Why Some Mobile Campaigns Fail

Mobile Marketer asked me to name some of the reasons that mobile programs disappoint. Here’s what I told the publication:

“Messaging campaigns fail for a variety of reasons.  One is a lack of strong call to action – the mobile subscriber needs to be incented to do something and the CTA must be prominent or it will be lost.

“A second is poor execution – it took more than five hours for me to get a bounceback message after I responded to the NFL’s Super Bowl spot call to action.”

I told Mobile Marketer that mobile subscribers are all about instant gratification. Also, to succeed, marketers should start by mapping a strategy for their business goals.

The article is here: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/strategy/12424.html

The Difference Between Winning and Losing

Digiday asked me to compare brands that are winning on the mobile Web to those failing.

Here's what I told the publication:

“When it comes to content, the online Web and mobile Web are, pardon the pun, worlds apart. More and more discussions with consumers tell us that they are punishing brands that do not deliver in their mobile executions. Those entities that do are gaining customers and brand loyalty.”

The full story is here http://www.digiday.com/mobile/brand-mobile-ad-misses/

Free Webinar On Mobilized Marketing

Just a few days after the official launch of Mobilized Marketing, I'll be discussing the book May 3 on a Mobile Marketing Association webinar. Registration is open and free. https://t.co/MDU3IZ1e

I hope you'll participate with me and Michael Becker, the MMA's Managing Director, North America.

More on the book is here: http://www.amazon.com/Mobilized-Marketing-Driving-Engagement-Loyalty/dp/11182...>

My Byline For Mobile Marketer On The Super Bowl Telecast

Each year, I write a piece for Mobile Marketer on the use - or lack of use -- of mobile in the Super Bowl telecast.

My new byline follows:

“Please - ad with mobile call to action leading to millions joining database. #superbowl #brandbowl”—Tweet from the author, sometime late in the first half of Super Bowl XLVI

For each of the past three years, I have played Monday-morning quarterback with a day-after column for Mobile Marketer looking at mobile elements of Super Bowl ads. 

Despite a huge, captive audience that actually eagerly anticipates these commercials, for mobile marketers, the overarching theme has been “missed opportunities.”

But going into Sunday’s Patriots-Giants tilt, 2012 looked to be the year that Super Bowl viewing went from passive to active:

• Nearly 60 percent of mobile users planned to look at or use their phones or tablets during this year’s Super Bowl, according to a survey from Harris Interactive

• Chevrolet launched a tablet and smartphone application designed to run throughout the game and add interactivity to their ads

• Rumors were flying that more than half of the Super Bowl ads would be Shazamable—which is apparently now a word, “the ability to be identified using the ‘Shazam’ mobile app,” syn. “Shazam-enabled”)

• A more informal bellwether—on Twitter, a colleague predicted the over-under on mobile calls-to-action would be 10

Despite the optimism, just as the New York Giants once again delivered disappointment to Patriot Nation, once again mobile marketers were left feeling a little empty at the end of Super Bowl XXVI. Another year of “anticipointment,” perhaps.

Yes, there were more calls-to-action than ever before – particularly hashtags, which debuted in Audi’s 2011 Super Bowl Spot.

This year, by my count, nearly half the ads included a hashtag – some relevant, many fanciful (Audi’s #solongvampires, JetBlue’s meta humor #hashtagoverload).

I also counted more than a dozen spots featuring “Shazam” – which was useful for engaging customers if they have a smartphone, if they have Shazam downloaded , if they are sitting close enough to the TV, if have the Shazam application open and if they see the small call-to-action on the screen. There’s a lot of if’s there.

Most ads also featured suggestions for viewers to visit Web sites or Facebook pages, too.

Each of these calls-to-action were designed to drive a consumer to interact with a brand—with limitations.

Twitter hashtags and Facebook pages allow them to comment on a specific ad spot or maybe even a brand, but in a one-to-many sort of way. 

Shazam is hampered by the requirements I mentioned above, and even if those are overcome, still require the user to click through from the app to a landing page. And Web sites, well, that would have been cutting edge during the dotcom-heavy Super Bowl of 2000 … maybe.

None of these calls-to-action provided marketers with a key element—an easy means to create and continue a one-on-one conversation between brand and customer, with highly relevant content delivered on their most personal device.

By my count, there were two advertisers who used mobile to create a conversation—with mixed results: the NFL (SMS) and GoDaddy (QR code):

• The NFL’s spots had all the ingredients of a great ad—humor, the chance to win big prizes, and an SMS-based “call to action”—but failed miserably on the execution. I texted in during the first half—and heard nothing back … for more than five hours. Calls-to-action are about the instant gratification of a response, not a text back in the middle of the night.

• GoDaddy included a QR code on the latest in its series of ads to encourage viewers to visit their site for their latest series of racy “too hot for TV” advertisements. Theoretically, a great idea and a good way to capture customers who opt in – if consumers just happen to have their QR scanner fired up and aimed at the TV set during the seconds it appeared on screen.

Just like the past few years, there were so many missed opportunities.

Fiat’s ad had all the ingredients of a great spot: innuendo, twists and a fast car. But it could have built a database of opted-in potential customers willing to exchange their information for access to a longer director’s cut of the ad.

Budweiser’s Facebook call-to-action for aiding rescue dogs was a nice touch for a worthy cause—but an SMS prompt for interested participants to opt-in could have benefited beer sales and animals alike.

As far as my colleague’s prediction on 10 mobile calls to action? Bet the under. For mobile marketers, it was another year of anticipointment.

Like Tom Brady’s heave to the end zone on the game’s final play, my plea for an ad with a mobile call-to-action leading to millions to opt into a marketer’s database came up empty.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

MediaPost's Steve Smith asked me what I thought about the mobile components in the Super Bowl spots.

From his article:

"Short-code callouts were few, as many marketers seemed to understand that it is difficult for the fleeting mention of a six-digit number and keyword to register with viewers. Yet a spot advertising the NFL Fantasy game and a $1 million sweepstakes entry had a persistent call to action on screen: send “NFL” to 69635. Unfortunately, as several mobile executives noted, NFL did not respond quickly in acknowledging the entry. In fact, it took hours for our entry to get a 2 a.m reply.  Likewise for Jeff Hasen, CMO of Hipcricket, who told us: 'That's unforgivable when viewers are looking for instant gratification.'

"In our spot check among mobile marketing execs paying close attention to the use of the platform this year, most were underwhelmed. Annual mobile Bowl-watcher Hasen says that while marketers didn’t ignore mobile this year, as they have in the past, the execution was uncertain. Audio ID app Shazam allows users to tag about half of the Super Bowl ads, but Hasen says 'how many knew enough to use Shazam remains a question. With about half the ads including the Shazam prompt, no one spot stood out for including it.' He concludes that despite the hashtags and second-screen schemes, 'my takeaway is one of anticipointment.'”

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/167247/anticipointment-mobile-e...