I went to the Boston Bruins game last night. In case you don’t follow hockey, they are currently in first place and they won again last night. This is the best start they have had in years. I hope they keep it up. Boston needs another championship to make it a complete sports domination. So now that I ticked off all my readers in the other markets let’s get back to business.
At the game last night I had three opportunities to use my mobile phone. First off the NHL is offering digital ways to vote for your favorite hockey all-star. At the game you could use your mobile phone to text in your vote. At home you can go to the website to do it. Gone are the days when they handed out paper ballots that ended up on the arena floor because no one had a pen.
I used my mobile phone to text in my entry to win a trip to Florida to see the Bruins on the road. The mobile phone was also used last night to text in my vote for which song they were going to play during the game.
All this fan interaction is good for the fan to keep them stimulated during the TV timeouts. But the real reason for the mobile text messages is to capture data. The big question is; what are they going to do with it? I purposely entered each of these mobile opportunities to see what will happen. If and when I get anything from this data capture, I will let you know.
In the last few months, I used my mobile phone to enter to win tickets to a few family shows coming to town. I don’t know what they are using this data for but so far it is not for marketing back to me. In the early fall I entered to win tickets to Ringling Bros. Circus. Now Disney On Ice is coming and I entered again. Both of these shows are produced by Feld Entertainment. Don’t you think that a text message should have been sent to me when Disney On Ice went on sale? They captured my mobile data with the circus promotion. It is great to have this new technology but a waste if not used correctly.
Retailers Are Going Mobile Too
There is an article in today’s Wall Street Journal about how retailers are taking advantage of mobile marketing technology. Wal-Mart and Target offer text messages with daily or weekly specials direct to your mobile phone. They are not invading the customer’s personal space because these customers signed up for this type of marketing. You cannot beat this kind of marketing. These are customers who want you to send them advertising. The retailer is saving major marketing dollars. Look how many trees were saved to promote the weekly specials.
Buy.com is using Twitter messages for their followers. Sears now offers customers the option to make purchases directly from your mobile phone with its Sears2Go program. Amazon and Target have taken mobile one step further and now offer a free application for iphone users. Just click on the icon and way you go to help the economy.
What all these retailers need to do next is offer marketing messages to customers when they enter the store. The technology does exist. I can’t believe they are not using it. Just think, you walk into Wal-Mart and you get a text message “Welcome back Dave. Doing some Christmas shopping? Here is a list of gift ideas for the wife & kids”. You don’t get much more personal then that.