The mobile agency I work for did a campaign a few years ago where consumers recruited each other into the navy. The campaign got consumers to go to the web and customise a video to their friend's name and then send it to their mobile. The videos, a mission impossible style short movie got consumers to see what it is like to work in the navy. Consumers loved the idea of sending custom videos and the agency got the message home.
We have been talking mobile for a while, the only thing we missed in discussion seems a simple how to integrate mobile into your campaign. Firstly, because mobiles are personal, consumers carry them everywhere they go. They are also the new world's identify system. Consumers treat them with a huge amount of protectiveness. Making an unsolicited call to a consumer is far more unnerving than sending a blind email. Choosing mobile as a channel therefore needs careful thought.
The first stage is to understand clearly how your consumers use mobile and how it relates to your category. Understanding the various touch points of the consumer and their behaviour will help you map opportunities to engage them or serve them meaningfully.
The third stage is to look at all possible existing technologies in mobile and analyse what role each can play in serving your consumer or your campaign. Importantly start with what consumers know and are able to use. Marketers will often marvel at a technology only to be dissapointed when consumers fail to use it due to complexity. Thus always work with your least techie consumer in mind. SMS can be amazingly robust in the number of ways it can be used to create innovative engagement.
Start by optimising existing marketing or online material for mobile. Optimise your website to ensure that mobile audiences have a decent experience online . (Mobile is the number one device through which consumers access the web in Kenya)
While many marketing projects may not seem mobile friendly, it always helps to review each campaign or marketing activity and then look at the opportunities to enhance each via a mobile device. A company doing a TV campaign may just enhance it by getting consumers to obtain a link via short code placed on the TV ad. Magazine ads may be enhanced with QR codes or SMS short codes. A trade fair may be enhanced via a blue tooth shot of a brochure or video . Mobile also enhances a brand's ability to build communities as well as obtain feedback on activities. You may not wait for weeks before you gain insight on how your consumers react to your ads. A quick SMS with a few questions may just do the trick.
While the above may seem pretty techie stuff, a lot of the alignment often needs to happen in our minds and in ways we approach communication. Integrating a Q code after web optimising for mobile can be a three step process. Integrating an SMS short code can cost less than one TV spot per month. The barriers are hardly with costs. Start experimenting , it is still early days.
Frank is lead consultant at FMC and CEO at mobile agency Sponge.