NASCAR has been engaging sports fans through the mobile channel since 2004, allowing spectators to interact with the brand on their mobile device while enjoying the race. After texting in during a race, spectators receive a link to a mobile website where they can cast their vote for the next driver of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The car racing giant isn’t launching this year’s promotion alone; Sprint is joining them in the passenger seat. The partnership evidences itself in the race title, and – interestingly – in the tallying of the votes. If you cast your vote from a Sprint, Nextel, Boost or Virgin Mobile device, you get two entries. Lauren Johnson of Mobile Marketer writes about the program and quotes the director of sponsorship marketing at Sprint, Overland Park, KS:
Mobile provides a fantastic way for sports fans to connect and have a voice….Fans are increasingly in the stands sharing their experience with their friends and family, all of which is based on the accessibility of a mobile phone.
And the results are astounding. Just last year, the number of votes for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race using SMS was 2.4 million. This, combined with a new mobile site that has doubled mobile traffic, has made NASCAR a great example of a business successfully adding mobile to their existing marketing tactics.
Read the full story here or learn more about how Cellit can create and manage your mobile CRM here.
What is the future of mobile? It’s a trillion dollar question that businesses, brands, agencies, vendors, and carriers are continually trying to answer. At a IGNITION WEST conference last week, appropriately subtitled “Future of Mobile,” industry leaders gathered in San Francisco to present on just that. The conference opened with a deck from the BI Intelligence team (Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, Alex Cocotas, and Alex Cocotas) that looks at “the growth of smartphones and tablets, the platform wars, and how consumers are actually using their devices.” It’s an exciting presentation that shows the massive growth in mobile in the past decade and the potential that still remains. View the full deck here.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak at SXSW about QR codes, and how they can often be terribly ineffective. Well, guess what? Text messaging (our bread and butter here at Cellit) can often be misused too. Here the top five ways text messaging programs can suck.
5. Siloing Customer Databases: It’s often a necessary evil when we start working with a client to get a program up and running without access to the client’s master CRM database. In the beginning, it’s not a huge issue; with only a few thousand numbers, segmenting the subscriber base doesn’t really make that much sense anyway. However, when the subscriber lists grow to the hundreds of thousands or even millions, it is necessary maximize the value of these lists through segmentation, A/B testing and other empirical analysis. Proper segmentation involves pulling purchase data, preferential data (from a web site’s communication preference center), and email communication histories. All of this data lies outside the “silo” of mobile data that Cellit or other vendors in our space can easily collect. As such, brands that do not tie the data of their mobile programs to their other databases are not only sub-optimizing their campaigns, but also running the risk of annoying the customer by not catering to their communication preferences.
4. Failing to Understand Cadence. We’ve written about it before, but it’s important to mention again. Having the wrong cadence associated with your program can be an audience killer. Message too frequently and you will annoy your base. Messaging too infrequently and your subscribers will forget you care about them. It’s about striking a balance we call the “Rule of 1′s”:
Communicate no less that once a month, and no more that once a week.
Of course, there’s always exceptions to the rule, but if you’re hitting your base every day, or every other day, perhaps you need to put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. If you feel a daily message is important, then segment your list; have a list for daily messages, and a list for weekly. It’s just that easy.
3. Sending Messages at the Wrong Times. In addition to frequency or cadence, the actual timing is critically important too. We’ve had clients send their “free dessert” offers at 9 am and complain that their mobile program wasn’t driving sales. “Really???” We suggested switching the time from 9am to 5pm, and (wouldn’t ya know it!) all of a sudden people started redeeming. A less obvious example is an entertainment group client of ours. They were sending out their weekly blasts during the work week, around 3pm. Their unsubscribe rate was fairly high. We suggested switching the messaging to the weekends, and the unsubscribe rate dropped dramatically. It was as simple as understanding that people don’t want to get interrupted at work for these messages, but they’re happy to get them during their off hours.
2. Blasting Dumb Messages and Offers. If you’re sending offers for 5% off, you’re probably not going to get anybody out of their chairs. That’s obvious, but the opposite is also true. We’ve seen campaigns where the brand is literally giving away the farm: gift cards and other high-value items for being a part of the mobile program. While these offers are are fantastic incentive, just make sure you’re not constantly giving the same subscribers free product; at the very least, track who’s redeeming and curb the offers to over redeemers.
1. Not Promoting it Properly. Mobile is not “if you build it, they will come”. It has got to be promoted, and your staff have to be educated on the benefits. Recently, I walked into a client’s store and asked the teenage store clerk about their mobile program, after he educated me on their email program at checkout. He said “don’t join that, you’ll get spammed”. There are so many issues here it’s hard to count. Your staff has to be educated on your mobile program and its benefits. They have to help the customers understand that they won’t get spammed. Additionally, your staff should push the program, and there needs to be in-store signage or other messaging to drive adoption. We’ve seen so many programs fall on their faces because they aren’t promoted. It’s obvious, but it’s so often missed.
Like Head and Shoulders ads say, “you only have one chance to make a first impression”. Make sure your mobile program leaves the correct impression and drives the huge results we see when these 5 mistakes are avoided.
As Cellit creates mobile applications, it’s only natural that we make the occasional app for tablets as well. The third generation of iPads was released today, to fanfare and long lines, but what really changes? Aside from general technology updates, the major improvement is the addition of the “retina display”, which the iPhone saw in the forth generation, almost 2 years ago. This doubles the resolution for the screen, from 1024 by 768 pixels to 2048 by 1536 pixels. Since the screen is the same physical size, it means that the pixels are smaller.
Though most people probably won’t notice it, being a visual person, the older screens tend to look a little fuzzy, or pixallated to me. These higher density pixels mean that the image can look crisper. The issue that I’m sure a lot of users will run into (if they become aware of such things) is that their old applications don’t look as nice on the new iPad. Unless the developer has taken the time to update it, all of the images will be at half the resolution of their display. (Note, that since text is created dynamically from vector files, it only effects any pixel based (raster) graphics. That is to say that text will look crisper than ever.)
I’ve created two images; one is half the size of the other. The smaller image is what would normally have been displayed mobile phones, tablets, or your computer monitor, the width being 94 by 76 pixels displaying at 72 ppi (the larger one being double the size).
Now that I’ve got these images, I can use them in a website (or application). Normally they would display as seen above, but I can declare the width and height and make them what I will. If I tell the larger image to display at the size of the smaller one, I get something like this:
The browser scales the larger image down, and so they look practically the same on a computer, since the screen resolution is 72 ppi. If you were to view this same webpage (or application) on something with a higher resolution (Apple isn’t the only one to offer “retina displays” in their devices, many of the new Android models also have a higher pixel density), you would see this:
This screenshot on the retina display shows that the smaller image is being blown up to twice its resolution, hence the fuzziness that becomes apparent on these new devices. Don’t be surprised if you download your favorite application, and it doesn’t look as sharp just yet. I’m sure the developers are scrambling to update the graphics.