When did mobile marketing get it’s big break?

by Kevin Polley on October 21, 2009

If you are looking at the potential of text message marketing as part of of your overall or mobile marketing plan or campaign, just look back to see when it really started so you can see how far and how quickly wireless advertising technology has progressed.

Although the technology had been around for a while,  it looks like in August 2000 at the Virgin V Festival in England, Thousands of festival goers found a centre page double spread in the official programme that gave the easy call to action

text WAZZUP to … and gave a number.

At some point during the festival one lucky person was jumping for joy when it was confirmed because (s)he won (what I think was) £2,000 in what had been the first major SMS text marketing competition. It was sometime later that the marketing magic happened and it’s viral nature became apparent.

During a break in the series finale of Big Brother (which at the time had some of the highest viewing figures on British TV) a text message was sent to the people who entered the competition at V to coincide with the first viewing of the now famous Budweiser ad.  Who didn’t get a text or email about that ad?  Is there anyone who hasn’t seen it?

The rest is history there are many lessons that have been learnt since then. Not least the one I was reminded of when I watched the Wazzup 2000 vs. Wazzup 2008 Bud Ad. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions but for me time moves on and the best move with it.

The mobile phone is one of the most successful devices in history. Convergence of technologies is upon us. Market forces and social patterns created by our busy mobile lifestyles mean that almost everyone uses a mobile phone.

Relax, have a beer, watch a vid and start thinking what you will do now the technology is easy enough and affordable enough to make it worthwhile to any business.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jonathan Silverman October 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Interesting. I think that mobile marketing is still in its infancy. The mobile is already there in terms of being the most intimate and pervasive of communication devices. With advances in technology, browsing speed and handsets coupled with the adoption by a broader age demographic, I feel that we have not yet even touched the surface of what is coming. Marketers need to understand the value and power of communication using this medium / channel and not just for text messaging and short codes. They also need to assess how customers and prospective customers need to be engaged in a communication that is in their interest first. Real pull not push. Marketers need to wake up and take note.

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