Making the Case for Mobile Marketing: Texting the News with The Globe and Mail

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 The Globe and Mail kept the people of Canada up to date with the latest happenings of the G-20 Summit in Toronto.  

With global leaders descending on the city of Toronto in 2010 to talk about some of the most pressing worldwide problems at the highly important G-20 Summit, saying that this was a big time for the news industry is putting things mildly. For any reputable news source, like Toronto’s very own The Globe and Mail, keeping readers informed and in touch with the latest developments at this meeting was priority number one. However, waiting for the next day’s edition just wasn’t fast enough, so the team behind this trusted newspaper decided to take on a faster approach.

Developing a Winning Strategy

Knowing this, The Globe and Mail decided to develop a strategy that focused on real time connections with readers who couldn’t wait to find out the latest about the G-20 Summit – SMS messages. Aside from covering breaking news, traffic updates, protests, and everything in between via text messaging, The Globe and Mail also wanted to promote a deeper level of interaction with loyal readers and increase the reach of both its mobile website and email contact list. Lofty goals to say the least, but considering the raw power of SMS marketing, well within the reach of a brand willing to take the proper steps.

Making Headlines and Raising Awareness

So how did The Globe and Mail put this text system into place? To start, the team behind this campaign spread the word to loyal readers via the newspaper. Aside from traveling down this standard physical print route, The Globe and Mail also targeted its ever-growing online constituency via informative upgrades to the paper’s web page. At the heart of both promotional avenues was a call to action emphasizing the quick, simple, and easy nature of signing up for the SMS program, as well as the benefits held within.

Gaining Ground and Building for the Future

While the members of the G-20 Summit might not have left the meeting feeling any better about the pressing issues up for discussion, The Globe and Mail definitely came out of this major news event feeling good about its position with the Canadian people. After the weeklong affair came to a close, over 53,000 news alerts were sent out as part of the campaign. In total, 89 percent of alert subscribers originated via online awareness materials, leading to 52 percent of these individuals staying with the SMS program or joining the email marketing contact list in order to keep up with all the latest breaking news.

Plotting Your Own Course for SMS Results

Clearly, The Globe and Mail capitalized on the powerful confluence of an effective medium – text messaging – and a major international event – the G-20 Summit. However, even if your industry doesn’t generate headlines of quite the same magnitude, there’s still plenty to learn from this newspaper’s successful SMS run.

First up, don’t be afraid to tether your campaign to an event that matters to your audience. Keying in on these exciting times, and offering up a useful service or offer like The Globe and Mail did in regard to the G-20 Summit, can help set your brand apart and boost SMS interaction in a major way.

Once you’ve honed in on the right time to unveil your SMS campaign, spend some time spreading the word. Whether it’s via social media, your branded website, or even more traditional methods like print media, ensuring you raise awareness among your audience is key to the success of your text offerings. While you’ll still generate some buzz one way or the other, without maximizing this phase of the process it’s hard not to leave some opportunities for outreach and connection with customers on the table.

Finally, after your campaign is up and running, don’t be afraid to engage in a little crossover with your other operations. As we saw with The Globe and Mail, this top tier news source helped bolster its email marketing campaign while building a healthy SMS following. As long as you provide quality content and offerings during your text initiative, there’s no reason not to keep the good times flowing in the inbox as well.

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About Victor Green

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