If you’re creating mobile content, you’re marketing it. At SXSW, Mozes‘ pics-to-screen technology took center stage at event producer/promoter C3 Presents’ 10th Annual Late Night bash, sponsored by Playboy. Pics-to-screen technology enables guests to send mobile photos to the venue’s display screen. MobilizedTV had the chance to speak to Greg Estes, vp of marketing at Mozes who talked about the ABCs of mobile marketing in confusing times.
Mobile marketing seems to have as many meanings as the people using the term. What’s the confusion here?
That’s true. If you type “mobile marketing” into Google, what will come up is everything from an ad agency that doesn’t have any technology all the way to Verizon and everyone in between. It’s helpful to draw ‘coarse grain segmentation’ of the marketplace. One is mobile ad networks. That’s basically doing advertising; people will sell inventory and space to take it into mobile. A second is building mobile websites, which helps people to take online properties and bring them into the mobile world. The third is around online direct marketing, or the mobile equivalent of direct marketing. That’s the category that Mozes is in. Some people call it CRM, or customer relationship management, but that means a lot of different things so I try to stay away from that term. It is about a customer community and having an engagement with them, and we do that for sure. There’s also a fourth category, which is mobile commerce or m-commerce. That’s taking your electronic storefront and bringing it into the mobile realm.
Can you describe what Mozes does?
We’re about being a platform for marketers to be able to send their message out to a community. We would further segment that in three ways. Usually most of our customers will do one of these three things: They do marketing when they don’t have a mobile list. The whole thing about mobile is it’s all about giving permission. Some people will run a mobile campaign or promotion or contest, to get people to interact with them, but not to build a list and build on-going engagement.
The second category is the one most of our customers fall into: people wanting to build a “mob” or mobile list. For me, that’s where a lot of the magic happens. Someone says, yes please market to me. It’s okay for you to send me messages and I want to interact with you. That’s pretty golden from a marketer’s point-of-view. That’s the perfect case with our entertainment customers, such as SonyBMG, which has a variety of labels and artists from Britney Spears to newcomers. If you’re a fan of Britney Spears, you can opt into her “mob” and they’ll send you offers, ask your opinion, give you free stuff. One thing they won’t do is continually hammer you to buy things. The magic is that they’re providing value back, whether it’s inside information on a new single coming out or an alert that Britney will be on TV tonight. Or it could be a mobile coupon for 20 percent off the new album. This is the core of what we do.
The third category is live events, which we are often involved in. At SXSW this year, in addition to the C3 bash, we powered Affliction Clothing’s mobile ticketing and mob building campaign. A lot of bands use us for that. The band Rascall Flatts is a big user of ours. In a live event, they’ll build their mob in conjunction with live promotions. For example, we’ll say that if people text in the Mozes shortcode, we’ll pick four of you and take you back stage. We’ll get hit with 10,000 text messages in 30 seconds.
Privacy has become a big issue with targeted advertising. Are you avoiding privacy issues with the opt-in aspect?
Everything you’re providing to the mob, they’re getting from you. Nobody else gets that info in any way, shape or form If you’re in the Pink Floyd mob, Nike can’t send you a message. S
What should people who create content for the mobile platform know about marketing? What should their concerns be?
I think if I were a content producer, what I would be doing is trying to figure out how I’m going to get people who might be interested in my kind of content who have never heard of me. You’ve made some film, maybe it’s a great short film, but nobody has ever heard of me because I’m an up-and-coming filmmaker. The same exact ideas [about marketing] apply to the music industry as the video industry. For me, the #1 thing is to take advantage of all the possible channels you have in terms of building a following and a community. Take a page and learn from what has worked well from the music side. And what they’ve done that’s been effective: have a website and MySpace page. With Mozes, we can create a widget you can put on your MySpace page, where people can opt into your mob, post texts, leave messages. That way, you’re using every weapon in your arsenal to draw together people interested in your property. If you put a poster out at SXSW advertising your mobile film, give them a code to text to. Then they’re opted in. They don’t have to remember your name or your movie. You will automatically be able to send them something, and tell them, we have this new movie coming out. Now you’ve captured someone interested enough to follow you, and you can capture them at the moment of inspiration while they’re out and about.
Where is Mozes going? How does that jibe with where mobile content is going?
We’ve got this really great presence in the music industry. That was our initial focus. The next thing for us is to expand out from that into sports and brands. Brands are figuring out they want to create conversations with consumers and be able to get to them at the “point of inspiration,” when they’re mobile. And we’d like to tie that in to our musical artists–a musician and a brand.
What does that mean for the mobile content creators?
I think there will absolutely be more need for content. We’d like to work with content creators to bring in brand sponsors and make it so they can promote their products and build a community around that. That kind of thing will start to get the interest of brands. Every content creator needs to create relationships with people, consumers – and that’s what we do.
Interested content creators can email Greg at email@example.com.