There are broadly two types of interactive graphical experiences that can be delivered to phones; mobile website content, and applications deployed on the handset.
The vast majority of mobile phones in use today support the delivery of applications directly to the handset without the need for the user to connect to a PC or similar. This means that brands can deliver campaign components that are permanently visible on the device (through an icon or similar representation of the application) and provide a vehicle for brand messages and information. Applications offer the opportunity for a much richer interaction experience, personalisation and a more robust and secure transaction environment than that offered by mobile web sites. Typical applications might provide some form of utility, entertainment or information as well as carrying branding; this is important in terms of relevancy to the consumer to drive a positive brand association. Examples of branded applications range from games to information services (such as petrol station or store finders).
Mobile websites are equally useful as components of a brand’s campaigns. These can also carry information, utility services, entertainment and branding in an interactive environment and are particularly suited to acting as a destination for mobile advertising or marketing campaigns. As a call to action from a mobile advert, a click-to-visit a mobile web landing site is the simplest route to engaging the consumer in an interactive experience; branded applications on the other hand require the additional steps of downloading and installation on the handset.
Regardless of whether a mobile application or mobile web property is used as a campaign component, the brand needs to carefully consider the mechanisms used to drive consumers to the properties or to enable discovery. Here both traditional online and offline media channels can be used in conjunction with mobile mechanics.
Ways and means
|Using SMS shortcodes as a response mechanism on other campaign components such as print, outdoor, TV and online allows a response message to be sent to the user linking them directly to the mobile web site or application download facility. Whilst URLs can be used, these are cumbersome for users to enter on a mobile phone and can significantly reduce response rates. Additionally, mobile advertising (in mobile website, in mobile application and in SMS) can include click-through calls to action that take the user straight to the destination property.|
Finally, the rise of the app store, whether run by handset manufacturer, network operator or independent service provider, now offers a further marketplace in which to promote branded applications. Marketing is still required however, both within the app store environment and externally, to ensure that consumers can easily find the brand’s application within the large number of similar alternatives in the store.
The personal nature of this interaction with mobile users means that brands can tailor mobile web and mobile application interactions, based on the feedback and preferences of consumers, increasing the relevancy, and therefore brand retention and value. This ongoing engagement offers the possibility to link mobile campaign response with existing customer service or customer relationship management facilities to further maximise the return from the campaign.
The powerful and immediate calls to action that can be presented to the user, for example click to call, click to SMS and click to mobile web, also offer a cost effective mechanism for customer acquisition through the campaign.
Rapid Mobile was founded in February 2004 to build highly usable, secure, transactional mobile applications that work on any handset.
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