What is Mobile Marketing with Jeff Hasen
You tweet, I tweet. Let’s do this!
Instantaneously after learning that Jeff Hasen was named a top Chief Marketing Officer on Twitter, I knew I had to call dibs. I’d live on Twitter if I could, so I was excited to connect with a fellow Tweeter and get his insight on mobile marketing. In prepping for my interview, I did some research on mobile marketing, read his blog (jeffhasen.com) and of course followed him on Twitter (@JeffHasen). It wasn’t until the actual interview when I learned Hasen was a pioneer of mobile marketing who’s worked with some big players.
How did Jeff Hasen start his career in marketing?
After reading Hasen’s guest post on Mobile Marketing Watch titled, “2012 Super Bowl Ads: #MissedOpportunitiesGalore,” his career path started to click. A graduate from Brooklyn University with a BA in Communications, Hasen kicked off his career as a sports journalist.
“I got to go to Super Bowls, the World Series, and the NBA Finals. My dad said, ‘Enjoy it because one day you’ll have to work for a living.’ And it was true. I was in the old-school journalism and it was time to do something more stable.”
Hasen quickly realized that his writing skills were transferrable to the marketing and PR fields, as he continued on in his career leading a large PR agency Publicis and founding a “funny named” company WongDoody Communications. It wasn’t until at InfoSpace, where he accidentally stumbled on to mobile marketing. Besides strategizing the positioning for DogPile’s search engine, he led InfoSpace to being the top providers of ringtones, graphics, and games for cellular phones.
During that same time, a new craze was growing: “American Idol.” Many tuned in every night to watch their favorite contestant croon, while others patiently waited for the second to text in their vote. But little did they know, it was Hasen who helped to convert those performances into their coveted ringtones.
“One of my first mobile marketing experiences, I worked on the “American Idol” ringtones and worked with Cingular at the time (pre-AT&T) with the producers of the show, turning around performances into ringtones overnight.”
Now at Hipcricket, named “Mobile Service Provider of the Year” by Mobile Marketer, Hasen is Chief Marketing Officer where he’s leading the company to the top of the mobile marketing providers.
What is mobile marketing?
Mobile marketing is marketing through mobile devices, and the most common form is SMS (Short Message Service) messaging which sends personalized text messages to consumers who opt-in. SMS marketing has grown popular, as mobile users must “double opt-in.” After texting a designated word to a short 5- or 6-code number, they must accept that they would like to receive messages. You may have seen messages to opt-in like,
Text ‘LOVE’ to 81888 to learn if your secret crush is crushing back.
What brought Hasen to Hipcricket was his interest in the “…ability to reach out to consumers who are looking for marketing messages. Rather than being a mass activity where you’re just advertising, you have an ability to provide more relevant content.”
How effective is mobile marketing?
One of the biggest questions many marketers and business owners ask before taking on any new marketing approach is, “What’s the ROI?” In fact, in a 2010 R2integrated (R2i) mobile marketing survey, 43% agreed that “Quantifying the return on investment was considered the most critical area of improvement for planned mobile marketing campaigns.”
“I think [it’s] because [mobile marketing] is still working to fully prove itself…” Matt Goddard, co-founder and CEO of R2i, explained in the 2010 R2i survey. Mobile marketing is evolving and has come a long way from love predictions and custom ringtones. According to the 2011 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone.
Emphasizing the evermore importance of utilizing mobile marketing, Hasen states, “The world is mobile.”
“[Mobile marketing] drives engagement, loyalty, and sales. What [Hipcricket] is doing is we’re reaching out to consumers and asking them to respond to a call-to-action. One of our customers is Miller-Coors, and if you opt-in, because this was a permission-based program, we can ping you when you land at a number of dozen of airports in the country and tell you where the closest Blue Moon beer is.”
Because mobile marketing is permission-based, open rates are high. Consumers are choosing what messages they want to receive. Thus, it’s important to give the consumers what they want and go where they are at and that’s mobile.
7 Media Group, a mobile marketing company, proves the effectiveness and ROI of mobile marketing in a 2011 case study. They worked with Harley-Davidson Dealerships to increase visibility to new and returning customers with a holiday promotion. Through social media, in-store, and previous customers, they promoted membership of their Route 66’s mobile club in which members received daily discount offers on select merchandise (i.e. 20% Helmet Day).
The dealerships achieved significant increases in revenue. “For example, the sale of T-shirts purchased on T-shirt Day was over 250% more than a normal day. High-dollar items also saw increased sales. On Helmet Day, the number of helmets sold with the 20% discount equaled the number sold for the entire previous week; and on Leather Jacket Day, seven leather jackets were sold at the 20% discount, representing a 16% increase over jacket sales the previous week. These numbers also represented an increase in dealership traffic.”
How does SMS messaging compare to email messaging?
Some say that SMS messaging is quite similar to email messaging. Both require members to opt-in, giving their contact info and agreeing to receive messages. Businesses then send mass messages to share news and information to increase their brand loyalty and sales. Although SMS messaging and email messaging utilize databases of contacts to blast messages, they have their differences. Compared to email messaging, SMS messaging is quite short, limited by up to 160 characters.
With easy-to-use email marketing services like ConstantContact and MailChimp, some of which provide free services, it’s difficult to justify investing in mobile marketing. Backtrack to the 90’s and many would agree that email marketing was extremely effective. During the peak of AOL, everyone was excited to hear “You’ve got mail,” and eagerly opened every message.
However, that was before email became the #1 online activity. Today, people are so overwhelmed with the amount of emails they receive that they’re carefully selecting which emails they open, and some of which are automatically-filtered SPAM. Although the character limit on SMS messaging seems as if it’s not enough to get a message across, it has its advantages.
SMS messaging has a five-times higher open rate
According to a 2010 Tatango study, SMS messaging achieves a five-time higher open rate compared to email messaging. “[Consumers] aren’t going to opt-in to hundreds of clubs,” Hasen says as he’s quick to defend mobile marketing. Again, emphasizing the fact that consumers are choosing to opt-in because they want to receive SMS messages. The most important aspect of opt-in marketing is to incentivize. For example:
Text ‘ARBY’ to 21474 to get a free sandwich.
“Offers are always in-demand by consumers. I don’t think I’ve ever met somebody who doesn’t want to get the product or service that they want at the best available price.” Ah yes, incentives. Of course I’ll opt in to Arby’s SMS messages to get a free Roastburger to nosh on while sipping my Jamocha shake. Mobile marketing allows messages to be micro-targeted, right down to the consumers’ location. For example:
We’re having a sale today down the street at Joe Fresh. Get an additional 10% off now!
At Hipcricket, Hasen finds that more are willing to opening a short, targeted SMS message versus a long, mass email message, “We get a 1-2% opt-out rate. We don’t overextend our stay.”
The key to mobile marketing is integration and relevance.
“Mobile should not sit on an island. Mobile needs to be like every other marketing channel. It needs to have a seat at the table. And there’s gonna be some days when mobile is in the lead for a program and some days when mobile doesn’t belong in a campaign. But the idea is to take an integrated approach to your marketing situation. We look at mobile as driving business results.”
Ultimately, to market effectively we marketers need to “provide for consumers’ expectations and what they want to see.”
“We’re moving from one-to-many marketing approach to a one-to-one approach,” best worded by Hasen. Marketing is now personalized, which is essential in sending out effective marketing messages. Mobile marketing “gives consumers who have raised their hands and said they want to receive information.” In other words, consumers are receiving the content that they want to see. And they’re punishing businesses who aren’t giving them what they want by going to the competition.
Meet Jeff Hasen at MarketMix
Meet Jeff Hasen (@JeffHasen
) in person at MarketMix 2012, where he will be co-presenting with Gus Swanson
(Clear Channel Seattle). The two pioneers of mobile marketing will share insight on determining how fast to move, what listeners are looking for, and how to drive business results. To learn more about Hasen and mobile marketing, pre-order Hasen’s book “Mobilized Marketing: Driving Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Devices
” due at the end of April 2012. Learn lessons from the top marketers as Hasen finds answers to questions like, how to sell mobile to your organization and what are consumers’ behaviors.