Nearly every day we get a ridiculous request. And nearly every day we turn one down.
- “Cellit, wouldn’t it be cool if people could take a picture of our ad and ‘text it in’ for more information?” (Sound’s like somebody’s been listening to too much Mobot!) Our response: Sure, we CAN do that… we just don’t recommend it. You’ll have a much higher success rate if you just have your consumers text in a keyword to a shortcode. Not everybody has a camera phone. Not everybody has “picture messaging”. But nearly everybody these days can text. The result is the same: get the info; let’s just lower the bar to participate.
- “Cellit, wouldn’t it be great to have people download an application to their phone? Like a digital coupon wallet?” (Sound’s like somebody’s been listening to too much Cellfire!) Our response: Um, ok. Do you think people will download the app? Do you think people know how to? Do you think your app would be compatible across Blackberries / Treos / iPhones / J2ME phones, etc? And most importantly, do you think people would use it? I already have to check my voicemail inbox, my email inbox, and my text message inbox. Do you think people will want to also have to check their “mobile coupon inbox” too? Sure, we can deliver the app, but let’s see if it truly makes sense here.
- And last (but not least) “Cellit, can we have phones beep when they’re near our store?” Our response: Not really. Bluetooth blasting requires your phone’s Bluetooth settings to be set to “free association” and nobody’s are (the carriers turn this off–rightly so!–for worries of spam and viruses!). Besides, do people want their phone beeping for ads they didn’t ask for? We’d be happy to set up an opt-in campaign (typically using text, web or a voice call for the opt-in) that people will want to opt-in for. It’ll be more fun for everyone involved.
The whole point of this is: a lot of what’s going on in mobile marketing these days is more about marketing to marketers than it is marketing to the consumers. The mobile hype-sters out there are very good at selling crazy marketing ideas that won’t work. The fact of the matter is, we want to sell campaigns that will work. Sure, they might not always be as sexy, but they will drive ROI. And ROI will keep our customer coming back to us year after year… hopefully they won’t have to learn too many lessons from Cellfire and Mobot before they do!