It’s still all about iphone Apps

iphone_home
Speaking to prospective clients about marketing campaigns, the focus is still very much on iphone apps. To some extent it is the inevitable fact that these apps can be exciting, add functionality and best of all, they gain external PR.
I was recently approched by a luxury brand, who wanted to make a mobile offering. As usual, I outlined the options, form SMS to mobile web. I pointed out that most of their clients were Blackberry users (who represent nearly double the number of iphone users) and that the Blackberry App may be the best way forward. And guess what? They still want the iphone App.

The iphone demographics suggested that over 70% are men. Shame really as most of the decision makers/buyers in the luxury goods market (even men’s products) are women. And 90% of apps are opened once or never at all!

Ultimately I guess for a brand it’s all about impressing people. It would seem that an iphone app is the best way to do that.

Making Mobile Marketing Work

In my DMA role, we ran an event on Tuesday called ‘Making Mobile Marketing Work’. The aim was to be very practical and present case studies that shows how mobile marketing can work successfully for brands.
We were very fortunate that we had four excellent presentations from brands all covering different areas of mobile marketing. There were quite a few note worthy points that came out of the day:

Orange
Along with some data from their Exposure 2 study, Steve Ricketts, the Orange speaker mentioned a number of really interesting campaigns. Orange Weds, the two for one cinema offer is perhaps one of the best known campaigns in the UK. An interesting result though has been that Wednesdays has gone from being the quietest day for cinema attendance to the second busiest (after Saturday), thanks in part to the Orange Weds programme. A great example of an offer and voucher scheme for mobile.

M&S
In many ways, Marks and Spencers were the star of the show, and provide a great example of how brands can implement mobile. M&S has a pretty traditional customer base, many of them represented by women over 50. They took the approach of starting small and working up from there. Vouchering for their Back to School campaign, and offers such as Eat In for £10 have been very successful mobile campaigns for them.
They have just started putting QR (well technically 2D barcodes) on their juice packs which go to the M&S mobile site. This is quite significant for M&S, as they are getting their customers to download and get used to the idea of QR. It means they can introduce more sophisticated campaigns using that technology.

DirectGov
This is the digital communication section of the UK Government covering every aspect of health, transport, taxation etc. When it comes to mobile marketing, it is a nice surprise to see the government actually leading the way. In particular, their mobile site is highly functional and well produced.

Shelter
The homeless and housing charity did a brief presentation on how they have used mobile as a means to retain direct debit donors. Although not an entirely new idea, it works well for Shelter. Their focus was to send the donors positive messages about the way their contributions have helped particular individuals. The result was a much higher level of direct debit uptake.

I summed up the workshop, and noted that a few clear themes came out of the session:
Mobile is very personal so marketing must be highly relevant.
It needs to be innovative, interactive and work across all channels, not just mobile.
And above all, there must be TRUST.

I also warned brands not to get too hung up on ROI. Looking at the experience of the brands like M&S, Orange and COI, they focussed on developing their mobile marketing first. Experimenting and finding out what works. The ROI will follow on from that.

Finally to echo something that Sienne Veit from M&S said, don’t worry if your customers are ready for mobile marketing. Your customers are already there. The question to brands is ‘are you on mobile’?