You hear about it all the time – “mobile is the next thing to blow up.” That’s all great and good, and so what? Where are our colleagues going to take us in mobile? Where should we be as professionals handling the social media and marketing for companies, clients and ourselves? Patrick Mahoney, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Mogreet, shares his thoughts on mobile marketing. If you have questions or comments, take him to task LIVE at our January 31 event at the ING DIRECT Cafe in West LA. RSVP here: http://mobilesmcla.eventbrite.com/
By way of good luck and timing, I have spent my entire career at the intersection of technology and media, experiencing firsthand the “Digital Evolution”. From my first internship at Bilboard magazine at 18, where I was tasked with a research project entitled “Should Billboard have a Website?”, I have always been fascinated by how media should most effectively utilize new platforms to reach consumers, drive their existing business, and generate new revenue.
Even though mobile was always the “next frontier”, I had skepticism as to how it would become a profitable business for marketers. Mobile was great for us at ABC, where we had the benefit of multi-million dollar TV brands to drive licensing revenue for mobile, but I wasn’t convinced that the tune-in at the end of the promo clip on Vcast was really going to drive people to their TV sets. However, the ability to use the cast of Desperate Housewives on the image of the new LG VCAST phone was interesting. A light bulb went off in my head – creating thoughtful “partner ecosystems” through a sustainable combination of technology, brands and distribution can lead to success in across the board. Brands need to understand how to capitalize on disruptive technologies and disruptive technologies need to learn how to play nice with brands.
Mobile entertainment has seen some false starts, which is natural in any evolving business. Carriers tried become both the pipe and the content provider, but consumer behavior, content rights and technology prohibited their success. I felt vindicated that I was “right”..sort of! Consumers don’t want to watch TV on a small screen, but that small screen IS at the hip of nearly every single person in America. At Mogreet, we have spent 5 years on figuring out how to help brands connect with mobile consumers in a compelling way. Our messaging platform delivers a device agnostic (yes that means your old flip phone too!) way for media brands to deliver MEDIA to their fans and accomplish additional goals: Tune in, ad dollars, app downloads, web traffic etc. Other players in the industry have tried to poke holes in our strategy, but we’ve remained steadfast in our beliefs, which boil down to two core things (in my opinion): 1) Who doesn’t open a text message? 2) Why would you market video with a text message, when you can market video with a video?
I digress a bit. Back to the “partner ecosystem”. In understanding the goals of our media relationships, we have worked to maximize the value of our platform. This is a model that seems simplistic, but is many times poorly executed….because it’s a pain in the arse. With ABC Family, we were fortunate enough to have great stakeholders that saw the value of our platform and launched the “Pretty Little Liars” mobile campaign. After two years, we have a significant number of the on-air audience opted in and have helped the cable net to drive additional ad dollars to both the network and our mobile database, not to mention made the short code a trending topic on twitter and helped the show become the most tweeted entertainment property of 2011. This is all due to a deep partnership between our client, the creative team, and ad sales. However, without the brand creating compelling messaging, we would not have had the success or the opportunity to push the ad dollars forward by training ad sales on how to sell mobile.
Similarly, we have worked with Fox on most of their scripted prime-time shows. With Glee, Fox and Mogreet brainstormed the most effective way to give the consumer valuable content that also drives engagement, which resulted in a single message that delivers: Additional character content, the playlist for the upcoming episode, the ability to share immediately (via our post to facebook/twitter), and ability to listen/buy the songs (but direct link from MMS into storefront). In our own little way, we have tried to help mobile marketing evolve.
Our next frontier is sharing. We’ve launched moShare, the first online-mobile sharing service. moShare allows you to share any piece of web content via a text message to a mobile phone. We’re betting on the fact that sharing is personal. Some share’s are great for facebook and twitter, but for that share that you want your friend to open immediately, there is moShare. In summary, mobile marketing isn’t easy. Understand your clients, understand their constituents, and understand your goals. We’re seeing a lot of mobile “one size fits all” folks fall by the way-side (and/or trash talk those of us who have created a strong value proposition), because in the days of an educated, ever evolving consumer leaves little room for error and destroys inadequate technology. However, content will always prevail, so us mobile marketers must continue to re-invent how we improve on the delivery of the content and the value of the messaging that we create.
Patrick Mahoney is the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Mogreet. Follow him on Twitter at @mogreet and Like the Mogreet Facebook Page. He is one of our speakers at our Tuesday Jan 31 event.