Tuesday 22 March 2011

Mobile is the key to truly effective through-the-line marketing

I've blogged before about how marketing that does not use mobile will struggle to be truly integrated.  How can you effectively drive a consumer from seeing a poster to visiting an online destination without something in between?  That "something" can most effectively be Mobile.

Similarly, guiding consumers into the funnel via exposure to above-the-line marketing and through the other end at direct below-the-line communication, necessarily needs that consumer to have interacted with the ATL, either directly or otherwise.  And there is the marketers challenge.

And that is where mobile can play a fundamental role.

Yesterday I sat for 5 minutes looking out of my office window, onto Garrick Street:

And in that 5 minutes, I saw a total of 138 people.  26 of those, just under 20%, were holding their phone in their hand - some on calls and some just looking at it.  You can be pretty certain that the vast majority (if not all) of the remaining 80% of people had their phone within easy reach (many clearly had Apple headphones in so are likely to have been listening to music on their iPhones).  Now I know that a 5 minute snapshot of a Central London street is in no way representative of the wider population, but it does hint at the great thing about Mobile...

If you can produce a poster, ad or piece of guerilla activity compelling enough that people want to respond or react to it, and if you include an appropriate and intuitive mobile call-to-action, then you can drive consumers to interact and initiate a dialogue with you there and then - in the moment - when their interest is piqued and they are most responsive.  Confirm and acknowledge their contact and maintain the dialogue, or if more appropriate, do so later that day or the next.  

Either way, you have in the space of a minute or two, moved the consumer from being an anonymous viewer of your ATL to being a real prospect that you can have a direct, and one-to-one dialogue with.

That's pretty impressive isn't it...?

Wednesday 16 March 2011


I've written about O2 More previously and, to be fair, have had both good and bad experiences - from being sent a Maternity wear offer and then receiving an apology, only to get then get the same message again, twice;  to receiving an MMS, with a uniquely discount voucher and the address of the nearest store to me that I could redeem it at.

Unfortunately, the day after it is announced that O2 More have hit 2 million users, this post is about one of the poor ones...

We all know what is going on over on the other side of the world right now - it feels like Armageddon over in Japan and I think we can all see that the scale of the devastation and destruction.  Given this, there are of course a number of efforts being made to raise support and money to aid the relief efforts - which should of course be applauded.  So my following criticism isn't in the act itself but, as we see way too often and from those who should know and do better, the execution of such.

So... I received an SMS from O2 More, asking me to donate.

All good there?  Well, not really.  This is from a mobile network.  A carrier, who owns the network and is responsible for all the data, voice and (relevantly in this case) messaging.  So why is the call to action not "reply" or "send a message to"?  Why have O2 not set up a premium SMS route (and waived all their fees on it)?  Surely a message such as "If you want to donate £5 to the Japan Tsunami appeal text DONATE to 20502" would allow them to to hit a broader base and illicit a greater response?

I know that this message has been delivered to by a different part of the O2 behemoth than that which would be responsible for setting up such a route but surely this is an obvious conversation to have...

Ok, so I am one of the minority of people likely to click on the link in order to donate.  What do I see?

Yeah.  I know.  And it isn't much better in landscape:

I am trying to avoid sounding churlish and criticising something that is, inherently commendable.  But I can't help thinking that it could have been so much more effective were the site that you click through to be mobile optimised and ideally allow on-bill donation.

But ultimately, it should have been an SMS mechanic - we've seen with previous appeals how effective these can be and if anyone should be doing it, O2 should.

Shouldn't they...?