Mobile Marketing Channels – A Quick Overview for Brand Marketers

As you think about your mobile marketing strategy, you should get to know the core mobile marketing channels…please let me know if you have questions or need help finding solutions in any of these areas. I’ve worked with some of the largest financial services, retailers, manufacturers and consumer packed goods companies on highly successful mobile marketing campaigns in these areas and would love to help your business too.

Often overlooked in this age of data services, voice is a core capability of mobile devices. Marketers can use voice creatively in their campaigns by sharing celebrity voice messages or allowing customers to create customized voice messages for friends.

Use your imagination and the assets you have at your disposal to thrill your customers with an unmistakable voice! For example, I’ve worked on Black Friday wake-up calls from celebrity designers for a large department store, athlete voicemails sent to a major mobile company’s opt-in list, potty training calls from animated characters for a top diaper company, and a taunt-a-friend phone viral phone message for a beef jerky company.


SMS is a very effective direct response channel that can be paired with nearly any other form of media. Text messages have an extremely high open rate – 97% are opened within 24 hours – and are considered a highly valued, and personal form of communication. If a consumer opts-in to your text campaign, you know you have a dedicated and engaged fan that will consider your messages.

SMS can be used for two-way – inbound and outbound – communications between a brand and a consumer. It is a permission based channel, so a consumer must control when they want to start and stop hearing from the brand. However, it can be used in amazingly fun ways! Some of the best uses of SMS occur at major events like conferences, sporting events and concerts. I’ve worked on amazing text-to-screen, text voting, text polls, text trivia, and text a question campaigns as well as regular outbound text alerts campaigns delivering coupons, play of the game, score updates, etc.

MMS operates like a graphic or video version of SMS. Rich media messages can be sent to opted-in consumers or upon request. This expands the creative possibilities while retaining the personal, exclusive brand to one relationship of SMS. One of the best campaigns I’ve worked on involved consumers sending MMS photos to us during a major Bowl game and then posting them to the stadium big screen and turning them into a mosaic made of tons of fan images.

Mobile Internet

Nearly every modern phone is capable of accessing the internet today, and nearly 40% of phone holders do use it on a regular basis. Many brands have assumed that their current websites will be fine on mobile devices, but a traditional website will not naturally appear useful to the consumer on a smaller screen. Rather, brands must take care to design the desired consumer experience on the phone taking into account the use cases that will be most commonly needed by consumers on the go.

Mobile Applications

Often the most costly route for a brand to take, mobile applications can also deliver the most robust consumer interactions, including tapping into unique features that can enhance marketing messages for businesses as consumers use their phones to navigate their surroundings. These features include:

  1. Proximity, including Bluetooth and GPS/Location-based services (LBS). These capabilities involves detecting the area the user is connecting from through geolocation or proximity to another device and sending marketing messages for businesses in that area.
  2. Augmented reality mobile campaigns overlay the user’s phone display with location-specific information about businesses and products.
  3. 2D barcodes are barcodes that scan vertically and horizontally, and can be scanned to access information.

Near Field Communications
Many marketers are focusing on the promise of Near Field Communications – believe me, I’ve been on the bandwagon since participating in early NFC trials with MasterCard, Nokia and others in the mid 2000s and I’m tremendously excited that the major device manufacturers and mobile network operators are finally putting resources into this area. NFC is a connectivity tool that requires a specialized chip, an antennae, and a power source (typically the battery) to be built into a mobile device or accessory such as a SIM card or memory card. The power of this technology is immense – it can be used to securely transmit payment, loyalty, marketing messages, trigger actions like phone calls, text messages, visits to mobile web sites, downloads of apps when it comes in contact with an RFID reader or a smart tag placed in marketing materials or displays. However, this technology will take a few more years to mature as it still needs to be implemented in handsets or accessories and customers need to be educated about its use.

All of these choices can be overwhelming! Where do you start? How do they work together? Contact me and I’ll help you figure out a plan that makes the most of your mobile marketing budget.

How do you know DDx Media is the right team to help you? Our app, edRover, was just named the best Social Good app of 2011 in the AT&T Open Call contest at CTIA (mobile industry trade show). They loved the idea and execution so much, they asked me to sit on their Developers’ Advisory Council. What an honor and and opportunity to be included in this group consisting of mobile-focused, accomplished executives from CNN, ESPN, EA, Telenav and other large companies. With my background at MasterCard and Omnicom Group, as well as the start-up perspective, I’m looking forward to pushing this group toward more exciting uses of mobile for social good and easy, fulfilling, useful consumer experiences with marketing and payment.

I can’t share all of the secrets I’ve learned by working on these campaigns on this site, but I can put them to work for your business.

I hope I hear from you soon,

Tania Mulry