Mobile Marketer : HipCricket gets additional $2M funding & Google Phone

A key factor helping to drive mobile marketing is the medium’s high rate of click-throughs and conversions. As an example, Dunkin’ Donuts campaign that used mobile coupons to help promote a new latte drink, generated a 4% response rate which translated into a 21% increase in store traffic. As a comparison, the response rate for an ad is less than 3 percent for direct mail and less than 1 percent for Internet banner advertisements.

In some European countries, the response rate is as high as 50% (yes, 50%, I didn’t put an extra zero) and in US, some campaigns have seen response rate of 7%+

About 95 percent of all active cell phones in the US (220M users), can be reached by using text messages, and 62 percent of all mobile phone subscribers regularly send and receive text messages. High response rates also translate into high CPMs-$41 for mobile display ads in 2006. By 2011, CPMs are still expected to remain fairly steep at an estimated $23.

HipCricket is one of the biggest players in this market.

HipCricket is the nation’s largest mobile marketing operation focused on the broadcast community, serving more than 100 clients across North America. Over the past 12 months, the company’s product and approach drove 250 percent growth in its client base, including companies such as Disney, Staples and General Motors and broadcasters like Los Angeles’ KNBC.

HipCricket technology is an effective way for advertisers to utilize text messaging in a user-friendly, web-based format.

HipCricket’s round A closed in January for an undisclosed amount, but HipCricket said that “strong investor demandâ€�? brought in a further $2 million from angel investors, Broadmark Capital, and a European investment group.

This opportunity has not gone unnoticed by Google. The rumors of Google phones (code name switch) have been around for almost a year now, and there was some confirmation of the project by a European executive.

What Google wants to do is to give away the phone cheap in return for advertisement views. Let’s not forget Google’s purchase of Dodgeball.com - a mobile location based social networking service, that is now available in most US cities.

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