Government Mobile Marketing Guide


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Enormous opportunity exists for government agencies to take advantage of mobile. But tackling this endeavor without a roadmap can be overwhelming. That’s why we put together our Government Mobile Marketing Quick6 LookBook. It answers three questions:

- Why government and mobile?
- What examples are out there that government marketers can learn from?
- What are best practices for government mobile marketing initiatives?

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Government Mobile Marketing Guide

  1. 1. Brought to you by Waterfall MobileGovernment Mobile CommunicationThis Msgme Quick6 LookBook provides an insider’s perspective into how mobile fitsinto a government agency digital communication strategy, including guidelines forsuccessful execution.
  2. 2. OverviewWhy mobile for government agenciesCase in pointSix government mobile campaigns with positive and negative lessons learnedSummaryHow government agencies can best integrate mobile into a digital communication strategy
  3. 3. “overview How much do you trust ___________It’s a trust issue. to do what’s right?Marketers at U.S. government agencies U.S. Citizens Response, 2011face a formidable challenge in the digitalage: how to connect with an audience thatdistrusts its institutions. According to data 40from the Edelman Trust Barometer (2011marked its 10th year), U.S. citizens’ distrust 46 PE RC E NT 27 P E RC E N Tof businesses, government and the media PERC ENTputs it in the bottom third compared to theworld’s top 10 GDP countries. In fact, theUnited States and Russia are the onlycountries to fall in the bottom three for eachsector. Business Government Media down 8% from 2010 down 6% from 2010 down 11% from 2010
  4. 4. overview So how can marketers at a government CTIA calculated that in 2011 the averageAmericans within arms reach of institution actually go about gaining their time for a person to respond to an email istheir mobile phone 24/7 audiences’ trust? Since we cannot poll 90 minutes versus 90 seconds for a textMorgan Stanley every single citizen in the U.S., let’s start by message. thinking about how we start to trust someone in our own lives. Well, at the very This is to say that mobile phones provide least we need familiarity, transparency an instant, constant and personal and consistency. connection to American citizens. Sounds 91 like a pretty strong bet for increasing And how do we get that as government familiarity, providing transparency, marketers? Mobile. Consider three stats: consistency, and establishing a long term P E RC E NT Microsoft reported that in 2011 Americans relationship. spent 2.7 daily hours on their phone – twice as much time as they did eating. A 2011 Morgan Stanley study found that 91% of Americans have their mobile device within reach 24/7.
  5. 5. overview Media Features Needed to Inspire Trust, 2010 Invoke Solutions Important No Opinion Not ImportantIt’s about connecting on a moreintimate level.As society continues to evolve, government has tokeep up. According to an eMarketer-cited surveyfrom Invoke Solutions, volume of participation, 65 PERCENT 62 P E RC E NT 54 PERCENTlength of relationship and volume of content werethe least important factors for media to inspiretrust. The most important? Quality of dialogue, Quality of Dialogue Open Dialogue Responsivenessopenness and responsiveness.Each of the following 6 case studies demonstratesgovernment using mobile to create conversations. 48 PERCENT 43 PERCENT 42 PERCENTFrom each of them, you’ll see an innovativeroadmap for how marketers at governmentagencies can overcome the trust barrier and moreeffectively engage an audience. Volume of Participation Length of Relationship Volume of Content
  6. 6. case in pointObama MobileArguably the most famous example of Two aspects of the Obama Mobile campaign The second is cross-channel integration. Themobile marketing for government were the main drivers of its success. The Obama Mobile campaign communicatedorganizations is Barack Obama’s 2008 first is ongoing interaction. By texting HOPE with its audience using and integratingpresidential election campaign. Along with to 62262, participants received continuous several different channels, including text,mobile, Obama’s team successfully status updates about how they could get voice and social media messaging.harnessed social and other digital media to involved in Obama’s campaign. Right from Throughout the campaign, participants feltcreate one of the most successful marketing the start, the organizers of the campaign engaged by the same (in contrast to acampaigns of all time. identified mobile’s strengths as an ongoing, different) voice, regardless of the source or interactive medium rather than a one-off channel of communication. media buy.
  7. 7. case in pointObama Mobile: Message Flow Closeup Hope is Compelling The keyword in the call to action is easy to recall and instantly recognized as part of Obama’s larger campaign. It’s short. It’s powerful. And it intrigues. Targeting the Story Notice the simple interactivity of asking for a ZIP code. This enables future messaging to remain relevant and personalized by targeting actions to specific, location-based subscriber groups. Compliance Compliance is crucial for effective mobile marketing campaigns. The included language (Msg & Data Rates May Apply), mandated by the Mobile Marketing Association and carriers, has two side effects: transparency and trust between marketer and end user. If compliance is not upheld, marketers run the risk of having messaging rights suspended.
  8. 8. case in pointNew York City Building Permits QR CodesIn February 2011, New York City announced that Quick Response (QR) codeswould appear on all building permits by 2013. Scanners of these QR codes canlearn details about ongoing projects, read complaints and violations related tothe location, or click on a link to make complaints of their own.This campaign demonstrates two QR codes “do’s.” The first is that scanning theQR codes links to a completely mobile experience. Using a QR code to link to anon mobile-optimized website will dissuade interaction. The second is that NYCcommitted to QR codes with a common placement on all permits in order tocreate continuity and familiarity. By slapping a QR code onto one piece ofmarketing material, you miss taking advantage of QR codes’ main attraction:downloading an app and figuring out scanning makes for a multi-step first timeexperience, but repeat uses are instantaneous.That said, the campaign isn’t perfect. By 2013, smartphone penetration projectsto be 60-70%. Of that group, some percentage will be QR code illiterate orresistant, reducing the effectiveness of this “naked” QR code. But what if you Well for one, you would increase transparency and trust from consumers.included a simple alternative call-to-action (e.g. SMS/URL) and “Scan for more You would also reduce the limitations inherent in the campaign at minimalinfo ->” type note in the upper right corner? additional cost.
  9. 9. case in pointBay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Mobile SweepstakesTo increase ridership, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District(BART) launched a “Try BART Week” campaign in October 2010. Thepromotion, which kicked-off with a live lunchtime event and included“word of the day” sweepstakes, was marketed in all BART stations onthe digital messaging signs that display real-time train arrivalinformation. By entering the sweepstakes, BART built a 22K persondatabase in 5 days and saw ridership increase above projected levels.The most important lesson to learn from this campaign was the expertuse of incentives. Not only extremely enticing, but also clear and easy toredeem. By including incentives, campaigns will see significantly moreinteraction, not to mention goodwill from everybody who sees thepromotional collateral - regardless of whether they choose to engage.One drawback is that BART did not monetize its mobile subscriberdatabase effectively, as the campaign lacked ongoing communication.Though a sweepstakes is an excellent way to build a database, themessaging follow-up has to be thought out ahead of time in order tocreate that seamless conversation element crucial for mobile success.
  10. 10. case in pointNASA Mobilizes An EclipseIn December of 2010, NASA ran a national effectively was another step in the opt-incampaign to connect viewers of the lunar process. Moreover, the cross-channeleclipse. By texting IMTHERE to 67463, combination of web, mobile, and socialparticipants would opt-in to a mobile list media also demonstrates a clear reason thisfrom which they would receive updates campaign engaged participants soabout the eclipse and instructions on how share their location with other viewers.After the eclipse, NASA used the mobile list This campaign was a smash success acrossto drive traffic to its interactive mobile the board. One thing to note however:website. The campaign received thousands mobile campaigns can be limited if theof comments and photo uploads, as well as impetus for users to participate initially100% participation entering location doesn’t coincide with the ongoinginformation. messaging. Without this consistency, keeping subscribers engaged will beThe interactivity inherent in this campaign’s challenging. That said, in this case thoseapproach to mobile is its key to achieving people interested in eclipses certainlysuccess. NASA did an amazing job of would be first in line for information fromdesigning a two-way communication flow, NASA about lunar and other outer spaceas evidenced by the 100% participation in updates, which demonstrates the requisitesharing location information, which cross-selling potential needed for success.
  11. 11. case in point Punxsutawney Phil Texts His Prediction For Pennsylvania For those unable to make it to Development, realized its goal of One area we saw that thiscase in point Gobbler’s Knob February 2nd for engaging a mass audience and campaign could have improvedPunxsutawney Phil Texts His Prediction For Pennsylvania the country’s most famous animal spreading awareness about PA upon is its call to action clarity. As weatherman’s prediction, mobile tourism. with anything in technology, youFor those unable to make it to Gobbler’s Knob to the rescue. Byatextingaudience and spreading came engaging mass One area we saw that this campaign could want to error proof your userFebruary 2nd for the country’s most famous awareness about PA tourism. have to love the creativity improved experiencecallmuch as possible. “Groundhog” to 247365, You have of upon is its as to action clarity.animal weatherman’s prediction, mobile cameconsumers could sign up to this campaign, as a non-monetaryanything in technology, you want to As with Simple things like CAPITALIZINGto the rescue. By texting Groundhog to receive a text alert from the the creativity of this produced significant proof your user experiencekeyword and You have to love incentive error and bolding your as much as247365, consumers could sign up to receive a campaign, as a non-monetary incentive possible. Simple things likeavoiding the use of Punxsutawney Phil himself. After engagement. In addition, the short code, CAPITALIZINGtext alert from the Punxsutawney Phil himself. produced significant engagement. In addition, and bolding your keyword and short code, receiving Phil’s update, campaign effectively leveraged quotation marks for keywords, the campaign effectively leveraged theAfter receiving Phil’s update, participantsparticipants could then submit avoiding the use of quotation marksto action in the moment of inspiration (getting posting mobile calls for SMS moment of inspiration (getting a text fromcould then submit their email address viatheir email address via SMS to keywords, posting mobile cell phone service, and a text from Phil) to request areas with calls to action into receive additional tourism-related Phil) to request another point of contact (SMS receive additional tourism-related another point of contact (SMS with cell phone service, and including areas including compliance languagemessages. With over 12,000 entrants in the email signup). Having multi-touch access messages. With over 12,000 email signup). Having multi-touch language canthe difference between compliance can mean mean the differencecampaign, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, significantly increases the ability to conduct entrants in the campaign, the access significantly increases the “ho-hum” success and “Oh yes!” yes!” between “ho-hum” success and “ohunder the Department of Community andPennsylvania Tourismand creative digitalability to conduct effective and (for more thoughts on CTAs in effective Office, marketing success success. of campaigns going forward.Economic Development, realized its goal under the Department of general, visit creative digital marketing Community and Economic campaigns going forward.
  12. 12. case in pointFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Goes MobileFEMA uses mobile to more between its outreach efforts to interactivity. Simply getting aeffectively deliver information prevent double or extraneous reminder to your phone will notabout how to prepare for and contacting. Their offerings be as engaging as pushingrecover from hurricanes and present a clear example of participants to action with eachother disasters. With both an communicating with an audience new update.App and SMS list, FEMA ensures in the way that they want to bethat consumers remain up to communicated with, effectivelydate. innovating alongside a constituent base.This campaign demonstratesone of the best efforts to re-earn Another thing to keep in mind:citizens’ trust. Using a cross- FEMA’s campaign is built uponchannel strategy (both the app an ongoing, interactiveand messaging offerings are relationship. What’s going to bepromoted on the FEMA blog, imperative for its success is thatFacebook page and website), the monthly preparedness tipsFEMA ensures coordination involve some sort of
  13. 13. SummaryWithout invoking trust amongst citizens, a clear, transparent and interactive They are:government runs the risk of increasing connection with citizens. Taken together, 1. Develop a cross-channel strategy gearedcitizen disenchantment with and, at worst, they represent a roadmap to pick and toward ongoing communicationcitizen apathy toward current government choose from in order to develop aefforts. Mobile can be that conduit proprietary strategy at your organization. 2. Focus on creating an effortless, seamlessgovernment needs to establish a two-way user experience by maintaining claritydialogue. At the simplest level, there are three crucial and transparency in your calls to action elements for success in marryingThe above case studies demonstrate government communication and mobile. 3. Use incentives and contextual clues todifferent ways that government increase end user engagement andorganizations have used mobile to establish interactivityMsgme’s government clients and reference We appreciate you taking the time to read through our Quick6 Lookbook. The Msgme platform hasaccounts include: been utilized by government agencies to execute their mobile marketing strategies since 2005. To learn more about Msgme, please sign up for our blog, read our case studies, or discover our featured solutions by visiting There is also a free trial option available to try out Msgme 100% risk free. Any other questions, please contact