Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Mobile is an ideal medium for back-to-school marketing. Mobile is less environmentally destructive than many traditional marketing channels and it is well suited to students.

Last fall there were 76 million children and adults enrolled in school throughout the US. They comprise 27 percent of the entire population 3 and older.

As reported in a recent Mobile Marketer article, there are 17 million teens carrying a mobile phone. Like teens, young adults also love their mobile devices, this makes mobile an ideal channel to reach the youth demographic.

"Mobile absolutely needs to be an element of any back-to-school campaign, particularly any one that reaches tweens," said Eric Harber, president and chief operating officer at HipCricket.

When it comes to this cohort, "Parents may be the ones making the actual purchases but in most cases tweens are making purchasing decisions or strongly influencing them, and the medium these tweens rely on more than any other is mobile," he said.

"There are two reasons that mobile should be a part of any back-to-school campaign,” said Maya Mikhailov, vice president at Slifter, New York. “First because kids are the influencers and they are overwhelmingly on their phones,” she said. “Second, moms are busy and on the go so connecting with their mobile phone is the best way to ensure purchase consideration."

According to a Harris Interactive study, second to clothing, teens say a mobile phone tells the most about a person’s social status or popularity, outranking jewelry, watches and shoes. The study also found that mobile phones are fast becoming a social necessity among teens. In fact, a majority (57 percent) view their handsets as the key to their social life.

Nearly four out of five US teens carry a mobile phone, which is a 40 percent increase from 2004. And 57 percent of teens credit mobility for improving their quality of life. Eighty percent of the respondents said that the mobile phone offered a sense of security while on the go. This was further confirmed when 79 percent said they used the phone when needing a ride, 51 percent to get information and 35 percent to just help someone in trouble.

“Mobile is the preferred communications medium for school-age children and young adults, so it is of course relevant to back-to-school campaigns,” said Thomas Emmons, team leader of mobile/innovation for Sears Holdings Corp., Hoffman Estates, IL. He further recommends that marketers "focus on where mobile can add or create value."

“Today’s tween demographic is more mobile than ever,” said Dave Wachs, president at Cellit, Chicago, IL. “According to Luth Research, over 93 percent of all text messages sent to this demographic are read.

“As tweens are in school, the only medium for ongoing direct communication, any time, any place is mobile,” he said. There are lots of possibilities but one of the more interesting involves allowing young users to sign up for text alerts

“Mobile is a crucial part of any multichannel, back-to-school campaign because it affords the brand marketers and their agencies the ability to establish an ongoing dialogue with consumers who may have timely interests now, like back-to-school, yet will eventually be moving on to other things once back-to-school morphs to holiday shopping,” said Jay Kolbe, vice president at Weber Shandwick Worldwide, New York. “This way, marketers can engage and move along with consumers from event to event, as their interests and needs change,” he said.

Mobile is a powerful and growing marketing channel and there is no cohort better suited to this genre of marketing than school aged youth.

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Next: Green Curriculums / Top 10 College Environmental Programs / Back to School Environmental Tool Kit / Sierra Magazines Green Schools / Green Schools are Cool / The Shining Stars of Green Schools


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How to Make Mobile Work: Summary of Key Points
How to Make Mobile Work For Your Business: Applications and Video
Making Mobile Marketing Work for Your Business: Design Tips
Making Mobile Marketing Work for Your Business: Presentation Tips
Making Mobile Marketing Work for Your Business: Target Research
Understanding the Differences Between Mobile and Online Marketing
Making Mobile Marketing Work for Your Business:
Interactive Digital Marketing For the Young and the Not So Young
The Growth of Mobile

Mobile is Green
Energy Conservation Via Mobile Marketing
Mobile Marketing: A Green Opportunity

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