February 4th, 2008

SMS Ads … What warrants an alert? and when?

Last summer I did a couple of blog pieces on the Presidential candidates using text messaging to reach supporters.

There was the Tootsie Roll analogy in this one. And a reference to an RCR Wireless piece in this one.

I now receive messages from his campaign whenever he is going to appear on TV … which is frequently these days. While the timing tends to be same day as the event which is good, I’m often at the office and can’t get home in time to watch or program my Tivo to do so. (My Tivo from DirectTV is pre-Ethernet connection days). I know of the events, but I can’t do anything about them.

I also haven’t received the bumper sticker/materials that I opted in for via SMS. Having backend systems to support SMS efforts is an entirely different issue.

MyCokeRewards has been sending me gentle “nudges” every so often. When I first registered (see blog), I gave them a bunch of information regarding my cell phone and then heard nothing from them for a long time. Now they send me messages every once in a while encouraging me to visit their site to get some loyalty points or to watch Superbowl commercials, but it’s never really enough to motivate me to do anything.

For me these campaigns illustrate where we seem to be right now with mobile marketing messages. Some early momentum a year or so ago. We saw some initial creativity with Starbucks and some others. Brands were collecting subscriber information, but not doing anything with it. There was a lot of caution used in sending out messages. Now, a few messages are trickling out.

Back-end systems weren’t in place to integrate acquisition data or do analytics. Short codes / voting are all over TV and doing well (any one watch the Superbowl yesterday?) – it’s become expected at least for national football/basketball games. I haven’t seen much lately though that indicates we’re going to see accelerated growth. It’s certainly not stalled, but could use a boost right now.

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