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Achieving mobile marketing success – Interview with MobileZeitgeist

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Heike Scholz from Mobile Zeitgeist has asked us some questions around mobile marketing, looking at click through rates (CTRs) and what differences we have experienced in each country and/or region. See the interview below.

  • Gemalto has carried out campaigns for carrier-related products and services. Do these services have better click through rates (CTRs) than other (non-carrier-related) products?

We haven’t noticed any difference in click through or take up rates between carrier and non-carrier products. In fact the main factors that have an impact on consumer responses are the same as in traditional marketing campaigns. These include:

  1. The relevance of the campaign to the user (targeting)
  2. The type of promotional offer (discount, reward points etc.)
  3. The type of media channel (banner, SMS, interactive SMS etc.)
  • How do non-carrier-related products/services perform? Is user acceptance higher when receiving an interactive SMS from a carrier the user has a contract with?

Mobile MarketingUser acceptance is naturally higher if you receive promotional messages from your carrier as their services can normally only be accessed by their subscribers (unless another operator is trying to get you to switch). However, you are more likely to open a message from your telco as you generally have a trusted relationship with them.

Campaigns running through interactive SMS usually have 2 to 6 times higher CTR than standard SMS campaigns, in some cases even higher. An interactive SMS can pop up on the idle screen of any mobile and allows direct actions from users with one click such as accessing a website, downloading a coupon or placing a call. This means that the user doesn’t have to go into their inbox to read the message or remember any short codes to dial.

  • Do prepaid or postpaid customers have higher CTRs?

No, in most of the campaigns we have run, postpaid and prepaid customers both showed similar CTR. This was even the case for mobile carrier subscription services.

  • Does this differ by country?

Again we haven’t noticed significant differences in response rates between carrier and non-carrier or prepaid and postpaid. However, we have noticed natural differences of CTRs for the products and services offered in different countries. This is down to the culture and interests of the specific country.

  • Are there differences in CTR/response according to whether users live in developed or developing countries?

We haven’t observed any difference between “developed / developing” countries, as long as you promote the right services and offers to the right segment, while respecting the basic rules of customer engagement, including the proper management of opt-in databases and good segmentation.

  • Which countries perform best, which ones perform most poorly, and why?

We have been pretty surprised by the fact that we have not seen any specific behaviour by country. Some services can be of interest in all countries while others are only relevant to one specific culture or region. Again it seems to be the campaign itself and the delivery method

In one mobile campaign in India, a message promoting a sports news service was tested on similar target audiences using two delivery methods: a standard SMS and an interactive one. The response rate for the former, where the customer had to send a text message, was just 0.2%; for the latter, where the customer only had to press one button on their phone, it was 7.7%.

  • Are there special user groups (by country and demographic) that perform best?

Once again it is hard to see any generalisation within specific demographic groups. As with the situation for different countries from the previous question, the key is to link segment interest with key offer/service and best time for promotion. Therefore, we can easily say that promotions for ringtones will work best with teenagers but other services work equally well across all ages and socio-demographic groups. However, there is not one group which consistently generates lower or higher CTRs. We have found that with the combination of best consumer engagement practices, an easy-to-use, attractive interface and a truly interactive messaging channel (like Gemalto Interactive SMS), you can gain excellent results. An example of this is football fans:

“People get the information when they need it,” says Colin McCaffery, Director of Products at global mobile communications organization 2ergo. For example, in England, 2ergo’s client ESPN has the mobile broadcasting rights to all Premier League soccer games. Most fans will want to see a roundup of that day’s goals while they’re away from their home, probably when they’re on the way back from attending a game themselves. So, at 5:15 every Saturday afternoon, any soccer fan subscribing to the service can view all the best footage of that day’s action on their handset, at a time when they want to see it. More…

We hope this answers some of your questions, Heike. As you can see, there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to running campaigns. Interactive SMS can help achieve higher CTRs and it’s important to work closely with the mobile operator on a campaign as they know their customers the best. They can help pinpoint the relevant demographic.

Open to further contributions on this – feel free to leave a comment or come and visit us at Mobile World Congress in Hall 8 on stand 8A102. Thanks again to Heike Scholz of Mobile Zeitgeist for the insightful questions.

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