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mobile, Mobile, MOBILE!

I’ve been talking with folks who attended the recent Health 2.0 conference aboutmobile.jpeg my impressions of the event.  Overall, I thought it was a good introduction to the space (and movement as Jane Sarasohn-Kahn has observed).  However, I was very surprised that those on the podium did not talk more about the power of mobile technologies to engage and educate.  Some still believe that mobile is far from a viable communications option here in the US because Americans aren’t using phones like folks in Asia and Europe.  However, I believe this perception is wrong.  It’s true that Americans are not yet using “rich media” tools like Web browsers and downloading applications.  They also don’t want to receive “push” advertising on their phones.  

Despite this, what we should recognize is that when it comes to mobile, simple is always best.  The marketing folks in the fashion, entertainment and political industries recognize this, which is why they are planning and implementing mobile-based campaigns with great success.  Today I came across an article published in iMedia Connection that provides some excellent case studies of how to use mobile effectively.  Jack Philben, co-founder and president of Vibes Media hit it right on the head when he said:


“The true value of the mobile phone is not as a standalone medium but rather as a tool that can help extend a customer dialogue beyond a mass media touch point. Any mass media vehicle -- TV, print and radio included -- can use a mobile call-to-action that, if executed properly, can effectively help make marketers build their brands and sell more products and services by driving store traffic.”

In one case study highlighted by iMedia Connection Cover Girl teamed up with the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model to produce a mobile text-based campaign.  Viewers were asked to send “a text message – ‘model’ -- to 41414” to win a makeover by CoverGirl’s makeup artists.  The response was so great that the mobile vendor’s servers crashed.  Wow.

There are numerous other examples of how a simple technology that many mobile phone users already use –- SMS or texting –- can help extend and enrich a communications campaign.  I encourage all of you thinking about mobile to read this iMedia Connection article and save it for future reference.  Mobile is here –- if you KISS.

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