February 2012 - Mobivity

Choosing Between Mobile Campaigns and Social Media Campaigns

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With Facebook about to make it’s IPO, and Twitter being one of the largest sources of information and news consumption for the average user in the United States, it’s hard to ignore the fact that social media has become an integral part of our everyday American lives.

In fact, a study from Chicago University recently stated that texting, checking Facebook and updating Twitter came in just below sleep on a list of impossible urges.  The study claims that Facebook has become “more addictive than smoking.”  With this being such a weighty revelation about the current state of our society, it is key to know how to interact with your customers and clients alike through social media and mobile interactions.

In a recent article on Mashable Todd Wasserman pointed out 4 tips for better engagement on Facebook and other social media channels:

  1. Add a charitable component to the messages you are sending out to your customers. In December, 2011 the team pushing advertising for Madden 2012 gave users a reason to share posts and get their “fan” count up by offering a 10 cent donation charity to the Children’s Miracle Network for each unique share and “like.”  This improves not only the Public Relations view of your business, but also increases your exposure through later ads to a wider base of prospects.
  2. Use Polls. While quirky and witty status updates will typically aid in engagement between business and consumer, many marketing industry pros will tell you that the best way to enhance engagement is simply to ask for it.  Facebook’s questions tool is absolutely phenomenal for this.
  3. Beyond the free media of social networking, use your paid ad-space wisely and judiciously.  Facebook offers a unique feature to allow you to increase or decrease ad exposure based on their performance.
  4. Use industry professionals for the brand you are trying to promote. When EA wanted to create a trailer for it’s Battlefield 3 video game they called on Freddie Wong, a premier YouTube director known for his engaging and promotional videos.  Use any and all tools at your disposal to help increase engagement.

With Facebook getting nearly 1/3 of all website traffic through it’s mobile applications across separate phone platforms the mobile ad-space within Facebook and other Social networks is becoming a huge marketing opportunity for businesses.  However successful a purely social advertising approach may be, the single-channel marketing approach is becoming a thing of the past with new mobile marketing opportunities.

As we spoke about a few weeks ago, the clear winner in advertising during the Super Bowl was none other than the NFL itself.  While many other ads incorporated social interaction opportunities through Twitter, Facebook, and Shazam, the NFL’s call to action with an SMS campaign was clear and successful.

More than 1.7 million viewers of the Super Bowl followed through and sent a text to participate in the NFL Perfect Challenge.  Beyond this, “Text NFL to 69635″ was trending on both Twitter and Facebook during and after the game.  Jeff Berman, general manager of the NFL’s digital media, stated that “essentially we are launching a September product with a February ad.  How do we actually capture the real value of this?”  Their choice was to capture phone numbers to begin a conversation with consumers for a product launch in September.  With the NFL far surpassing its goal of 1% participation of Super Bowl viewers the huge number of messages exchanged underscores the potential for call-to-action advertisement.

While both SMS calls to action and Social Media interaction are successful, perhaps the truly successful marketing giants over 2012 will be those who incorporate both in a way to saturate the marketing with communication, interaction, and participation.

To see the potential increase in business your company could experience through incorporating a mobile campaign into all of your marketing efforts, head here to sign up for a free trial with us and begin a dialogue about what 2012, the year of mobile, could do for you and your business.

Press Release: “UFC Partners with CommerceTel for Mobile Marketing”

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization has selected CommerceTel to facilitate mobile marketing tactics such as voting, text alerts, and special offers for in-venue and in-broadcast initiatives.

The UFC is the fastest growing sports organization in the world, producing the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) events and is available in almost a billion homes worldwide. The UFC’s debut on network TV last November was the most watched fight in a decade, drawing over 9 million viewers to FOX in the US.

As Michael Falato, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Txtstation, states:

“The UFC holds the unique distinction as the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world while the mobile platform provides the largest digital audience in the world. We’re very pleased to support the UFC’s progressive strategy of connecting to their audience via mobile devices.”

With CommerceTel’s C4 and Txtstation Pro web-based platforms, the UFC will be equipped to deliver HD-quality graphics and animations to screens, whether it is broadcast, in-venue boards, or digital signage. Fans text their messages to a short code and within seconds the real time results can appear live on the screen. The dynamic display of responses has been proven to not only improve overall response rate but it also engages the consumer in an interactive way. Additionally, fans can opt-in for real-time alerts from in-venue or online calls-to-action.

“We are always looking for new ways to improve the audience experience for our fans,” said UFC President Dana White. “This is another way for fans to get even closer to the action, to get even more interactive, and this partnership with CommerceTel’s Txtstation allows us to do that in a new and exciting way.”

**CommerceTel, Txtstation, and BoomText have come together to create Mobivity, an integrated mobile solutions provider prepared to turn anyone’s mobile advertising goals into a reality.

Article Credit: Sports Video Group.

2012: The Year of the Mobile Market

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It is hard to go a single day in the modern American world without encountering some kind of mobile interaction.  Mobile interaction and communication has found it’s way into nearly every part of our daily interaction – from mobile social networks, to mobile business applications and advertising.  The mobile trend can even be found in major sales statistics – Apple announced recently it’s Q1 2012 numbers, stating that the company has sold 55 million iPads, and 37 million iPhones to date in Q1, which brings their running total of iOS (Mobile) devices to 316 million units sold.  This number alone is staggering, but when compared to how many Mac desktop computers the company has sold in it’s 28 year existence, the move towards primarily-mobile communication becomes a statistic to be reckoned with.

Source: Mashable “Apple Sold More iOS Devices in 2011 Than Macs in 28 Years”

With this in mind it is hard to ignore America’s move towards mobile, and a new level of focus on the increasing mobile market should be at the head of every business owner’s mind.  Adobe recently also did a study showing that, on average, end-users spend more money when shopping from a mobile device than form a desktop, showing an increase from an average $102 order on a desktop to an average $123 order on a tablet/mobile phone.  While this presents a money-making opportunity, it also presents an absolutely phenomenal advertising opportunity.

A Marin Software study in Q4 2011 found that consumers are more likely to click on ads from search results and webpages on a mobile device than they are on a desktop, with click-rates for ads on smart-phones at 1.25%, 1.31% for tablets, and only 0.95% for desktops and laptops.  The same study has also been reporting click-through rates up to 45% higher on mobile devices than desktops and laptops for Q1 2012 so far.

By 2015, the IDC has stated that more U.S. internet users will access the web through mobile devices than through Personal Computers.  The trend here is clear, consumers are moving mobile in a huge way, and for businesses to increase sales and business size competitively, the move to mobile is a no brainer.  For a glance into one of many mobile-business streams, sign up for a free trial with us today.

Mobivity’s Parent Company, CommerceTel, Surpasses over 3,000 Customers

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Yesterday CommerceTel, the parent company of Mobivity, announced that it’s forward-thinking mobile marketing technology is being used by local advertisors in more than 3,000 locations nationwide.

Dennis Becker, CEO of CommerceTel, explained that,

“We are extremely excited to deploy our technologies in over 3,000 of our customers’ locations. It demonstrates our value proposition and ability to quickly sign and activate new customers. In the past three months alone, we have successfully activated over 325 new clients with a combined 746 locations across the country. With over 560,000 retail restaurant and foodservice locations in the U.S. alone, we have significant greenfield opportunities ahead.”

CommerceTel’s C4 platform allows local and national business owners to increase sales and customer engagement at a fraction of the cost of newspaper, radio, online and outdoor ads.  Because the service is flexible and highly effective, over 97% of customers have renewed their initial contracts.  In the past twelve months, the net number of active local advertiser locations using CommerceTel’s mobile marketing solutions increased by approximately 255%.

CommerceTel is an award-winning provider of mobile marketing solutions, and acquired Mobivity in late 2011.

See the full press release here.

Are QR codes the next big thing in Mobile Marketing?

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Recently there has been a visible rise in the use of QR Codes, or Quick Response Codes, amongst businesses and their desires to increase mobile interaction between themselves and consumers (as seen in the multiple uses of QR codes during this year’s superbowl).

Laura Marritt, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, was recently quoted saying that

“SMS gives brands an easy, broad reaching and low cost means of consumer communication via the mobile channel – and as you know, is ubiquitous, but it lacks the rich media experience that QR codes can deliver.”

Likewise, Nicole Skogg, CEO of SpyderLynk, agrees that mobile bar-codes are slowly but surely replacing the use of SMS campaigns:

“Many 2D mobile bar codes provide a wide range of benefits above and beyond what a SMS campaign can offer.  First of all, it is much easier for a consumer to activate and lower barriers to entry [that] will drive program participation.  Rather than having to send a text message to a number, consumers can simply scan the mobile bar codes – it requires less effort on behalf of the consumers.”

Though the possibilities with QR codes seem to be nearly endless and ever-evolving, there is one key difference that they will always acquiesce to text message marketing – interaction and return business.

QR codes seem to be a fantastic tool for increasing participation and allowing end-users to have a unique and media rich mobile experience.  To date, they have yet to catch on as a viable tool for connecting with consumers, especially among college students as seen in a recent study by DigitalTrends. However, one very important thing these codes lack is the ability to turn that one-time scanner into a returning and interacting customer - which is the ultimate goal of text message marketing, continued interaction.

A truly successful mobile campaign will utilize all available and popularly utilized mediums to engage their customers.  While QR codes can be great to increase engagement and participation, combining them with a text campaign then allows the end-user to create a media-rich and continued interaction experience.

Below is a screen shot of one of our clients’ mobile campaigns combining text and quick-response interaction.

Press Release: “CommerceTel Drives Houston Texans’ Mobile Subscriber Base Increase”

Posted by | Case Studies, General, News, SMS | No Comments

The Houston Texans increased their mobile subscriber base by more than 200% using Mobivity’s patented mobile marketing technology.

“The response from our fans reflects the success of our venue and the technology supporting it,” said Nick Schenk, director of integrated media at the Houston Texans. “We’ve seen an unprecedented increase in our mobile audience since implementing Mobivity’s solution. We believe we have only started to tap the vast opportunities to increase fan experience and sponsorship value through Mobivity’s mobile marketing platform.”

To read the full article, click here

**CommerceTel, Txtstation, and BoomText have come together to create Mobivity, an integrated mobile solutions provider prepared to turn anyone’s mobile advertising goals into a reality.

NFL Uses Mobile Marketing in Super Bowl Advertising Win

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Nearly everyone in the marketing world acknowledges that the Super Bowl is just as big of a day for the players as it is for businesses around the world.  Last year Super Bowl XLV became the most watched televised event ever with over 111 million viewers, overtaking the previous record holder of M*A*S*H during it’s final episode.

For this reason, advertisers and businesses alike saw a unique opportunity this year – to finally integrate mobile technology that has been available into their ads.  With 30 second ads running for $3.5 million this year, advertisers sought out a way to bring the viewer experience and interaction with their brands beyond the simple 30 second quirky ads that the Super Bowl is known so well for – enter the world of mobile marketing.

There were many key players who integrated mobile marketing and interaction into their ads – from music tagging applications, to Facebook and Twitter calls to action, everyone seemed interested in bringing this interaction beyond a 30 second piece of entertainment. We listed below three of the biggest mobile competitors from Sunday night:

1. Shazam

One of the most prominent and recurring participants was Shazam, a mobile phone application allowing users to “tag” music playing to discover who the artist is and what song is playing.

Companies such as Toyota utilized their 30 second ads as an opportunity to bring the business to consumer interaction beyond the first screen and create a longer and more meaningful interaction.  Toyota displayed a Shazam tagging icon on the screen during their ad, then allowing the viewer to tag the song, discovering who was singing, as well as view some rather conveniently placed Toyota ad-spots within Shazam itself.

While Shazam seemed a very successful and prominently used interaction type during the Super Bowl, many viewers complained that the call to action, while strong and well received, was not displayed long enough for enough user action.  However, despite it’s flaws, Shazam seemed to be a heavy hitter for many companies during the Super Bowl.

2. QR Codes

One of the other key players in Super Bowl XLVI’s mobile movement was GoDaddy with the use of a QR code to drive additional traffic to their Web-Domain selling site.  Though the use of QR codes has recently seen a rather large spark, their effectiveness and usefulness is still in question.

Many viewers complained of problems while attempting to interact with GoDaddy’s mobile call to action.  Problems seen throughout tech blogs and Super Bowl recaps detail issues from the QR code simply not working, to it being too small to view with a code-reader on mobile phones, to the code not being up long enough for the call to action to be effective at getting viewers to interact with the business beyond the initial 30 second ad.

GoDaddy did state they they received a large spike in traffic during the Super Bowl, but failed to comment on whether or not it was any larger than the usual spike in traffic due to their typically racy and eye-catching ads.

While their attempt was valiant, a longer and more interactive call to action may have landed GoDaddy better viewer response and increased traffic – but in our eyes the jury is still out on QR codes.

3. Text Messaging

One of the largest mobile interactions provided during the Super Bowl was the NFL’s own text campaign that was shown throughout the game.  The NFL used our company (you can learn more about what we do here) to promote their new Fantasy game, where users that register have a chance to win $1 million.  We may be slightly biased, but the NFL seems to have had the most successful of all mobile interaction campaigns throughout the Super Bowl ads.

The call to action was clear: Text NFL to 69635 (MYNFL) for a chance to win a million dollars.  Perhaps the determining factor for the NFL’s success here was the sheer amount of saturation each viewer encountered.  Throughout the 30 second ad, “Text NFL to 69635″ held around 22 seconds of screen time.

In addition to this, the call to action was displayed in the header and footer of the screen throughout the game, giving any viewer who missed the call to action in the commercial (which aired over 10 times by our count) the opportunity to still participate.

While the NFL seems to be the clear winner of mobile interaction, the amount of mobile saturation throughout Super Bowl ads was extremely impressive and a good sign of things to come – even if other participating companies dropped the ball in almost as big of a way as Wes Welker.

For a full recap on all mobile and social interaction and calls to action during the Super Bowl, check out this article on the Mobile Marketer by Rimma Kats, Chantal Tode, and Lauren Johnson.

To learn more about integrating a text messaging campaign into your business and advertising needs, give us a call.

The Pitfalls of Mobile App Construction

Posted by | General, Mobile Experience, Mobile Web, Technology | No Comments

In order to adapt along with the increase of mobile interactivity, companies world-wide are hustling to build Mobile Apps to help promote their brands in what is still a fairly new market (The Apple App store opened on July 10, 2008).  From social networks and business solutions to games and geosocial tagging apps, the business and interactive market is moving to mobile apps in a very big way.

Since Apple opened it’s App Store in 2008 to accompany the release of it’s new iPhone 3G, there have been over 500,000 Apps available to end-users, and there have been over 18 Billion downloads to mobile devices.  In three short years the App store redefined the way consumers used their smart phones – and this is why businesses are paying attention to Mobile App construction if they hadn’t already.

While the barrier to entry, potential revenue, and small investment needed to build an App are all attractive, Seth Porges, designer of Cloth on the iOS platform (@sethporges), posted a story on Mashable explaining the snags to acknowledge when considering diving head first into the App building community. We’ve listed a few of the prominent ones below for your viewing pleasure.

What does is cost to make an App?

Porges quotes the minimum a company will spend on building an App to be around $10,000, that is, if you don’t plan on hiring quality and effective designers and programmers to turn your concept and dream into a reality.

[A]ny app worth its weight in code will likely cost you closer to $20,000.  Unless you have some basic design skills, you’ll need to enlist the help of both a programmer and a designer.  And these guys ain’t cheap – particularly programmers who, thanks to a pronounced shortage of qualified coders, can pretty much name their prices.

What happens when you get featured on iTunes?

Being featured on iTunes is obviously the dream of all App designers – free promotion for your App and recognition by Apple as being note-worthy.  Porges notes that:

When Apple included our app on its featured lists, we enjoyed a predictable flow of downloads almost identical in volume every single day we were parked there. Especially fascinating, the “New & Notable” list gave us almost exactly twice as many daily downloads as the “What’s Hot” list. I’m assuming this is because, when you tap the “Featured” tab on the “App Store” app, “New & Notable” pops up by default.

However, while this may seem great, anyone considering the construction of their own App must have the server-load and back-logged programmers to handle the additional traffic of updates and downloads.

How much should you charge, and when will you get paid?

While one of the main concerns of App building may be to gain additional press regarding your brand, one of the rather obvious benefits is the added income that goes along with having an App.  Porges notes that $1.99 is a premium price-point for starting out – nothing that after Apple’s 30% cut, it is immensely satisfying to be able to take home more than a dollar per download.  Porges also comments on Apple’s pay period being up to 45 days after the month has ended (businesses get paid once per month for Apps they have built and sold).

So, if your app goes live in January, you can expect your first kickback sometime in early March. Oh, and Apple only pays you if your earned amount totals at least $150, so you may have to wait before getting your first payment. Keep in mind, Apple only pays you through direct deposit.

While the barriers to entry for App building may seem high, the benefit seems to highly outweigh the costs in many cases.  For more tips and information on designing your own App, you can read Porges’ full story on Mashable here.

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