Dance for me Dufon!

March 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Campaigns, Mobile Marketing | Leave a comment
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Everyone knows that the iPhone has opened doors for new and innovative marketing efforts. With the advent of the App Store, companies have been able to create cool new ways to interact with their customers. One of the newest things to hit the iPhone is an ad that uses the phone’s motion-detecting feature. It’s the newest form of mobile marketing out there, and it’s pretty cool.

Dance for me Dufon!

Dance for me Dufon!

So what trendy company is introducing this new type of advertising? Oh, it’s Dockers. Not exactly the company I would expect to release a tech-savvy ad, as I equate with 45+ year old men. But according to the director of brand marketing, Dockers is trying to align themselves with a younger, edgier crowd. Their new iPhone ad is targeted towards 30-39 year old tech-savvy men, which falls within their new target market.

Dockers decided to use the iPhone as their medium so they could target their audience “when and where he’s open to our message.” According to AdAge,

The placement of the interactive ad in gaming applications makes a strong case for the target consumer to engage with the brand. “He’s in a gaming mode and in the mood to be entertained,” [Dockers director of brand management] said.

The ad features Dufon Smith, a self-proclaimed “freestyle expressionist of dance,” wearing a pair of Dockers khakis. Each time the user shakes the phone, Dufon performs some of his dance moves. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I’ll leave you with a video of Dufon doing his thing. Amazing.


Mobile Marketing at Trade Shows

February 24, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Mobile Marketing | 1 Comment
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Who would have thought the WasteExpo would be the first event I see mobile marketing being used in my industry?

The WasteExpo is a trade show for the waste management industry, to be held in sunny Las Vegas this year. Yes, I tried to sign up as a trip chaperone. No, I don’t actually want to check out the new garbage trucks on the market. Besides the fact that it’s in VEGAS, there’s another reason I’m really interested in this show: they’re using mobile marketing!

Yesterday afternoon, I received the show’s Marketing Handbook, which outlines all of the marketing and advertising opportunities available surrounding the show. The usual list rentals, logo display and event sponsorship opportunities were available… as was a “Mobile Marketing” opportunity.

A little excerpt from the handbook:

Reach a new generation of industry buyers who rely on mobile marketing for their communications needs.

Through WasteExpo’s new mobile marketing program, you can alert WasteExpo 2009 attendees of the following:

  • Activities in your booth
  • Show Special Promotions and Giveaways
  • Invitations to Hospitality and VIP Events

When the show attendees arrive, they will be greeted by signs instructing them to “sign up” for alerts by texting a code from their cell phone. Throughout the day, our company can send offers, up to 160 characters in length, to those attendees who have signed up.

The cost: $500 per message.

Is it worth it?

It’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s easy. Plus, this new technology may entice attendees who normally wouldn’t leaf through the exhibitor brochure’s advertisements. Increasing booth traffic through the use of mobile marketing will increase the number of prospects we receive, therefore increasing the number of sales we’ll eventually make.

Additionally, calculating an ROI for this marketing effort would be easy. Make one sale as a GPS tracking provider, and you’ve paid for the investment three times over.

I think it’s a really interesting idea to introduce mobile marketing to trade shows. It really lays the groundwork for what’s to come with these industry shows in the future. The attendees want to get as much information as possible from the companies they are interested in while they are there. Having access to time-sensitive information about booth events, presentations and demonstrations will greatly improve the attendee’s experience at these shows.

Six Flags Goes Mobile!

February 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Mobile Marketing | 6 Comments
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Not really, but it would be a cool idea.

Six FlagsMobile marketing is a pretty neat thing. Being able to reach an audience that’s on the go is becoming increasingly important as the younger generations become more mobile.

While talking about mobile marketing during this week’s class discussion, I started thinking about companies that could potentially use mobile marketing to their advantage. The companies who could benefit most would be those companies whose target market needs information but is not in front of a computer.

Six Flags could definitely use mobile marketing to their advantage. With the goals of improving the customer experience by providing useful information, as well as increasing interaction with their customers, Six Flags could enact the ultimate mobile marketing campaign.

Here’s what I came up with:

When a visitor entered the park, billboards and posters can be displayed which encourages them to text “ACTIVATE” to “6FLAGS” to begin receiving the following information:

  • Ride closures/delays
  • Limited time sales at concession stands and souvenir shops
  • Giveaways such as free tickets for their next visit, free upgrade to a Flash Pass, free lemonade, etc.
  • Video ads of the top coasters in the park
  • Proximity messaging through strategic kiosks throughout the park, sending information about the closest rides and concession stands

In addition, visitors could download an interactive map application which uses the GPS signal from their cell phone to show them exactly where they are in the park. Six Flags could then use this information to determine heavy traffic areas, which could be used as support for future park development and restructuring.

When leaving the park, visitors could either text “DONE” to “6FLAGS” to end the text messages, or they could text their email address to receive future promotions from the park.

Is this something you would be interested in? In my head, it’s a brilliant idea but I want to hear other peoples’ opinions!

Bluetooth: it’s no longer just a fashion accessory!

January 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Mobile Marketing | 5 Comments
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Trendy? Maybe. Abnoxious? Sort of. Marketing Tool? Oh yes.

Trendy? Maybe. Obnoxious? Sort of. Marketing Tool? Oh yes.

You’ve seen it: the “all-important business guy” who can’t take the chance of missing an important call, so they leave their Bluetooth in their ear while walking to the store, grabbing a bite to eat, working out…is that thing permanently attached to his ear? Back in my waitressing days, I actually had a conversation with a woman who wasn’t talking to me. She was chatting away on her Bluetooth, and I was answering her questions, thinking she was asking me about the menu. You can imagine how embarrassed I was when she turned her head and pointed to her Bluetooth with an annoyed look on her face, as to say “God, can’t you see how important I am? Don’t bother me with your ridiculous banter about my lunch.”

Anyway, it turns out that these little things may be the newest tool in a marketer’s arsenal.

Earlier this week, Macerich Group in Los Angeles announced that it was partnering with the marketing group Intera in order to set up bluetooth proximity advertising in five LA malls.

What does this mean? Well, for one, your trip to JC Penny for a new tablecloth may wind up in a trip to Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus…and possibly a quick stop at Orange Julius. Ok, ok- let’s back up a second- why are we stopping at all of these stores?

Bluetooth proximity marketing is the localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place. Transmissions can be received by individuals in that location who wish to receive them and have the necessary equipment to do so. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) In layman’s terms: an advertiser uses strategically placed Bluetooth message transmitters to seek out all Bluetooth users in the area in order to send them a message. This “message” can be anything from a coupon, an invitation to an unadvertised sale, or even movie trailers.

A Bluetooth Messaging Center searches for local Bluetooth users, then sends out a "message" to them.

A Bluetooth Messaging Center searches for local Bluetooth users, then sends out a "message" to them.

So, as you finish checking out at JC Penny, you receive a text message alerting you of a sale at Victoria’s Secret (hey, $20 off my purchase? Not bad!), a free giveaway at Neiman (I’ve always wanted to try that perfume!), and a BOGO promotion at Orange Julius (who cares if it’s just me- I can drink 2 of those bad boys!). At the end of the day, you’ve spent $75 more than you had planned, and you’ve got a terrible belly ache (Orange Julius was a bad choice).

As a marketer, you’ve struck gold! That’s $75 extra in your company’s pocket at the end of the day.

Is this a good thing?

Personally, I think that Bluetooth marketing has the ability to provide extremely effective marketing messages. If people are already at a specific location (say, right outside of your store), and you entice them with the offer of 10% off their order if they shop right now- you may have a pretty high response rate. Since the customer is already there, it takes a lot less effort on your part to get them to stop in.

But what happens when the clutter becomes too much?

What if Bluetooth marketing takes off and becomes the latest and greatest advertising medium? More and more messages will be sent out, causing clutter and ultimately frustration on the consumer’s end. A trip to the mall could result in 50 text messages from retailers you don’t even buy from. So what’s the answer?

Opt-In Bluetooth Marketing

What if you sign up with your favorite retailers to receive alerts about sales and promotions? That way, when you hit the mall you’re only receiving texts from stores you actually shop at. You don’t have to worry about Motherhood Materntity sending your teenage daughter a message about the great discounts they’re offering right now (it’s bad enough Bristol and Jamie Lynn are putting these thoughts in her head!).

Currently, companies using Bluetooth marketing send out a preliminary text asking if the user wants to receive a message from the company. (Wait, are they asking permission for the text they just sent? No? For future ones? Ok, I’m confused.) I understand that this allows marketers to reach consumers who may not be aware of the brand, and therefore cannot sign up to receive messages. But it would still be annoying to me.

Currently, Bluetooth users are asked if they would like to receive promotional messages from an advertiser. But is this considered intrusive, too?

Currently, Bluetooth users are asked if they would like to receive promotional messages from an advertiser. But is this considered intrusive, too?

When I sign up for email alerts from my favorite stores, I most likely read through what they have to offer. But when I get an email advertisement from a store I have never purchased from, it gets sent to the SPAM box. I have a feeling most other people respond the same way, and the same would hold true for Bluetooth marketing. Sending unsolicited messages via Bluetooth could anger the customer and may even damage brand image.

Conclusion: Marketers need to tread lightly as they start using this new technology.

I would love to hear what others think about this new technology- will this be the wave of the future, or are marketers entering a zone that is deemed too personal? Mobile marketing is just starting to take off, but many worry that consumers will not be receptive to advertising on their cell phones. How would you react to receiving messages from local stores in the mall?

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