Mobile Strategy Should Employ Multiple Means of Participation

In Mobile Marketer's new guide for Mobile Advertising, I wrote about the importance of giving consumers choice about how to interact with you via mobile. The article follows:

CTIA reports that mobile phone penetration in the United States is greater than 96 percent with more than 300 million current wireless subscribers, 72.5 million of which are using
smartphones (comScore).

Now let us consider the large number of operating systems – iOS, Android, Microsoft’s Mango, BlackBerry – and the ever-increasing different devices in use.

Savvy brands understand that we are each individuals when it comes to our mobile devices. Leading brands such as Macy’s, MillerCoors and Ford understand this concept, and provide multiple options for mobile engagement.

This has led to a number of successful mobile marketing and advertising programs.

In spring 2011, Macy’s launched its Backstage Pass program, which engages shoppers in-store via multiple calls to action to use a mobile device.

Recognizing that not all its shoppers have QR code readers, the iconic department store added a short code to in-store signage, giving consumers a choice and ensuring that no one is left out.

When the QR code is scanned, or the short code is texted shoppers are forwarded to a backstage look at a video from the designer of their choice including Kenneth Cole, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Rachel Roy, Jessica Simpson and Martha Stewart.

The videos offer design suggestions, style tips and more. Shoppers can even enter a sweepstakes to win Macy’s gift cards.

The program has gained wide acclaim and interaction, sparking Macy’s to implement a second video series for the fall shopping season.

MillerCoors, the second largest beer company in America, recognizes that beer and sports go hand in hand.

The company designated nearly 75 percent of its ad spend to sporting events in 2010.

However, MillerCoors recognizes that there is a substantial opportunity to take these advertisements to the next level. By adding a mobile element to its advertisements, MillerCoors is able to connect with customers and build lasting relationships.

MillerCoors tapped Hipcricket to run a cross-media marketing campaign, leveraging traditional mobile elements, to help increase awareness of the Coors Light brand during Super Bowl XLV and the Miller Lite brand during the 2011 NCAA tournament.These campaigns included QR codes, mobile Web sites, SMS and contesting.

The campaigns resulted in over 159,000 interactions from 86,000 mobile participants and over 60 percent of which fell into one of MillerCoors’ key demographics – the 21-34 age range.

FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and its dealers, implemented its first mobile program in 2010.

The brand’s goal was to include mobile calls to action in its national print, radio and TV advertisements to give potential customers an opportunity to interact with the car brand on a personal level.

The first phase of FordDirect’s program included adding short codes to its national ads for the Ford Year End event.

The car company was able to generate more than 1,000 leads across 38 regional dealer groups and achieve a 12.5 percent conversion rate.

In 2011, Ford is projected to spend $1.3 billion on advertising, primarily targeted at creating leads that turn into sales.

As part of that effort, FordDirect has now expanded its mobile marketing program to include all of its print and TV advertisements. The program has achieved a 15.4 percent lead conversion rate.

The success of these programs has led to an expanded program which includes QR codes among other mobile channels.

With a myriad of ways for people to consume mobile content on a host of mobile devices, why should a brand’s mobile playbook only have one play?