Broadcaster Media Uses SMS To Drive Mobile Site Traffic

The term “mobile marketing” encompasses lots of different technologies and media/message types: SMS. Mobile Internet. Mobile email. And so on. Marketers might wonder which to use, or how to combine them most effectively in a multi-channel campaign. Broadcaster Media, which started in Australia and recently moved its headquarters to California, has the answer. Its platform, …   Read More

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The term “mobile marketing” encompasses lots of different technologies and media/message types: SMS. Mobile Internet. Mobile email. And so on. Marketers might wonder which to use, or how to combine them most effectively in a multi-channel campaign.

Broadcaster Media, which started in Australia and recently moved its headquarters to California, has the answer. Its platform, called SMARTS, uses SMPP (short message peer-to-peer) technology in an uncommon way. Instead of sending text messages to a short code, interested subscribers send a keyword to a dedicated phone number. The brand/marketer then sends that consumer a text message with a link to a mobile Web site–prompting consumers to visit the site, interact with the brand, perhaps even engage in transactions.

Broadcaster Media’s mobile marketing solution is intriguing for a few reasons: It’s all-encompassing (they create clients’ mobile Web sites as well as promote them). Since it uses a phone number instead of a short code, marketers don’t have to wait for short code approval. Most of all, its raison d’etre is to promote mobile content. Instead of “texts” being the end-message, they are merely a tool to drive consumers to mobile Web sites, where they can further interact with the brand.

Other companies like iLoop and Netbiscuits offer similar solutions. Broadcaster Media, however, claims it can do it for less money and in less time (a “couple of thousand dollars” as opposed to some $10,000 and taking a week to set up rather than a few months).

To be sure, Broadcaster Media isn’t the perfect solution. Marketers may not need short code or transaction approval, but they still need to make sure they comply with individual carriers’ SMS regulations, including opt-in and opt-out procedures. And until the company gets “local” phone numbers up in all the U.S. metropolitan areas, it might be weird to consumers to have to send texts to some unknown long-distance number.

But the company hopes to make mobile marketing as simple as possible, for both marketers and audiences. I texted the keyword SALON, as directed in a campaign for a fashion magazine, to one of Broadcaster Media’s two dedicated phone numbers–and found it a snap to get to the Salon City mobile Web site, even with my first-gen RAZR. When I mentioned this to David Lerner, Broadcaster Media’s director of product management, he responded: “It helps people use their phones better.”

Getting people to use more functions on their phones: That’s something any marketer or solutions provider can approve.

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4 comments

  1. Eydie

    Part of their value-add (which I touched on just briefly) is that they also offer mobile website development as part of their overall solution. So they provide the means to drive traffic to mobile sites (by prompting people to send text messages to receive links to the sites), as well as help you create your mobile site as well. In that respect, they seem to offer a comprehensive mobile marketing solution, rather than just one piece of your mobile strategy.

    If a marketer doesn’t need all that, then yes, a solution like yours might be the better solution.

  2. Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    Eydie,

    I’m trying to get my arms around this one. Can you clarify here. The end user has to text in 10 digits, so this is probably something they need to be reading and won’t be able to recall from memory. (Same for random short codes, but they are just shorter).

    Then, they can have you live in a week or so for a fraction of the price of $10,000.00.

    Now, our company, along with a few other veterans, can have you live in two minutes for $100 with a keyword and on a shared short code. Why wouldn’t I want this solution over a long code, $3,000 set up, and a week to get going?

    I’m not trying to be difficult here, but merely trying to get my arms around this concept and where the real value is?

    Would I rather pay $100 and be live in two minutes from an industry leader that has 8 years experience in 2-way communications or $10,000 from someone leasing the 2-way software and live in 2 months or $3,000 for a long code and be live in one week?

    Help me with this one. The dedicated short code is great for those that want to be the only one on a number. But the long code and shared short code share everything else in common…except price?

    Thanks.

  3. Eydie

    It’s not the long code that’s revolutionary. What I liked was the idea of being “multi-channel” within the mobile channel. Indeed with mobile going the way it is, I think it’s a question of when we’ll stop lumping mobile email/Internet/IM/SMS/MMS all in one categry–rather than if.

    It’s true though that this wouldn’t be the best solution for the international marketer. But “local numbers” as the long code could give consumers the sense that they’re dealing with a “locally-based” brand. (Reminds me of when I worked in newspapers, and a focus group smugly said they didn’t want to even see international news in their local paper–the kind of people who asked “why do they hate us” when 911 happened, heh heh.)

  4. Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    They are called long codes because they are normally 10 digits long, as opposed to short codes 3 tp 7 digits, and they have been around for years and years. i2SMS has over 15 long codes currently in use around the world. This is nothing new, revolutionary, or anything else. It is simply a long code. Those in the industry have understood long codes for some time.

    The difference is folks don’t want to be calling an international number to get a text. It is that simple. Long codes are no longer issued here in the states…

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