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Kim Dushinski

So does mobile marketing keep you up at night? Either figuring it out or being excited by the opportunities? Me too.

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Tomi Ahonen wrote an excellent piece called What happens to mobile advertising when economy comes back? that combined with a MediaPost article by Sarah Mahoney about retailers’ Black Friday plans has got me thinking about the future of mobile marketing.

Ahonen’s point is that once the economy comes back to full swing advertisers will look to add new engagement marketing techniques to their plans instead of just beefing back up their budgets on the old technology. Mahoney’s article got me thinking about how retailers could use mobile campaigns during Black Friday.

As I commented on the Media Post article, what if retailers created text message campaigns specifically for Black Friday. They could drive sign ups via their advertisements in the Thanksgiving Day newspaper – “Text STORE to 12345 for special discounts only available via text message.” Combine that with mobile commerce and shoppers could be buying from multiple stores via the power of mobile. The really smart folks would sign up for the campaign and stay home and shop from the couch.

It is time for marketers to start thinking about campaigns like this. The old marketing techniques will only take us so far. It’s time for really smart and engaging mobile campaigns.

Ann Cannon, vice president of CSG Systems’ Prairie Interactive Messaging

Sadly, some people are taking advantage of today’s economic news and fraud is reaching an all-time high. Crimes such as online identity theft, credit theft and so forth are all peaking. No matter what the economy is doing, this problem impacts consumers and companies of all economic cohorts and business domains.

If the worst does happen and someone steals your credit card account information to go on a buying spree, the consumer protection department of your credit card issuer will attempt to contact you, most commonly through voice, as that is the default for most consumers, especially older consumers. Email is also frequently used.

However, both voice and email introduce delays into a process where timely outreach is critical. If the number of record is a home landline, the message may not be picked up until well into the evening. Even if a business line or cell phone is being contacted, people often defer calls from unknown numbers to a more convenient time. Meanwhile, the fraudulent transaction which triggered the alert process may still go through. Even if it is declined, the identity thieves are free to try again. Conversely, if the transaction is legitimate and the account holder is unavailable to confirm it, the desired purchase may be stalled or declined.
This opens an opportunity for mobile messaging to become a value-add to consumers experiencing account fraud. SMS delivered to the handset is not just a fun way for friends to stay in touch — in cases like identity theft alerts it provides a valuable business benefit.

Many users who have adopted SMS as an ordinary communications channel will typically check their messaging as soon as possible – at a stoplight, on a meeting break, walking down a hallway – even in situations where they may not be willing or able to take a voice call.

The consumer whose account information is suspected to have been stolen can receive a text message to contact a fraud hotline immediately. Valuable time is saved in a fraud management process where minutes can count – minutes that can prevent further damage to the consumer’s credit.

Opt-In Strategies

The sticking point with commercial SMS messages in the U.S. is getting consumers to opt-in to receive such messages in the first place. A multichannel media strategy for garnering opt-ins can provide big payoffs for both lenders and consumers. Examples include SMS opt-in opportunities at the end of agented or automated voice calls, point-of-sale messaging at branch banks or lending offices, Web-based check-box options within the customer’s account profile, statement messaging or inserts and print advertising campaigns.

When consumers are given the opportunity to opt-in for fraud alerts via SMS, businesses can create stronger customer relationships through protecting everyone in the transaction chain – consumer, merchant, processor, and lender – while improving profitability through a more efficient fraud management process. A simple mobile messaging campaign, delivered in these difficult times, reaps dividends for everyone involved.

In order to use Twitter as a powerful mobile marketing tool you need to build a following on Twitter and then get your followers to turn on their device notifications for that Twitter account. Then each tweet you make is sent via SMS to your group of followers.

Just think how powerful it is to have your Twitter messages being delivered instantly to the mobile devices of your followers, not just waiting in the Twitterstream to possibly be noticed. You now know with almost certainty that your messages are being read.

When using Twitter as a mobile marketing tool you need to change your posting strategy just a bit knowing that each time you send a message everyone on the receiving end of the message is looking at their cell phone. No posting about what you ate for breakfast. Instead you need to keep your posts to only important items and ones that truly add value to your followers’ lives. It certainly can be done.

Without a doubt Twitter can be an excellent mobile marketing tool.

The only downfall of this strategy is that if anything ever happened to Twitter (beyond the fail whale) you would lose your list of followers. After all, without Twitter as a platform, you have no way to reach this group of people ever again.

So, if you like the idea of having a group of people you can send SMS messages to on a regular basis I suggest that you start your own text message list. In essence you would be creating your own Twitter stream direct to your groups’ cell phones. I suggest starting right away before everyone else is doing it.

To find out how to do this, you can sign up for my How to Build a Text Message List teleseminar here.