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  • 1. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaignsMobile 1 Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns Version: 1.0 Date created: 11/11/2009 Policy official: David Pullinger Date last updated: 11/11/2009 Date issued: November 2009 Lead official: Franco Beschizza Guidance number: TG120 This guidance is for heads of e-communications, content producers and developers/programmers who are planning, developing or implementing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns. It provides an overview of how mobile can be used to support marketing and branding activities, plus practical guidance and references to detailed sources. It applies to all public sector projects involving mobile data, and may also be relevant to projects outside UK central government. The guidance will be updated as the medium develops.
  • 2. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 1 Table of contents Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns...........................................1 Table of contents............................................................................................................1 Introduction....................................................................................................................2 Part 1: Overview.............................................................................................................3 Who uses mobile technology?......................................................................................3 What is mobile technology used for? ...........................................................................4 Where and when is mobile technology used? .............................................................6 Using mobile to support marketing and branding..........................................................7 Risks and challenges..................................................................................................13 Part 2: A practical guide to using mobile...................................................................15 Screen size ................................................................................................................15 Operating systems.....................................................................................................16 Language and style....................................................................................................16 Display advertising.....................................................................................................17 ‘Two clicks’.................................................................................................................18 Data capture...............................................................................................................19 Building and designing WAPsites...............................................................................20 Security and privacy...................................................................................................23 Testing.......................................................................................................................24 Analytics.....................................................................................................................26 Appendices...................................................................................................................27 Appendix 1: Part 1 resources ....................................................................................27 Appendix 2: Part 2 resources ....................................................................................28 Appendix 3: Glossary.................................................................................................29 About the authors........................................................................................................30 David Pullinger, COI Head of Digital Policy................................................................30 Franco Beschizza, COI Interactive Digital Marketing..................................................30 Jonathan Bass, Managing Director, Incentivated Limited...........................................30
  • 3. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 2 Introduction Mobile marketing and advertising offer significant potential for interacting with people and adding value to communications. Increasingly, brands from all sectors are using text messaging and the mobile web to develop strong one-to- one relationships with their customers. While mobile is undoubtedly an exciting new area of communication, it is not without its challenges and risks. Issues such as personal privacy and legislative compliance need careful consideration and negotiation. This document is designed to help you minimise potential risks and get the most out of mobile communications. The guidance is split into two parts. Part 1 provides an overview of the market and of how mobile can be used to support marketing and branding activities, and is aimed at all readers. Part 2 looks in more detail at the practicalities of design, language and style, security and privacy and ensuring that communications meet the relevant standards, and is aimed at those more closely involved in developing and implementing mobile communications.
  • 4. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 3 Part 1: Overview This part of the guidance provides a brief summary of the current mobile market. It goes on to give an overview of how mobile can be used to support marketing and branding activities and to summarise the main risks and challenges. Who uses mobile technology? Mobile is used by all ages and sections of the community, and penetration rates are high. By mid-2008, there were 74 million current mobile subscriptions in the UK. Allowing for users with multiple handsets, 48 million teenagers and adults have mobile phones – over 90 per cent of those aged over 12 and under 75 (Mobile Data Association, ONS). Table: Teen and adult mobile subscribers by age and sex Age Female Male Subscribers Share Penetration Subscribers Share Penetration 13-17 1,863,960 3.9% 94% 1,844,108 3.9% 93% 18-24 2,789,691 5.9% 99% 2,909,365 6.1% 97% 25-34 3,906,776 8.2% 99% 3,799,643 8.0% 99% 35-44 4,603,522 9.7% 98% 4,380,768 9.2% 98% 45-54 3,904,303 8.2% 95% 3,768,225 7.9% 94% 55+ 7,282,554 15.3% 78% 6,447,085 13.6% 82% Total 24,350,806 51.3% 91% 23,149,194 48.7% 91% Source: MMetrics, June 2008 Compared with PCs, the distribution of mobiles is higher among socio-economic groups C12DE, for example according to Ofcom twice as many people in the DE group have a mobile as compared to those who have a PC. Mobile penetration in group C1 is 90% (82% for PC), in C2 86% (72% PC) and in DE 76% (35% PC) (Ofcom, 2008). However, there is little variation in ownership and use of the mobile internet by income group, except in the highest brackets. Low income is not a barrier to high consumption, with some users in the lowest income bracket spending up to £100 a month on voice calls and text messages (making campaigns or services utilising SMS highly effective in terms of reach of all parts of the community). Table: Mobile subscribers by income group Income Subscribers Share (%) <£15k 10,895,647 22.9% £15k - <£30k 15,787,801 33.2% £30k - <£45k 10,383,382 21.9% £45k - <£55k 4,477,511 9.4% £55k - <£65k 2,358,937 5.0% £65k - <£75k 1,414,605 3.0% Source: MMetrics, June 2008 The mobile phone is ubiquitous and therefore inclusive as far as text messaging is concerned, though this is not yet the case with the mobile internet. The mobile
  • 5. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 4 internet also poses some problems in terms of accessibility due to the nature of the small screen and fiddly keypad. While some phones offer support of user- controlled scalable fonts most do not and it is very difficult to deliver a good product for the partially sighted. What is mobile technology used for? After voice calls, mobiles are most commonly used for text messaging (or ‘SMS’). Text messaging in the UK has grown by 70 per cent since 2002. In 2007, nearly 59 billion SMS messages were sent: an average of 68 per month from each unique mobile connection.3 As the chart below shows, more UK consumers now use SMS than access the internet via PCs. Chart: Use of SMS and the internet Other non-voice features, including gaming, taking pictures, listening to music and watching videos are growing in popularity and driving take-up, particularly among younger people.
  • 6. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 5 Chart: Proportion of subscribers using non-voice features on their mobile phone Percentage 100 80 60 SMS 40 20 CAMERA 0 GAMES MUSIC C A SI ER U VIDEO S EO ES AM M SM AM D C VI WAP BROWSER G Medium Source: MMetrics, June 2008 The mobile internet While penetration rates for mobile internet are still low, figures suggest that future growth could be comparable with that of SMS. The number of people in the UK using the mobile internet rose from 5.8 million in the second quarter of 2008 to 7.3 million in the third, representing some 15.3 per cent of all subscribers (Neilsen Mobile). By comparison, MMetrics quotes a figure of 16.3 per cent, with half of these people also accessing a search engine. Chart: Mobile Internet 2008 Growth R SE W O BR AP W
  • 7. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 6 The heaviest users are 15-34-year-olds, who account for 33 per cent of mobile users but 52 per cent of those who access the mobile internet. Recent studies have also shown that while 59 per cent of mobile internet users are male, 41 per cent of women are accessing WAP sites – a significant proportion (GSM Association). Browsing habits suggest that the mobile internet is mainly used as a ‘boredom buster’ or as a source of immediate factual information (for example, traffic, maps or weather) (MMetrics). Although 9 per cent of users use their mobiles to access emails (MMetrics), most people are still accessing emails via their PC, where messages can include links to full websites. For the next few years, an SMS call- to-action advertised through another medium is likely to remain the best way of driving traffic to a mobile internet (or WAP) site. Chart: Mobile browsing activities Source: MMetrics Where and when is mobile technology used? Research carried out by Orange in 2007 (Orange UK Exposure Survey) showed that nearly 60 per cent of mobile media use happened at home or work and just over 20 per cent while travelling. Mobile media users spent an average of three hours and 36 minutes per week consuming media on their mobile phones, in addition to time spent making calls and sending text messages.
  • 8. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 7 Using mobile to support marketing and branding Mobile can be used to support marketing, branding and service delivery in a number of ways: • To encourage people to sign up to campaigns, by enabling them to respond immediately a campaign attracts their interest • To display banner advertising tailored to individual usage habits, including ads generated by proximity to a particular location. • To send out follow-up advertising to users who have already requested or signed up to a particular service. • To combine communication and entertainment by using games or networking applications to promote brands or encourage behavior change. • To deliver transactional services, including payments and receipt of tickets, coupons and vouchers. Text messaging Mobile has a key role to play in support of marketing campaigns, both on its own and integrated with other media. The table below shows that an average of just under half of citizens in five major EU countries and the US have received stand- alone marketing text messages. Most of these messages will be direct marketing messages sent to existing CRM or bought-in databases; a few will be sponsored messages where the advertiser takes space in an informational message. Table: Direct marketing via SMS in three months ending July 2007 Received SMS ad Responded Millions % % France 28 62 7.6 Germany 15 33 5.7 Italy 26 57 8.0 Spain 24 75 6.1 UK 19 41 9.2 USA 37 17 12.0 Source: MMetrics The response rates of between 6 and 12 per cent shown in the table are much higher than for ‘cold’ direct mail or email marketing campaigns using bought lists of opted-in third party data. This is likely to be primarily because of the ease of response, the relative novelty of mobile and therefore rarity of receiving SMS ads. It may also reflect the fact that mobile marketing is in the early stages of development. If people start to receive as many SMS ads as email ads, the response rate could begin to drop off. Under clause 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which covers sales and marketing communications, marketers are permitted to collect data via mobile for later use, provided they tell customers
  • 9. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 8 clearly that they are opting in and give them the opportunity to opt out. Opting in means that users are actively choosing to give permission for the marketer to use their data; opting out means that this permission cannot be assumed and that the mobile user must give the option to withdraw it and for their data not to be used by the marketer. The equivalent in a conventional form would be asking the user to tick an empty box to opt in or to ‘untick’ an already ticked box to opt out. Data captured in this way cannot be used by third parties. Giving potential customers the option to respond by text message can be an effective way of generating an immediate, high volume response to calls-to- action in traditional media (such as billboards). In the outdoor advertising sector some media owners are installing Bluetooth and WiFi technology to directly interact with mobile phones. In 2007, 5 per cent of all traditional media adverts in the US featured some mobile functionality (Multimedia Intelligence, November 2008). Key fact: With direct response via SMS, the marketer can pay for the citizen to send the message, making the service totally free to the customer. For the public sector in particular, this is an important way of ensuring inclusivity. Case study: Bookstart Bookstart was set up by the charity Booktrust with backing from the Arts Council and aims to foster a love of reading by offering free books to families with young children. Bookstart has run two campaigns, the first targeting parents in low income groups and the second aimed at fathers, primarily using TV ads that asked viewers to text BOOK along with their name, house number and postcode to 80800 in exchange for a free book. Texts were free, and no other channels were used. Almost 80,000 people texted in during the first campaign alone – some 8 per cent of UK households with pre-school age children. The prevalence of mobile among all sections of society made it the simplest and most effective way of engaging with this time-poor demographic. Display advertising and search Since early 2006, network providers have been adding small clickable banner ads to mobile internet portals along with a search box (often provided by Google or Yahoo). Mobile offers scope for targeting these ads by context, demographic and behaviour.
  • 10. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 9 Chart: Display (banner) advertising on Vodafone Live! and Google’s WAPsite Research (Lightspeed, January 2007) suggests that mobile phones are more effective advertising channels than interactive TV and MP3 players if an incentive is offered. Twenty-nine per cent of mobile phone users would be willing to receive ads in return for incentives, compared with 21 per cent for interactive TV and 6 per cent for MP3 players. Proximity advertising Ads can be sent to mobiles within a 100m radius of a particular location using the Bluetooth technology available on most mobile phones. However, to receive ads, users must switch Bluetooth on, so it is good practice to include a prompt to this effect in any accompanying communications. Because it does not involve the exchange of personal information, Bluetooth is not regulated under the Data Protection Act (DPA) or the PECR. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has developed guidelines aimed at preventing unscrupulous use (see appendix). Case study: Royal Marines The Royal Marines used a combination of SMS, Bluetooth and mobile advertising for a recruitment drive timed to tie in with the release of the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. They used the existing network of Bluetooth units in cinemas throughout the country to deliver exclusive high-impact video messages direct to the phones of adventure-loving 18-25-year-old men. Messages included a clickable link to the Marines’ recruitment WAPsite. Posters also carried a text message call to action linking to the mobile internet site, which offered a range of downloadable video and image content and captured names and emails which were then added to the subscriber list for the Marines’ e-newsletter. The Bluecast video achieved over 1,000 downloads per day throughout the campaign (90,000 in total) and a conversion rate from WAPsite visit to email sign-up of 12 per cent.
  • 11. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 10 Many newer handsets (iPhone, G1 and Nokia N97) combine both a compass and GPS (requiring line of sight to satellites), allowing not only better location awareness but also direction finding. Phones without GPS can use ‘Location Based Services’, which relies on the fact that the locations of cell site masts are known and hence the user’s location can be inferred. Services Mobile can be particularly effective when used as part of an existing service or customer relationship management programme. In this context, it can be tightly targeted at people who already want this type of communication or who are predisposed to respond favourably to them. Such services can be integrated into existing IT infrastructure and require little manual intervention once set up. Instant access is one obvious advantage. Another is the fact that mobiles can be used to provide services that match users’ geographical location, as shown in the Cabwise case study below. Given the sensitivity of the information collected, such communications are regulated by an industry code of conduct (see Appendix 1). Case study: Cabwise was set up by the Mayor of London and Transport for London in 2005 to stop Londoners using unlicensed mini-cabs. By texting HOME to 60835, users can get details of the two nearest licensed mini-cab offices and one black cab firm sent to them by SMS. They can click on the numbers to be put straight through. The service has been supported by a major publicity campaign, including prominent calls-to-action on bus shelters. In 2008 Cabwise won a bronze trophy at the prestigious IPA Effectiveness Awards for its contribution to the overall reduction in sexual assaults. Since launch three quarters of a million people have used the service. Entertainment Mobile entertainment applications can be used to promote brands or encourage users to change their behavior. Games are the third most popular ‘non-voice’ mobile function (after SMS and camera) (MMetrics, September 2008). They can deliver brand and campaign support in the form of free gifts, rewards and/or marketing tools, reinforcing campaign messages in a variety of ingenious ways as shown in the example below. Case study: Recycle for London RfL’s ‘Evil Bin’, a rapacious bin bag hungry for recyclable
  • 12. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 11 material, has provided the inspiration for a mobile ‘catch’ game. Fun and educational, the game had considerable success online and was subsequently adapted for mobile. A Java app was created which allowed users to move the bin using their keypad (or joystick) and offered a viral ‘send to a friend’ feature. An iPhone version was also created which allowed users to move the recycling box across the screen using the phone’s gyroscope or ‘accelerometer’ facility. Free and premium rate SMS competitions, prize draws and ‘reverse bill’ auctions are all popular with users, and offer useful ways of capturing numbers and data for mobile marketing campaigns. Such communications are tightly regulated under the Gambling Act 2005. The Act defines prize draws that use premium rate numbers as a lottery (and therefore a gambling game requiring a license to operate). To be exempt, competitions must involve an element of skill. The use of very simple questions to elicit a large response has been outlawed. Following further clarification, a prize draw (with no element of skill) can now be run on a premium rate number provided there is an easily accessible free entry route running in parallel. Warning: Java applications will need to be ‘ported’ (rewritten) for different types of handset, significantly increasing the cost of making a campaign inclusive. Social media Recent studies show that 6 per cent of mobile users access social networking sites via their mobile phones, with nearly half using the mobile version of Facebook (GSMA, February 2009). Social networking via mobile offers significant potential for brands to create compelling, self-seeding, viral content, as shown in the case study below. Services are able to hold detailed profile information on their users, supporting targeted interaction with tightly defined audience groups. Case study: Strongbow (Scottish & Newcastle) Social networking site Flirtomatic recently hosted the world’s first ‘real product’ gifting viral on a mobile social network. Scottish & Newcastle Brewery allowed site users to send each other ‘virtual pints’ of cider which they could then redeem for a real pint of Strongbow at participating outlets. The message spread virally across the community and a total of 30,000 pints were gifted. Flirtomatic was a particularly good fit for this client as users had already been vetted to check that they were over 18. Mobile TV Less than 1 per cent of UK users have ever accessed mobile TV services (MMetrics, September 2008). However, the BBC has recently launched iPlayer
  • 13. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 12 for mobile phones equipped with Wi-fi and, with people increasingly using devices like the iPod Touch to watch content on-demand, it seems logical to assume that mobile users will follow suit as the capacity of devices increases and the cost of access falls. Transactions Mobile can be used to deliver transactional services, including payments and the receipt of tickets, coupons and vouchers. Mobiles can be used to initiate payments which are then completed by credit or debit card, or by direct debit. Alternatively, payments can be added to the user’s mobile phone bill, using either premium-rated SMS text messages or WAP billing, where users click on a WAPsite link (see page 20) to submit a payment request over the mobile internet via the Pay-For-It scheme. See the example below. Marketers should be aware of the legislation on e-money when allowing consumers to buy content using a pre-paid mobile phone for consumption off- handset. The creation of electronic money is highly regulated. The E-Money Directive (EMD) was implemented in the UK through the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) in 2002. Case study: Parking meters in Westminster Drivers in Westminster can now pay for parking with their mobiles. First, customers need to register online or by phone with their mobile and credit card details and their car registration number. After this, each time they park in a paid space they text in a four-digit location number along with the expected duration of their visit. Payment is then automatically deducted from their credit card. Removing parking meters has led to a reduction in vandalism and theft; the Council also reports savings on collection and maintenance. Motorists no longer have to hunt for loose change and can text in to top-up if they are likely to exceed their initial time limit. Current figures suggest that the service has over 200,000 registered users and accounts for half of Westminster’s total parking revenues where there is no alternative payment option. All the varieties of barcode can be delivered and viewed on mobile handsets with internet connectivity. This can be done either by ‘push’ or ‘pull’: a barcode can be sent to a mobile phone as a ticket or coupon (push); or the camera on a handset can be used to capture the barcode in order to request specific information or a service (pull). One coding scheme for ‘pull’ barcodes is the quick response (QR) code, which comes pre-installed on some top-end handsets. For ‘push’ barcodes, such as flight boarding passes, the organisation’s choice of reader will determine the type of barcode used.
  • 14. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 13 Case study: Lufthansa mobile boarding passes German airline Lufthansa is using mobile boarding passes to reduce check-in time and speed up customer journeys. Passengers can opt to send themselves an SMS from the Lufthansa check-in website. The text includes a link to a mobile internet site where users can access a unique 2D barcode along with written instructions and further details about their flight. The barcode on the mobile’s screen is then scanned at the boarding gate, in the same way as a conventional pass or print-out. It should be noted that scanning a barcode directly from a mobile screen accurately and consistently can be a challenge, due to variations in screen/pixel size, screen covering/curvature and ambient lighting. However, scanners for mobile screens are already in use, for example at venues including at the 02 Centre (the former Millennium Dome), and can cost from as little as a few hundred pounds. Risks and challenges As with any medium, marketers need to be aware of the risks and challenges involved in using mobile. Intrusion Mobile marketing can be powerful, but it can also seem intrusive. Even content that is welcome can seem irrelevant and annoying if it is received more than once or at the wrong time. Marketers should be aware of this. One way of mitigating this risk is to allow customers to specify when they would like to receive communications, as with the RAF’s Text Trainer alerts. Scams and spam Handled badly, mobile communication can generate complaints and sour relations between customer and brand. Just over one in 10 mobile users have received text messages from companies without their consent (MMetrics, September 2008). Good practice requires that: • the source of the message is clear • the tone of the message is appropriate (see below for more on language and style)
  • 15. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 14 • opt-out routes are clearly signposted, and • any associated costs are transparent. Age appropriateness Many under-18s have mobile phones, which they use unsupervised. Particular thought must therefore be given to ensuring that content is appropriate for this age group: • orders for goods and services must not be accepted from children under 16 without verifiable and explicit consent from a parent/guardian • marketers must obtain the verifiable and explicit consent of a parent/guardian before collecting personal data from children under 14 for use in targeting commercial communications via mobile • a notice informing children of the requirement for parental consent must be given at the point where personal information is requested, and • the notice should be clear and written in a way the child can easily understand.
  • 16. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 15 Part 2: A practical guide to using mobile This section aims to help content producers and developers/programmers understand what makes mobile different and avoid some common pitfalls. It looks at how mobile’s physical characteristics impact on marketing activity and provides guidance on appropriate language and style before going on to look in more depth at supporting technologies including Bluetooth and internet sites designed for mobile, or WAPsites. Screen size Screens are either small, or very small. As a result, very little information can be displayed on them. As compensation, users tend to view mobiles from about a third of the distance from which they would view a PC screen. For both these reasons, ‘less is more’ is a good basic principle. Most handsets have portrait screens. This will influence the length of words used and the structure of messages, as well as the layout of web pages intended to be viewed on mobile phones. Examples of different screen sizes
  • 17. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 16 The viewing area can also be taken up with soft keys or menu buttons, whose function will change depending on the context. Typically, these buttons will use part of the display to identify their current function. Because of this, they are usually located at the edge of the display, mostly commonly at the bottom of a portrait-oriented screen. They may display the function of a keyboard-style key located adjacent to a screen or be a simulated button or keyboard key that is displayed on a touch screen. Examples of big buttons and ‘soft keys’ Operating systems The marketplace and the technology involved are both highly fluid. For example there are more than 30 operating systems running on handsets in the UK alone, of which nearly 10 are classed as ‘smartphone’ systems such as Apple, BlackBerry, Google/Android and Symbian. New OS releases appear all the time and handsets can be upgraded ‘over the air’. Altogether smartphones represent only 15% of the installed base in the UK (12% in USA + EU combined) mostly due to the high cost and the fact that many citizens are not presently interested in full keyboards or the ability to download applications. However by far the most common language in which applications run is Java, which is available on some 70% of all UK phones (by installed base). Language and style The length of the message is the most obvious constraint on the language and style of mobile communications. Text messages use words alone and most can be no more than 160 characters long. This is very short compared with marketing emails that can convey complex messages and instructions and include images and links to content-rich web pages.
  • 18. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 17 SMS is an informal medium, and this should be reflected in the tone of communications. However, informality should never cloud the message or confuse a call to action. The following guidelines will help create simple, unambiguous messages: • Cut out extraneous words and spacing (no double spaces after punctuation, replace ‘and’ with ‘&’, etc). • Don’t use abbreviations or text speak (‘GR8’, ‘L8R’) unless they actively enhance the campaign. • Using figures rather than spelling out numbers (‘6’, not ‘six’) is accepted practice and will save valuable space. • Place instructions as close to the start of the message as possible. • Give clear unambiguous information on opt-out methods and costs (for example, charges for clicking on links). • Text messages should be no more than 160 characters. Longer messages will be split into two, incurring extra costs. • Where messages are sent direct from a brand or organisation (such as the NHS or RAF) the text ‘originator’ should be no more than 11 characters long. Note reply routes will need to be embedded in the message itself. • Where telephone numbers are presented within a SMS (or a WAPsite) and users are invited to ‘click to call’, numbers should appear without spaces or dashes and must be encoded correctly for the handset type. Warning: Rogue characters may creep into SMS messages and mobile internet sites, especially if you cut and paste from a word processing package. If your campaign is limited to Western markets you should use the GSM 03.38 character set, and for further afield one of the Unicode schemes. Alternatively, a good agency will know which character sets to use to create unspoiled copy. Display advertising Given the limited space offered by even the largest standard banner ads (usually 300 pixels wide by 50 pixels high) words and images must be kept to a minimum while still clearly conveying the message. Adding a phrase like ‘click here’ in small text can help maximise click-throughs. Where a banner ad triggers a click- to-call it must say so explicitly and state clearly how much the call will cost. (It is not currently permissible to link to a premium rate (voice) number.) This advice applies to both advertising copy and any destination internet site that will display on a mobile. The Mobile Marketing Association has produced a set of European mobile advertising guidelines, although not all networks currently follow them. See Appendix 1 for information on how to access the guidelines. Some general points to note are:
  • 19. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 18 • Generally, fonts should be 13 point or bigger. • Some older phones will only show the first frame of an animated GIF, so important information should appear in this frame. • Some mobile networks limit the frames in an animated GIF to three. • Alt-tags should always be present, and must be limited to eight characters. • Given file size limitations, photographs can be difficult to reproduce. • Some networks (including Orange) require copy to include the word ‘ad’. • Other networks (including O2) require the destination site to include a back-link as well as the mobile phone’s soft-key back button. • All mobile networks require the destination site to be WML or XHTML compliant. Case study: Department for Children, Schools and Families These are the three frames of the animated GIF used to advertise the mobile drama Thmbnls, part of the Want Respect? campaign, on mobile network O2: Case study: Enjoy England In this example the client chose to drop images from the smallest banner (served to older or smaller handsets): ‘Two clicks’ Because people are ‘on the go’ when using mobiles, content should always be accessible within two ‘clicks’, whatever the route:
  • 20. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 19 • A direct response or sales promotion call-to-action advertised on radio, TV or outdoor should be split into two stages: o Stage one should provide simple instructions. o At stage two, more detailed information can be received by the mobile user in a ‘bounceback’ text message. • Ideally the call-to-action should ask for a single word (a ‘keyword’) to be texted to a number (typically a shortcode). Further information – such as an email and/or postal address – can then be requested in the auto-reply. Where a call-to-action is advertised in print, the process can be completed in a single step. • Most content on mobile internet sites should be no more than two hyperlinks from the home-page. • In a Bluetooth campaign, no more than two keystrokes should separate the user from the content itself. Bluetooth The first call to action will usually be an invitation to connect. For example, on certain Nokia handsets the invitation message will appear as: ‘Receive message via Bluetooth from [sender]’. Depending on the recipient’s handset, ‘sender’ information will be limited to between eight and 100 characters. The invitation must make sense to whoever receives it, so the first eight characters should be the brand while the next 20 or so clearly explain the invitation. The remaining characters can be used to provide additional information, although this will only be visible to some recipients. Bluetooth can also deliver text messages containing SMS calls to action, ‘clickable’ mobile internet URLs and ‘click to call’ telephone numbers, as well as Java applications, images and videos. These are delivered as HTML or .txt files which can be downloaded to the vast majority of handsets. Files can be up to 999 characters long, but the priority should always be to create a concise, powerful call to action. When delivering video through Bluetooth, the content should include a call-to-action either in the end-frame or at appropriate points throughout the video. Data capture By sending a trigger message to a shortcode, the sender is effectively submitting their phone number, network and (potentially) their location. Active location (initiated by the user) is subject to a simple code of practice covering the advertising of the call-to-action (a copy can be obtained by emailing Passive tracking is more heavily governed by the mobile networks. Under clause 22 of the PECR, details cannot be shared with third parties and users must be given the opportunity to opt out. Best practice is to use a ‘double opt-in’.
  • 21. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 20 Although customer service messages are not considered marketing messages, and so are technically exempt from the need for permission, any marketer wanting to employ best practice should nevertheless ask for explicit opt-in. There are a few exceptions, for example where a bank is pursuing a bad debt. Data appending Data appending happens when two organisations share data in order to create a single, more complete record on one individual. The customer must have given both parties the right to share data with ‘third parties’. See the DMA website at for more information. Opting-out The standard opting-out keyword is ‘stop’. ‘Stop all’ can be used to opt out of all communications from two organisations sharing the same shortcode. ‘[Campaign keyword] stop’ can be used to opt out of a specific campaign while staying opted in to others. Where a message comes from a brand name rather than a number, it should include clearly indicate where stop requests should be sent. Building and designing WAPsites Some mobile phones and devices can handle ordinary websites; most cannot. Even those mobiles that can cope with internet sites will find it easier to handle sites that are tailored to the device. Sites that are designed for mobile in this way are usually called WAPsites. Web searches made on mobile handsets often return links that can either be viewed in part or not at all on some phones. Good practice is to encode websites so that they can detect when a mobile handset is trying to access a URL and recommend a redirect from a .com to a WAPsite. For example, type into a mobile phone and you will be automatically redirected to the WAPsite, This is important in campaigns such as NHS Change4 Life where the call to action appeared on billboards and invited users to search: “Change4Life”, whatever the device. Content must be as accessible as possible as people tend to ‘snack’ on mobile data services. Page views and dwell times are about a quarter of what they would be on a comparable internet website. Most users will also have to scroll using key strokes in order to use the site. The following guidelines will help ensure effective WAPsite interactions: • Key content should be no more than two clicks away. • Portrait display should be the default, with pages not being much more than twice the height of the screen itself. • WAPsite paragraphs should be no more than 500 characters in length. • Copy must be split into digestible chunks.
  • 22. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 21 • Links to further content should be clearly flagged and signposted. • Drop downs, radio buttons and check boxes should be used where possible and appropriate. • Contact details should be gathered in as few stages as possible. However, this does not mean that communications should be designed for the lowest common denominator. Handset recognition software means content and capabilities can be tailored to specific devices, and many mobile phones support some Javascript as well as J2ME. Moreover, not all functions need to be performed on the mobile itself. Many successful mobile services require users to access the web beforehand, for example to register or configure the service in advance. Optimising WAPsites for real devices WAPsites are not websites. A brief glance at the WAPsites of some brands show that this lesson has still not been widely learned. Common errors include HTML rather than XHTML coding, Javascript, fixed size images and lack of page titles. The most obvious solution is to work with an agency which can use handset recognition software and sophisticated content management system to: • identify the screen sizes of particular phones and whether they can support certain file types • adjust image sizes to suit both low- and hi-res phones • create appropriate big buttons and soft keys • manipulate files in other ways, for example by adding digital rights management (DRM) options where needed, and • change download parameters (for example, by suppressing incompatible content). A good agency will maintain a detailed database, updating it as and when new phones are developed, monitor the information they get from manufacturers for inconsistencies and manually test as many handsets as possible. This will help avoid many common pitfalls. For more information, go to practices/a-three-step-guide-usability-mobile-web. Mobile internet sites can use several forms of mark-up language, including XHTML, CHTML, WML and HTML. A phone capabilities database will help determine the most suitable language. Alternatively, users should be allowed to choose their preferred version of the site. For the UK, best practice is to offer sites in WML (for older phones), XHTML (used by the majority) and HTML (for iPhones or similar large-screen devices). The mobile phone is ubiquitous and so inclusive as far as text messaging is concerned, though this is not yet the case with the mobile internet. The mobile internet also poses some problems in terms of accessibility due to the nature of the small screen and fiddly keypad. While some phones offer support of user-
  • 23. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 22 controlled scalable fonts most do not and it is very difficult to deliver a good product for the partially sighted. Trying to serve HTML and Flash to many phones will create a bad user experience and make some sites inaccessible. Instead consider a minimum of two presentation layers, as Directgov does, and serve both WML and XHTML. If budget allows you might consider up to seven presentation layers, accessing the same core content, and serve cut-down HTML/Javascript as well as Flashlite and indeed broadband assets for those citizens accessing the mobile internet through wifi. WAPsite data handling When users access a WAPsite (including by clicking on a link in a text message), or download a ringtone or other piece of content, their handset details will be captured. Marketers must handle this data responsibly to minimise intrusion and stay within the law. A well-designed WAPsite will capture data in the smallest number of the simplest possible steps. Entering data on a handset can be fiddly, so time-saving techniques are important: • Pre-tick the main opt-in box. The tick must be clearly visible. The ‘third party’ opt-in box should stay blank until ticked. • ‘Normal’ format numbers. Ideally, people should not need to add the country code to their mobile phone number. Mobile numbers are only truly unique when they include the country code, but it is unlikely that many foreigners will attempt to provide their numbers. • Provide examples. If foreign mobile users are likely to respond, provide an example showing a mobile phone number in international format. • Auto-fill addresses. Ask for a house number and postcode, then use the Post Office Address File (PAF) to fill in the rest of the address. • Default to numbers or letters. Data boxes can be set to receive numbers or letters as default. • Keep it simple. Limit the use of technologies such as Javascript. WAP pushes and embedded links URLS for internet sites can either be: • encoded in an automated reply to a text message sent in response to a shortcode call-to-action (for example send BUNDLE to 33590), or • embedded in a standard SMS text message. Sending the link in both formats will maximise responses, as some phones only recognise one.
  • 24. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 23 Warning: A WAP push message should not be sent on its own as it will not be possible to identify the sender or give clear notification of content. WAPsite messages initiated in response must be less than 90 characters long, including the 40 characters needed for the URL (irrespective of its visual length). These URLs are often made trackable so that the response and the individual can be matched up. Some handsets will mask the URL, but there must still be space for the link: Title: MARINES Body: Get inside our heads, When a trackable WAP URL appears in a standard SMS text message, the URL will take up to 40 characters, leaving just 120 for the rest of the message: Originator: MARINES Body: Get inside our heads with emails, vids + downloads from the Marines. Click Std data chgs. Optout txt MARINE STOP to 62233 WAPsite standards The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) best practice guidelines (see Appendix 2) for mobile internet sites are aimed primarily at the creators, maintainers and operators of WAPsites. The guidelines assume familiarity with web technology, though not necessarily with mobile technology. The guidance covers good XHTML and use of cascading style sheets as well as how mobile phones handle specific types of content such as tables. However, the rapid evolution of handset hardware means there will inevitably be many exceptions, and comprehensive testing is essential. W3C is planning a number of other projects including MobileOK, a set of machine-readable labels that can be applied to content to show that it has passed tests based on the guidelines. Other relevant guidelines1 include those developed by Google. Security and privacy The potential for invading people’s privacy and contacting them at inappropriate times is far greater with mobile than email and extreme care should be taken. This includes checking the ownership of mobile numbers. 1
  • 25. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 24 Information security The Information Commissioner has determined that a mobile number counts as personal data. All eight principles of the Data Protection Act therefore apply to even the simplest mobile marketing campaign. If data is collected, procedures must be put in place to limit unauthorised access. Always ask suppliers for a copy of their information security policy and seek advice from a security colleague. By sending a trigger message to a shortcode, the sender is submitting their phone number, network and (potentially) their location through what is often described as the ‘soft opt-in’. Under clause 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, details collected in this manner cannot be shared with third parties and users must be given the opportunity to opt-out. A ‘double opt-in’ is required in order to sell data to third parties and is also sometimes considered ‘best practice’ for collection of data by the primary party. Although customer service messages are not considered marketing messages, and so are technically exempt from the need for permission, any marketer wanting to employ best practice should nevertheless ask for explicit opt-in. There are a few exceptions, for example where a bank is pursuing a bad debt or a court chasing a fine or non-appearance. Cyberbullying Mobile carries a significant risk of cyberbullying. Mobile numbers typed into web forms should always be validated, so that people cannot be signed up without their knowledge and permission. When signing up by SMS text, the mobile number used cannot be masked. This can be used for validation. Numbers can be validated by immediately sending a text message asking the mobile phone owner for a double opt-in. Legitimate users can continue by replying ‘yes’. Alternatively, a code can be sent to the mobile and the user asked to type it into the website to confirm ownership of the mobile phone. Warning: In forms where the mobile number is pre-filled, this field should not be editable. Otherwise, there is a risk that it could be altered accidentally or that someone else’s number could be entered maliciously, leading to unwanted contact or even cyberbullying. Testing There is no standard testing format at present, though it is hoped that this will come in time. In the meantime it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Given the extraordinary variety of mobile devices on the market, sites need to be tested and validated against as many handset scenarios as possible. ‘Virtual’ tests offer an efficient and cost-effective alternative to using actual mobile phones.
  • 26. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 25 A suite of second-hand mobile phones should be purchased for testing purposes from online auction websites or a third party developer selected with a test ‘laboratory’. A suite of approximately 30 handsets represents a good test, as long as these include at least one of every make, all the main operating systems (native and smart), a range of screen sizes and different user input methods e.g. touch-screen vs partial and full keyboard. It is easy to forget that the different operating systems and input methods can invalidate some types of hyperlink and other controls such as checkboxes and drop-downs. Desktop browsers Downloadable add-ons enable Firefox and other browsers to show how layouts would appear on a typical mobile handset through ‘small screen rendering’. However, they cannot emulate the device interface. Instead, testers use their PC mouse and keyboard. Firefox offers a further add-on, the user agent switcher, which can switch quickly and efficiently between different screen sizes. While this is useful, the switcher cannot completely replicate the mobile experience. It is also incompatible with some of the mobile content that can be downloaded from a WAPsite. Web-based emulators Emulators recreate specific handset experiences (including positions and actions of soft keys) via web browsers. They are often supplied by manufacturers to facilitate development work. Although they offer a good simulation, switching between different emulators to test on ‘different’ handsets can be awkward and time consuming. Some require users to subscribe. Two web-based emulators are available at and Desktop emulators Desktop software can also emulate specific browsers and devices. However, downloading, updating and switching software to allow for ongoing 'testing’ of various handsets can be complicated and time-consuming. Among the most popular are the Nokia Mobile Browser simulator and the SmartPhone Emulator Developer edition. Emulators are also available for the Apple iPhone (for example, the iPhoney (Mac only) available from Orange offers advertisers the chance to test their content at its development centres.2 2
  • 27. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 26 Other resources (also available as a mobile site) is the world’s largest independent mobile development community. Sections cover design and the development of applications as well as WAPsites, and the site features links to other resources for developers, including testing. Alternatively, documents can be passed through W3C’s Validator, just as would normally be done with an internet website. This will resolve common errors in mobile web coding and is strongly recommended. The Validator can be found at Analytics Few if any web analytics packages are genuinely compatible with mobile, partly because of the problem of identifying unique users. For information and guidance, contact COI or a mobile marketing and advertising agency. Measuring results As with any marketing exercise, it is important to start out with a clear idea of how you plan to measure success so you can capture the necessary data as you go along. The following tips will help you measure the effectiveness of mobile communications: • For direct response campaigns via SMS, using different keywords for different media and different creative executions will make it easy to evaluate what worked best by simply counting the number of text messages that start with a particular keyword. • When utilising the click-to-call feature from within a text message or on a WAPsite page, include a phone number that is not being used for any other medium so calls can be properly ascribed to the mobile element of the campaign. • If call-centre software can capture the unique identifier of the device making the call, this can be matched back to the mobile number used to send the initial text message. Otherwise call-handlers should be briefed to ask for mobile numbers. • Use a mobile rather than a web analytics package to measure unique users. IP addresses are not unique to a particular handset. • Since many older handsets do not pass on a referral address when browsing, ensure that landing pages have unique URLs and links in text messages are unique to each recipient so they are trackable.
  • 28. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 27 Appendices Appendix 1: Part 1 resources Marketing and market information Direct Marketing Association: - Mobile Council: - Help notes: - FAQs: - Best practice guidelines (including Bluetooth): Practice.asp Institute of Direct Marketing: Mobile Data Association: / Mobile Marketing Association: - - Internet Advertising Bureau: Mobile Marketing magazine: or on your mobile phone Mobi Ad News: Go Mo News: MMetrics: Media Cells: Government and regulatory Project Nomad: PhonepayPlus (premium rate regulator, formerly ICSTIS):
  • 29. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 28 Appendix 2: Part 2 resources Usability guidelines.shtml Language and style Directgov has probably written more pages for mobile than almost anyone else, except maybe the portal editors of the mobile networks themselves. Head of mobile at Directgov is, alternatively contact for advice. Standards Testing centres.jsp
  • 30. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 29 Appendix 3: Glossary Term Definition Bluetooth Short-range (1-100m) radio technology allowing transfer of content between two mobile phones or a mobile and a fixed point such as a PC. Often used to create a wireless connection between a mobile phone and earpiece. Java (or J2ME) Platform for developing software for mobile devices. Brew is a US alternative. Some phones, such as the Apple iPhone, use their own proprietary technology based on Linux. MMS Extension of the SMS standard developed by OMA. Includes multimedia objects (images, audio, video, rich text) and requires a WAP connection. Short Message Service (SMS) Communications protocol first defined in 1985 by GSM allowing the interchange of short textual messages between mobile telephone devices. SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application on the planet. Text message See SMS WAP Wireless Application Protocol. Open standard which allows the internet to be accessed from a mobile phone. Mobile internet sites are sometimes called WAPsites. WAP push Type of text message providing a link or bookmark to a specific page or piece of content on the mobile internet. A WAP push contains a URL, alongside other instructions to the mobile phone, and will be encoded as a binary message rather like a vCard (a mobile contact record). WAPsite Mobile internet site written in WML, XHTML, CHTML etc and so compatible with mobile phones. XHTML (WAP 2.0) The most common mark-up language associated with WAP. Replaces WML.
  • 31. Managing mobile marketing and advertising campaigns 30 About the authors David Pullinger, COI Head of Digital Policy David’s job is to help others improve public sector online by making best use of the relevant policies and standards. Before joining COI, he spent several years as Head of New Media at the then Department for Education and Skills and before that as Deputy Director of Communications at the Office of National Statistics. David’s PhD in human-computer interaction ensures that his approach to policy is grounded in a real understanding of how people actually engage with digital media. Franco Beschizza, COI Interactive Digital Marketing Franco is Team Head of COI Interactive Digital Marketing, and is responsible for both mobile and web 2.0 services. He spends much of his time shaping industry best practice and looking at ways of measuring ROI, as well as optimising the digital media used in various COI campaigns including ‘Talk to Frank’, ‘RUThinking’ and ‘Playingsafely’. Franco has 15 years’ experience in internet marketing and communications and is regularly called on to speak at industry events and sit on bodies including the Direct Marketing Association. Jonathan Bass, Managing Director, Incentivated Limited Jonathan is founder and managing director of mobile marketing and advertising agency Incentivated as well as deputy chair of the Direct Marketing Association’s Mobile Council and a member and trainer of the Institute of Direct Marketing. Formerly UK Chair of the Mobile Marketing Association, Jonathan has been working in mobile marketing for seven years, and has been involved with a number of the projects mentioned in the case studies throughout this document.