IVE Data-Driven Communications

Top 5 Brands with Smart Mobile Strategies

shutterstock_89533552There has been no more significant advancement in mobile communication between brands and consumers than that seen with the rise of the Smartphone. Only in our very recent past, brands using mobile meant simply sending an SMS to their customers. Limited to 160 characters there was very little creative opportunity. What’s more, mobile marketing was often deemed intrusive by the industry and consumers alike. Your mobile was a device for friends and family to contact you on not your bank, your electricity provider or your favourite beauty brand.

Enter the Smartphone and it’s now commonplace for the brands we know and love to use mobile as a means of communicating with us. In fact, more and more it’s actually expected. Communication via mobile is convenient and fits seamlessly into our busy lifestyles. Let’s be honest, how many of us constantly (and perhaps obsessively) check our phones? For brands and marketers, mobile is a means to communicate in real-time and engage with consumers as they go about their busy lives.

2014 has already seen some outstanding use of mobile both in Australia and overseas. Here’s my pick of the top 5 smartest mobile strategies so far this year, by brand.

Virgin Mobile Australia

My top pick for the creative use of mobile has to be Virgin Mobile’s #mealforameal campaign. The campaign plays on the social media trend of posting photos of meals when dining out, eloquently dubbed “Food Porn”. Virgin Mobile partnered with OzHarvest to turn this trend on its head and demonstrate the ultimate power of mobile by serving a very worthy cause. The concept is simple. Take a pic of your meal and post it to your chosen social media profile using the hash tag #mealforameal. For every pic posted, Virgin Mobile and OzHarvest provide an actual meal for someone in need. The concept has provided huge brand exposure while actually doing something worthwhile for the community and getting people involved and excited about it. I know I’ve already hashtagged and I have to say it felt good to know that I’d provided a meal for someone who really needed it. We really do have the most powerful tools at our fingertips and this campaign is a great example of that. And well done Virgin Mobile, as emotional connections with a brand go, this is up there.


Another really vital way in which brands can use mobile is to get to know their customers better. Mobile provides a gateway like no other channel to reach customers on the go and drive almost instant responses.

Using the ExactTarget marketing cloud, BSkyB used SMS surveys to do exactly that in a push to become a more customer centric company. BSkyB, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox is the largest pay TV provider in the UK. BSkyB turned to mobile as their survey channel when phone, online and email surveys continued to provide very low response rates. And mobile really delivers for them. They currently survey around 100,000 customers a day, providing over 3 million pieces of feedback yearly. Since launching the SMS surveys BSkyB has seen a 40% response rate which is an increase of 30% compared to other channels.

(Source and further information: http://www.exacttarget.com/customers/customer-success-stories/bskyb)


A key strength of the mobile channel is the opportunity it provides for sophisticated personalisation. Recently, beauty brand L’Oreal incorporated photo recognition technology to identify the hair colour of individual consumers from photos of them publically available on the web. L’Oreal then personalised ads for its Ombre hair colour brand in line with this. So for example, if dark hair was detected, an ad for dark hair colour tones was delivered. Some might argue that this oversteps the mark in terms of privacy but you can’t deny that it’s a smart marketing technique, hence it’s place in my top 5!

(Source and further information: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/17982.html)

Burger King

Geotargetting via our mobiles enables brands to communicate with customers and prospects when they’re in exactly the right place to receive their message. In the case of geotargetting this is often a relevant offer that the consumer can take up as they are geographically well placed to do so.

Burger King, recently began delivering mobile coupons to consumers inside a geofence using a self-serve ad platform. Consumers within a one mile radius of a given Burger King restaurant receive a coupon that can be saved to their mobile devices. This is a simple strategy that puts Burger King top of mind at exactly the right time and drives foot traffic into restaurants.

(Source and further information: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/18118.html)


My final pick for my top 5, demonstrates the smart integration of print and digital technology. Nivea Sun Kids took their brand promise of protecting children’s skin while at the beach and went one step further to prove this. They provided parents with a way to stop them running off by themselves and getting lost while at the beach. This came in the form of Bluetooth enabled print ad. The ad had a protector strip with a built in locator (using Bluetooth 4.0 technology). Parents were able to remove the strip and put it around their child’s wrist. They could then download the Nivea app and track the bracelet.

This is a really creative way to leverage the capabilities of mobile and Bluetooth technology to deliver on a brand promise. And it provides a very useful demonstration of just what we can do with our mobiles.

(Source and further information: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/18118.html)

So whether it’s geotargetting, personalisation or social media there are so many opportunities with mobile to develop intelligent communication strategies. And we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I can’t wait to see where we take mobile over the next five years.

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