A Crash Course in Mobile Marketing: MMA Forum 2010 Recap

What happens when you fill New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel with more than 83 visionaries, hundreds of representatives from leadings brands, retailers, agencies, publishers, mobile operators, and technology companies from every corner of the  world, not to mention CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and the “Celebrity CMO” and author of “The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?” Jeffery Hayzlett? A rare opportunity to experience first-hand what it takes to be successful in mobile marketing and business.

Held June 7-9 during Internet Week New York, the Mobile Marketing Forum (MMA Forum) showcased the mobile channel global reach and local relevance. Some examples:

  • In Turkey, 250,000 people signed up for Lipton Tea’s mobile campaign, which featured ringback tones. Sales grew 47 percent.
  • Brands and agencies are aggressively staffing up with mobile expertise. For example, Richard Ting, RG/A’s vice president, and executive creative director for mobile and emerging platforms told attendees that two years ago, his agency had only five dedicated mobile specialists. Today, it’s 85.
  • Several brands – from florist chains to detergents – reported 20 percent response rates for their mobile campaigns.
  • In India, 33 percent of SMS traffic is media content and/or advertising.
  • Rite Aid lets its loyalty card members register their mobile number as an alternate loyalty ard. This frees customers from having to carry their card, and it creates the opportunity for Rite Aid to send relevant, targeted messages such as reminders that a prescription is running out.
  • Blockbuster UK has delivered more than 1 million coupons for movies, drinks, and other products to mobile phones, with a 10 percent redemption rate. The chain likes being able to validate both the coupon and the customer, something it can’t do with paper coupons.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks’ mobile fan club tripled its user base to 75,000 in one year – and that was before a bandwagon-filling Stanley Cup championship.

Worldwide Phenomenon

Those examples highlighted one of MMA Forum’s major themes: Mobile marketing is a global phenomenon, spanning developed and developing countries alike in every region. The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) anticipated that theme by making all four of its regional directors – hailing from Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America and North America – available as speakers and during the event’s numerous networking opportunities.

The MMA regional directors also participated in the event’s first-ever “Battle of the Regions” panel, where they debated which region was best in mobile advertising and marketing, and attendees voted via SMS. They each provided a brief presentation highlighting their region’s success stories, such as:

  • In the United States, ESPN is a categorical leader with more than 50% of its weekend web traffic delivered over mobile. They’re serving more than 11 million unique mobile web users a month, sending over 200 million mobile sports alerts and serving millions of application downloads and hundreds of live mobile television broadcasts.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Ariel detergent brand’s campaign sent text messages to 400,000 housewives and achieved a 20 percent response rate, which generated store sales to the stores.
  • Also in the United Kingdom, a TV ad for Whiskas cat food included a call to action where viewers could request more information by sending a text message to a short code. More than 100,000 requests were fulfilled and led to a 30 percent sales increase.
  • In India, a ringtone campaign designed to educate about contraception and AIDS increased condom awareness by 10 percent. It won CNN’s award as the best educational mobile campaign of the year. (During other sessions, speakers from the United Nations’ mHealth Alliance and the U.S. Center for Disease Control discussed the effectiveness of using the mobile channel to engage and inform the public.)
  • In Kenya, consumers can use SMS to pay insurance premiums.
  • In Estonia and Norway, citizens can submit their tax return via SMS.
  • In China, users downloaded the Puma F1 multiplayer racing advergame 200,000 times, increasing shoe sales 300 percent and prompting rival Nike to expand its mobile initiatives.

The MMA Forum is a unique experience.  If you’re interested in attending future MMA Forum events, which are held multiple times each year around the world, visit www.mobilemarketingforum.com for full details. Each event in the MMA Forum series presents a one-of-a-kind, concise opportunity to gain actionable insights into the mobile marketing opportunity and make key contacts. As Joy Liuzzo, InsightExpress’ senior director for marketing and mobile research, described the New York MMA Forum:

“My colleague and I came away with a few solid leads and stack of business cards more than an inch thick. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish when you’re a regular attendee of mobile conferences since it’s usually the same people again and again. Not so with this one. Fresh faces, people excited to learn about mobile, and even more important, people ready to get started in mobile.”

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