Mobile Advertising

I just finished reading Six Pixels of Separation – Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. By Mitch Joel at Twist Image. He talks about Mobile Advertising. Below is an excerpt from the book.


It’s the lifetime value of the consumer and his or her community versus the immediate sale.

Building a list of customer phone numbers is not about running a traditional advertising campaign, scraping the data, and using it to send consumers messages via their mobile devices. For mobile marketing to truly work, each and every time you run a marketing program it has to be treated like its own little viral marketing campaign (with fingers crossed that it can, indeed, go viral).

To get it right, Andy Nulman created his mobile marketing success program in three simple steps. He calls it his N.O.W. system:

1. Nearby: Customers need to be in your radius, close and local. Thinking hyperlocal means thinking successfully. People using their mobile devices are looking for things in their near vicinity.

2. Only: There has to be a select limit to the offer. It can be in the quantities you are offering (only 29 left) or the time to respond to the offer (valid for only two hours). While scarcity has always been used as a marketing ploy, in the mobile landscape it has to be immediate mostly because that is the nature of how the device is used. Very few people are simply “floating around” their mobile devices.

3.Wow: Make it a surprisingly compelling offer (50% off everything in the store!). It has to be a jaw-dropper. Anything with a scent of regular or “ho-hum” simply won’t cut it.

No mobile marketing offer can have anything less than all three steps that are 100 percent complete. Mobile is also about speed. If your offer makes a person stop in his tracks, you have better odds of his acting on it and spreading it. Miss anyone of the three steps to N.O.W. and you will either burn that bridge or, worse, consumers will spread the word about how poor your messaging was.(Very Important)

Once you have built your mobile program on the N.O.W. strategy, ask only ten friends (or brand evangelists) if they would be willing to take part. Have those ten friends spread the idea to ten “best friends” (only those people who would really appreciate the offer) via SMS, e-mail, and the like. If you’ve built it following the rules and received permission from the first ten, it should start to spread on its own.

I know what you’re thinking: All of that for only ten people? Is it really worth all the trouble and hard work to build an entire marketing campaign around ten people in hopes that they can spread it?


Mobile marketing is still very new, yet there are already way too many brands making big mistakes with this channel. If you thought getting into online social networks or posting your videos to YouTube was new, doing anything in the mobile channel must be treated like you’re still in the laboratory. Mobile is small (now we’re talking about much more than the screen size), but, if it’s done right, respecting the consumer and the relationship he or she has with his or her mobile device, the long-term outcome will be that you’ve managed to build a new and loyal database with huge growth potential.

In the retail space, getting 100 more people into a store is a big deal. In the mobile marketing space, getting 100 people onto a mobile marketing database is a bigger deal. That being said, if you’re just looking to get your message into a bunch of people’s faces, you might want to forgo the whole mobile channel, open your office window, and scream your offer out into the street. The point of mobile is to build relationships with your most loyal consumers and to connect them to your brands ever more effectively.


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