Back-to-School + Mobile = Lesson

From JCPenney’s flashback marketing campaign to a plethora of mobile coupons aimed at back to school shoppers, retailers seem to be flocking to grab their share of the back to school market in the mobile space.

In the latest offering of mobile-oriented back to school promotions, tweens can get pre-recorded wake up calls on their mobile phones from Hannah Montana. In an effort to help parents get their kids back into a school-time morning routine Walmart and Disney have combined forces to let parents sign their kids up to get the calls. Hannah will also “remind” your kids that it is time to go get Hannah Montana stuff at Walmart.

As a parent of a tween-age daughter myself, I can say that Hannah Montana calling might actually help with the transition from sleepy summer wake up times to bright and early school times. However, I really don’t need my daughter reminded that it is time to shop for something. She is quite good at remembering that herself.

Which brings up an interesting point. Using mobile only to market something that people don’t want won’t work. So, you may have to combine your marketing with something that people do want, in order to get them to participate. I’ll probably sign up to get the wake up calls and accept the school shopping reminder as a cost of getting the fun calls. If they only offered the unnecessary reminder, I wouldn’t even think of participating.

Bottom Line:

Focus on what your end users want and your participation will increase. Offer something useless to them and your campaign will fail. A combination of the two might work.