Zoove Mobile is a unique mobile startup we’ve covered a few times in the past. They offer an exclusive registry of short-dial vanity numbers called “StarStar Codes” for use in mobile marketing campaigns much like traditional SMS short codes.
The primary difference between StarStar codes and short codes are that the former are much less costly to obtain and can be setup in a matter of minutes rather than a matter of weeks or months. StarStar codes were originally offered by Verizon Wireless and AT&T, but the company is today announcing integration with Sprint and T-Mobile as well. The technology offers numerous advantages over SMS short codes, but also some disadvantages as well.
With StarStar Numbers, such as “**BRAND (**27263),” consumers simply call the StarStar Number of the brand being promoted or advertised. Instantly, that brand’s mobile app, Web page, coupon, videos or more can be pushed directly to their mobile phones — without the need to use 2D-bar code readers or cross-carrier text messaging short codes. Still, calls-to-action featuring StarStar codes aren’t as memorable or as eye-catching as the tried and true “text this keyword into this short code” mindset.
With its services now offered on all four major U.S. operators, Zoove is on the right track to make its new codes viable in the mobile marketing industry, but it’s a steep hill to climb with short codes being so well ingrained in consumer behavior. “More and more of our customers are seeking simple but immersive interactions with their favorite brands,” said Brad Duea, senior vice president, value added services, T-Mobile USA. “At the same time, brands with mobile assets need an easy mechanism to reach consumers’ phone screens. Zoove’s StarStar Numbers are a compelling and intuitive way to meet the needs of our customers and the brands they love.”