“There are more than 10 billion mobile, connected devices in use around the world…”
If you’re like me, you’re hardly surprised by this massive number that author Jeff Hasen cites in his book, Mobilized Marketing: Driving Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Devices. Putting aside all the tablets, e-readers and gaming devices in our lives, smartphones alone are our shopping companions, boredom killers, and of course a means of communication.
It only makes sense to tap into mobile as another way to communicate with your customers, and there are all sorts of avenues that come to mind when you think mobile in terms of marketing—apps, display ads, and effective mobile sites, for example.
But what struck me most while bouncing through the chapters are the cases where businesses fused a combination of media to achieve their goals— and they all have something in common. Let’s take a look:
When the deepest recession since the Great Depression hit in 2009, all industries faced grim times, automotive included. One Maryland car dealership, Fox Chevrolet, had failed to sell one single car in more than a month’s time, noted Hasen, who serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of the paramount mobile marketing company Hipcricket.
Before the government-sponsored Cash for Clunkers program kicked in, the Chevy dealership mustered up something so crafty, yet so simple: it bought two weeks’ worth of 10 and 15-second radio airtime, prompting listeners to text in for the chance to purchase a car for $98.
After nearly 500 people texted a keyword to a designated short code, they were invited to the dealership for a drawing, and about 300 people showed up.
Two lucky drivers indeed drove away in a Chevy for under $100, but better yet, all that foot traffic brought in some shoppers who really did need a car— even if it meant spending more than $98. Fox Chevrolet ended up selling 17 new cars and 17 used cars at full price in just one day.
An Iowa Jiffy Lube location teamed up with local radio station KCCQ for two reasons: to acquire new customers and allure past customers to return.
Listeners were given the opportunity to win a year’s worth of free oil changes by entering a contest. Once entered, participants received coupons via text message for deals on oil changes, wiper blades, tire rotations and more.
Unlike ever before, the radio station was able to gather data by tracking how many people redeemed the mobile offers. Nearly 50 percent of respondents were new customers, and that’s just based on the trackable text messages with no other marketing efforts factored in.
Not only did this simple campaign offer a cost-effective way to measure success, it brought in an influx of new and returning customers.
One of the nation’s oldest and largest tire retailers, Belle Tire, set out to create a customer pool it can communicate with on a regular basis.
The company ran television and radio ads encouraging listeners to text to win a $20-off mobile coupon. Entrants were then invited to the Belle Tire Advantage club, and 55 percent joined. As a result, the company built up a strong database to offer at-your-fingertip incentives and perks to on an ongoing basis.
Notice the common thread in all of these scenarios? It’s combining old with new; using radio as a means to reap the benefits of mobile.
Radio certainly has an edge when it comes to communicating with an audience at a hard-to-reach time (you can’t really surf the Web, browse social media or watch TV during rush hour). And Fox Chevrolet strategically took advantage of its location since many consumers in the Baltimore area spend a chunk of their day commuting. What better time for a driver to think about buying a new car than when they’re actually in their car?
As for Jiffy Lube, they had deals to offer. Giving customers those incentives via text message had extraordinary reach—more so than e-mail blasts, where you have to keep your fingers crossed that customer opens the e-mail let alone prints out a coupon.
Belle Tire’s case of traditional meets new media proved that even the oldest brands can adapt to the most innovative technologies.
So, with the cases Hasen outlines in mind, you may want to carry on with that radio budget you’ve been allocating for years (but maybe ditch the corny jingle). Try marrying radio and mobile– marketing’s power couple.