What opportunities are currently offered to advertising executives to include mobile and cellular initiatives with their Internet strategy? In Canada, in 2006, the successful cases show that this kind of marketing is becoming more of a contender.
Compared to Europe and Asia, Canadian mobile marketing campaigns have not even started. Because of greater cellular connectivity and network interoperability, these parts of the world were able to reap the rewards of mobile marketing before us.
Several successful mobile marketing initiatives have taken place in Canada. Innovative companies like Nokia and more conservative ones like Shell or Sears have had successful experiences.
These initiatives seek to raise brand or product awareness, increase website visits, competition entries or simply create a more rich and interactive experience with the brand. For example, when promoting a new phone, Nokia invited spectators at a sporting event aimed at youngsters to vote for the performances in real time via SMS, the day of the event (using the shirt number of the players). The results? Over 15% of the crowd voted at least once, the number of votes was greater than the number of spectators; there were millions of visits to their website, a large number of the target audience registered to an e-mail newsletter and sales increased. Even more importantly, it was an intense brand experience. Priceless.
We should also mention Playtex who attracted several hundred future clients to their website and obtained their contact details to be registered in a contest aimed at young girls.
These initiatives provide a much more contextual and immediate interaction, at a time when the Internet cannot easily be of use: an event, an information panel or a street campaign, for example. They are also very easy to measure; you just have to personalize the code (send an SMS to a certain number using a specific word).
Mobile marketing is an excellent tool to guarantee future visits to a website. This can be done by sending a unique code to the mobile device to try a game or download a small gift for free from the Internet.
It will be an unavoidable marketing tactic of tomorrow, with Canadians being more and more connected.
Young people aged 13 – 25 are very connected, but in general, cell phone distribution in Canada is at 61½%
The number of SMS’s (text messages) sent per person in Canada is one of the lowest, However, this is understandable considering the fact that it has not even been a year since the four main Canadian cellular networks accepted interoperability to exchange SMS’s.
This is the current situation in Canada. We are satisfied with SMS for marketing campaigns; MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) not being popular enough or available on telephones that are on the market here. Even if only 25% of users use SMS and 15% have camera phones, we have experienced strong highs recently and will continue to see high growth in mobile connectivity providing advanced functionalities.
Several case studies show that today’s SMS campaigns create enough respondents for it to be worth the challenge. The advertiser has to target the right market, offer the correct level of support and respect users’ private lives. It must be said that mobile spam is even more irritating than regular spam, as it interrupts our activities with a beep. It is therefore important to be careful with our mobile marketing approach, because a moment of truth will always come to the consumer, for good…or for bad.