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Making the Case for Mobile Marketing: Cross Platform Connections with Skinny Water

The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How blending SMS and social media together put Skinny Water’s text campaign over the top with Walgreens customers.

If you’re a regular reader of this case study series, you know that social media and texting customers are a match made in Heaven. However, few brands have utilized this connection quite like premium beverage manufacturer Skinny Water. Instead of just following the routine path and appreciating the standard results, this retailer went above and beyond with a comprehensive approach that made the most out of a variety of powerful marketing tools. To learn a little more about this campaign, and what it could mean for your brand’s next text messaging initiative, let’s spend a few minutes covering the particulars of this stellar example of potent SMS and social tactics.

Understanding the Purpose of the Process

At the heart of this campaign was Skinny Water’s desire to revitalize a flagging social audience. While this might seem like a job for the team in charge of managing the brand’s Twitter, Facebook, and other network pages, the people running the show at this premier bottled beverage producer understood that if you really want to make a splash with consumers, you need to connect with them where it matters most – their phones. With this concept propelling the campaign forward, Skinny Water would refine the process even more by incorporating some creative SMS awareness strategies.

Building the Perfect Plan

Instead of just making a few posts on Facebook and hoping for a positive response, this brand decided to take a very proactive, and specialized approach to the problem. By refining the targeted audience to women shoppers that frequented the drug store Walgreens, between the ages of 18 and 45, Skinny Water had a narrow and focused demographic in its sights. Once the people in charge of this marketing operation had this detail hammered out, it was time to figure out how to connect with these female shoppers in a meaningful and productive manner.

To accomplish this task, Skinny Water set up “shelf talkers” in participating Walgreens stores in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. As part of the interactive display, customers received a call-to-action (CTA) imploring them to text in the keyword “BEATS,” or scan the QR Code displayed on the talker. In return for this action, these participating shoppers would have a chance at winning several valuable prizes, including Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and $100 Walgreens gift cards. From here, the next step of the SMS plan directed the audience to connect with the brand on Facebook by liking the official page and sharing the details for the contest with friends and family members.

An Overwhelmingly Social Response

As you can see, Skinny Water wasn’t afraid to lay it all on the table by incorporating complementary marketing tools and lavish giveaways as part of its process. In return, the brand received an amazing amount of involvement and visibility in the Philadelphia area. After the one-month campaign wrapped up, Skinny Water reported more than 2,100 sweepstakes entries. This kind of response by itself would make plenty of mobile marketers jump with joy.

However, the numbers supporting the real focus of this program, expanding the brand’s reach on Facebook, were even more impressive. In total, Skinny Water acquired 1,300 new fans to its official Facebook page, providing them with an immediate boost to its network, in addition to access to an even greater range of customers via likes, shares, and comments from these participating individuals.

Finding the Right Balance for Your Brand

Naturally, not every brand will operate a mobile marketing operation just like Skinny Water, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything companies like your own can pull from this case study. For starters, these beverage retailers showed that there’s plenty of overlap between the social media and SMS industries. For brands willing to work toward forging a connection between these realms, the payoff is definitely significant. From here, getting creative with consumer interaction, via QR codes, shelf talkers, and traditional text communications provides increased opportunities for customers to join in on the fun.

Finally, the biggest tip you can take from Skinny Water’s campaign is that, regardless of the marketing platform, fans respond to valuable giveaways and other incentives. If you can make the interaction worth their time, either via prizes or useful coupons and discounts related to your products, don’t be surprised when these consumers turn out in droves to participate in your next great SMS campaign.

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