lightweight and visually appealing is usually going to win out,” she says.

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