Mobile Marketing Challenge

Last week in my e-zine, Mobile Marketing News Brief, I issued a mobile marketing challenge to my readers. (You can see the News Brief here and sign up to receive it here.) Today I’m reporting my results and giving you the chance to share how the challenge went for you.

The Challenge:

This week I’d like to issue a challenge to you. It is to participate in mobile marketing from the consumer side. If you are going to work in mobile marketing, you need to CONSUME mobile marketing.

I challenge you to sign up for at least 2 text message campaigns and visit at least 2 mobile websites (from your mobile browser) this week. These should be new campaigns to you.

If you don’t have a text message plan or a data plan on your phone yet, go get them. There is no excuse for being in mobile marketing and not having a text and data plan.

As you do this I’d like you to stay aware of what caused you to sign up for campaigns. What were the factors that you had to see present to feel safe to give over your mobile number? What made you excited to get a message?

My Challenge Report:

To be honest I have to say that I was only able to accomplish half of the challenge – I used one text messaging campaign and visited one new mobile site. On a brighter note I did upgrade my mobile plan to Sprint’s Everything Data Family Plan. Turns out we get 100 extra minutes and unlimited texting and unlimited data on all three phones for $2 LESS per month. Check your plan – it might be cheaper to have unlimited now.

New MexicoAnyway, there we were on a road trip driving across New Mexico. For those of you who don’t live out West, or even in the US at all, here is a visual image. It looks like this for hours at a time.

I had just about given up on being able to execute the challenge when we were wondering how to get to the restaurant we heard had awesome green chili in Santa Fe.

We were too far out in the middle of nowhere to get the mobile web to come up, but then I remembered I could text Google for the info. I didn’t have the Google short code memorized or programmed into my contacts so I had to bring up my on screen key pad to figure out the numerical equivalent to GOOGLE which turns out to be 466453.

I bring this up so that you know when you ask people with smartphones to spell out the short code, it doesn’t work. The number pad we use on our QWERTY keyboard doesn’t match the phone dialing numbers and letters combo. Just use the numbers.

Since I knew the name of the restaurant and that we were going to Santa Fe, I texted “Tomasito’s Santa Fe” to 46645. Yes, I accidentally left off the last 3 and it worked anyway. It sent me back the correct name (Tomasita’s) and the address with a click to call phone number.

Once I had phone call level cell service I clicked to call the restaurant and got directions off the freeway from the hostess. Worked like a charm. The best part was that my friend who was driving thought I was just brilliant and a Techno Goddess. Turns out that texting Google can impress your friends AND get you where you want to go.

Now about that mobile site…

I had decided that I wanted to be marketed a mobile site in the real world and not search for one on my mobile or find out about it from a mobile marketing oriented source. The only site that I saw with this criteria this week was the Disney mobile site, specifically one for the show called Phineas and Ferb. (Don’t get me started on the show itself. Suffice it to say that this is not one of the shows on Disney that I actually like.)

A full mobile site review is not in order here as I’m not sure if anyone reading this, myself included, actually cares how the Phineas and Ferb mobile site worked – which it did. Let me just point out a couple of things that were great about this mobile campaign.

First, the domain name was great. I saw the site promoted on the Disney Channel while we were getting ready to head to the competition. I was literally tying my shoes when the commercial aired. It caught my attention because I was trying to find a mobile site and I worried that I might not be able to remember the domain name. Not to fear. It was which I successfully remembered without writing it down or using it for 4 days.

My daughter also got excited initially but then remembered she doesn’t have internet access on her phone so she turned away from the TV and kept getting ready. Now that we have that new unlimited plan she can check it out for herself.

The other great thing about this campaign was that it was being marketed to the right audience (Phineas and Ferb viewers) from a trusted source – the Disney Channel. Keep these concepts in mind when you start marketing your mobile site. Start with your current customers who already know and trust you. Build from there.

OK, what about you? Did you accept the challenge? What text campaigns did you participate in and what mobile sites did you visit? What did you find interesting and/or noteworthy?


  1. Here’s a link to my results of the challenge – any mobile website designer/developer and SMS media campaign coordinator should have a look:

    Hope you find it informative.
    Kim – is performing a Google search via your mobile considered signing up for a ‘media campaign’? Seems like a stretch.

  2. Kim,

    Enjoyed reading about your challenge, although I’m late on the scene.

    Matt: very nice report and I’m reading it word by word since it fits my current business plan research goals.

    I first heard about mobile marketing from an audio Kim did with Ken McCarthy (System Seminar 2008?). Wow that was an eye opener or brain opener?! Although I focused on the mobile web site design portion, that’s where I stopped since SMS texting(with short codes)was not really available to the masses due to cost. So technically, I am a Kim understudy…

    Then recently, I visited one of my favorite pizza restaurants and started chatting with the owner about his business. I could’t believe it…Kim’s audio System Seminar began to dump from my brain. Even the specifics of sending am SMS text to your list during slow business hours to make a special offer! His eyes lit up…

    The next day I found a service that could be offered starting at $10 a month that included, email, SMS plus shortcode,IM, and social networking …all in one! Now you can add Twitter to your list!!!
    Additionally, a web site is available for online sign ups. You can test with the provided link ( My vip list will get three short messages about the importance of keeping track with your customers.

    I am in the process of testing a demo and will focus on list building (which is very easy with SMS_Shortcode) and then purchasing a white label/resell package to get things started. What is really exciting about this is being able to 1) do a demo on the spot with a cell phone and 2)being able to generate a list for a customer fast! and 3) it can be set up in minutes. Finally opt-in/out is built into the system. The client has to enter the codes and he also gets instruction with each message on how to STOP the service.

    Kim, I am grateful for your initiative in talking about this two years ago and opening our minds to the concept. In my discussions with marketers and owners it seems that this area is ripe for powerful growth since there is a lot of ignorance about this technology.

    I’ll be visiting this site often for ideas and to share my experiences.



    p.s. If you wish to check out and participate with my test (till June 16) this is my cell phone short code: send

    pizz1 to 69302

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