Proof Mobile Marketing Works

The Proof

(By Michael Tracy)

Walgreens Debuts New Mobile Site, SMS Alerts

Walgreens announced today the launch of several new mobile features including Prescription Text Alerts, which notify customers via text message when their prescriptions are ready, as well as a brand new iPhone app and mobile site.

“We strive to lead the market in bringing new and innovative technology to our pharmacies and pharmacy patients,” said Mark Wagner, Walgreens Executive Vice President of  Operations and Community Management.  “Text alerts are a valuable time-saving tool, and the latest example of how our mobile applications are further connecting the Web to Walgreens stores and pharmacies, giving customers on-the-go convenience wherever they are.

The company is now offering special offer texts, which allow consumers to find deals and coupons using their mobile devices, as well as the addition of Blackberry and Android apps that bring the full power of Walgreen’s mobile site to a quickly-accessible mobile app.

Some other new features to Walgreen’s mobile experience include;

Prescription refills – Order prescription refills on-the-go. Users can enter a prescription number and have it ready for in-store pickup at any Walgreens store, with no registration required.  Orders can also be placed directly from a user’s account history.

Store locator – Find any Walgreens store nationwide when searching by city, state or ZIP code.

Walgreens Photo – View photos and order prints directly from any Web-enabled mobile device.

Browse Products – Shop and view product details, prices and customer reviews prior to making an in-store purchase.


Hilton Uses SMS With Success

The Hilton Hotel group has successfully used SMS messaging to increase guest numbers to its hotels and build customer loyalty.

The hotel sent out important marketing messages such as on-site specials and promotionsdirectly to its members’ mobile handsets.  SMS allowed the hotel to get the messages out instantly and at the most appropriate time of day.

The use of SMS as a direct marketing tool resulted in a 10-25% increase in offer redemptionssent out by the hotel and proved to be an integral part its direct marketing and loyalty strategy.


Pepsi Co. SMS Super Bowl Promotion

In the run up to the 2007 Super Bowl, Pepsi unveiled 15 new can designs and created a range of promotions as part of a major new branding initiative.  Its Super Can contest gave fans the chance to win Super Bowl tickets for life and a jewel-encrusted can valued at $100,000.  Alongside traditional and online promotions, Pepsi also became the latest brand to deploy a mobile advertising program on the Sprint Mobile Media Network, and one of the first to incorporate video into its campaign.


Expand the promotion of its Super Can contest

Increase awareness of the 15 new Pepsi can designs

Drive traffic to its mobile web site

Increase video and wallpaper downloads

Pepsi was able to cut through the noise around the Super Bowl as the exclusive advertiser on the Sprint Mobile Media Network’s homepage in the days leading up to the big game.  And, as a result, drove consumers from four different banner display ads to Pepsi’s branded mobile web site, where consumers engaged in a variety of actions.

Pepsi enabled users to download a custom wallpaper of the “blinged-out” Pepsi can, click to see the video spots featuring the new Pepsi can designs, and click through to Sprint Power View — the only made-for-mobile video programming network in the United States with original sports and entertainment shows — where they could view live Super Bowl video clips, sponsored by Pepsi.


9 million impressions

An average click through rate of 4.5 percent, with the most popular creative achieving an 11.5 percent average

175,000 Pepsi wallpaper downloads

The program was one the first to integrate several engagement mechanics, including content downloads, click-to-view a video ad, and click to see a live TV broadcast.  At a time when advertisers are vying for consumers’ attention across multiple media channels, Pepsi built awareness and engagement for a major marketing initiative using the Sprint Mobile Media Network – leaving a lasting impression with the 175,000 people that now see the Pepsi wallpaper every time they look at their Sprint mobile phone.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

Just What The Doctor Ordered

A Queensland-based chiropractor, long plagued with no-shows of appointments made perhaps weeks earlier or by last minute cancellations, now sends SMS reminders to patients of their appointments that day and asking they notify the clinic if they cannot make the appointment. This has increased the successful appointment rate and also allows opportunities to fill cancelled appointments.

Dunkin Donuts SMS Text Message Campaign


Entice trial of Dunkin’ Donuts hot lattes to high school/college age students in the Boston area

Drive in-store redemption of $0.99 small hot latte mobile coupon in month of October

The SMS offer was sent to 7,500 targeted opt-ins.  Boston radio DJ’s invited participation; “text in to DD-123” each Thursday morning.  In addition, 400,000 Mobile Internet (WAP) ads ran in Boston targeted content.  Over 1,000 Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners and workers were educated with marketing materials about how to help consumers redeem the SMS coupons.

The targeted WAP and SMS messaging coupled with radio created a 21 percent increase in store traffic and redemption of the mobile coupon.  The SMS message promoted the viral element of the coupon.  This proved to be a very beneficial aspect of the campaign, in that 17 percent of participants forwarded or showed the message to a friend.  In the research subsequent to the campaign, 35 percent considered themselves more likely to buy lattes and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

Guinness Beer SMS Text Marketing
St. Patrick’s Day Promotion

In March 2008, Yahoo! conducted a study to measure the brand impact of a mobile campaign on the Vodafone Live! platform.

Using the Guinness St. Patrick’s Day campaign, we surveyed those exposed to the campaign and a matched control sample, to understand differences in:

Brand awareness

Mobile ad awareness

Brand favourability

Purchase intent


Campaign results for the target audience, men age 25-44, were extremely positive as a result of exposure to the campaign on Vodafone Live!. Exposure led to:

2.5 million impressions

25%pt lift in mobile ad awareness

12%pt lift in brand favourability

9%pt in purchase intent

Benchmarked against online norms, these results emerge as above average or excellent campaign impact

Additionally, irregular/non-drinkers of Guinness reacted well with a significant impact on purchase intent.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

On-Package Promos

Starburst’s “More Juice More Burst” campaign looks to engage teens by using their cell phones to text a unique promotional short code found under specially marked packs of Starburst Fruit Chews.

Using the code J-U-I-C-Y (58429) across any cell phone carrier, and online at, users can find out instantly via a return message if they’ve won juiced-up technology prizes like a 42-inch flat-screen TV, i-Pod Photo and more.

With more than 60 million on-pack impressions, the Starburst Brand More Juice for More Burst contest was, at the time, the largest short-code, cross-carrier campaign for a consumer product goods company in U.S. history. Using packaging to drive the promotion, the company reports that online daily visits have nearly doubled since its April debut. Text messaging has accounted for 40 percent more traffic than anticipated.


McDonalds Text Message Holiday Promotion

McDonald’s makes everyone a winner – Just send a text to Santa & get your gift within seconds.

Create a new mass market sweepstake mechanism for McDonald’s Italy where consumers can participate and win directly in the restaurant. Bind winning a prize to the purchase of the product & activate POS to increase response.

Print unique codes on cups for consumers to send in with 1 text message – right in the restaurant. The revolutionary idea: Every code wins – for the first time even physical prizes. Presents ranged from mobile content such as personal calls from Santa, sending postcards to friends, personal photos with Santa to attractive physical prizes like prepaid credit cards with 20.000 Euro, 13.000 x free airtime and 150 mobile phones. This innovative prize pyramid combining physical prizes with millions of digital presents was shown on TV and in the restaurants (on products, traymats, menu boards, etc.). SMS & WIN granted customers a very Merry Christmas!

A stunning 25% response rate – with more than 1.5 million participations in five weeks. The best result of a McDonald’s mobile marketing campaign ever.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

Fight Against Swine Flu

Bulk SMS is being used in an attempt to both contain and combat Swine Flu in the United States. Although some of the initial public panic around Swine Flu seems to have died down, more people are becoming infected throughout the U.S. every day; a country that now has the second highest infection rate in the world.

In this campaign, US citizens can text PIGFLU to 41411 and receive regular updates about Swine Flu. Sponsored by as a public service, the only charge is the regular cost of receiving text messages. Bulk SMS messages will be sent to subscribers with World Health Organization updates, information about new outbreaks and information from national health authorities.


ELLEgirl Magazine Text Message Magazine Promotion


Encourage ELLEgirl readers to focus on advertisements

Provide readers with reasons to buy, keep and read the magazine

Capture the interest of media savvy, ad-saturated, instant-gratification-driven Gen-Y readers

Authentically link print magazine to the mobile and online space

A full page spread introduced the instant win calendar.  Each day of the month a different advertiser is featured in the calendar.  Readers are instructed to find the ad in the magazine, snap a picture of the advertiser’s ad using their mobile phone and send it to Mobot to get a chance to win a prize and get more information about the advertiser’s products. The Mobot visual search technology recognized the pictures sent in and responded back with notification of whether the reader won a prize along with product information from the advertiser.   Examples of prizes include Target $100 gift certificate, Sweetooth handbag, and a Split tube dress.

A follow up survey revealed that purchase intent was on average 14% higher, advertiser favorability was on average 18% higher, and aided recall was on average 15% higher among participants compared to non-participants.  Readers enjoyed the promotion and entered on average of 22 times during the month.  Instead of throwing out the magazine after a few days reader participation actually increased as the month progressed.

Source: Mobile Marketing Association

Dunkin’ Donuts

A two month mobile interactive ad campaign in Italy has resulted in a 9% increase in sales for Dunkin’ Donuts, according to the two companies that created it.

As a result of an SMS-based marketing campaign, customers were able to get coupons for Dunkin’ Donuts product by using their mobile handsets to respond to advertisements displayed on store signage, billboards and on the radio.

By sending a short message to the published numbers, users receive an immediate reply featuring a free gift coupon or special offer redeemable at local outlets.

Sales were reportedly up 9% within the first three weeks of the campaign. By enticing consumers to request special offers, Dunkin Donuts ensures that they achieve a great consumer push without running the risk of breaking down the client relationship by contributing to the wealth of ‘spam’.

By ensuring that the power of the SMS medium is put to good use in an ethical way and one which doesn’t encroach upon users’ privacy was key to the success of campaigns such as this one with Dunkin’ Donuts.
And Dunkin Donuts’ Italian franchisee GianLuigi Contin says that the SMS marketing solution has been a positive brand-building experience: “We are directly reaching our targets with a message they can understand. Cellular coupons are not cute promotions, rather they areserious marketing tools that not only extend the brand but are also directed towards the people we want to reach.”