Interview to Orazio Granato, A-Tono Managing Director, company specialized in multimedia interactive digital marketing and protagonist of the new trends of the sector, presented on the occasion of the seminar “Non-Conventional Marketing” of the International Institute of Research.
Mobile Marketing: why are companies adopting this tool more and more?
Within the Italian media panorama, multichannel relationship marketing seems to have finally come out of its pioneering phase, and the adoption of innovative and digital advertising tools, on behalf of companies, among which the mobile, is ever-increasing.
This phenomenon fundamentally occurs due to two factors: on the one hand, users are always bombarded and distracted by “generalist” and traditional messages and advertising, that we could define as broadcasting type; on the other hand, we are dealing with different kinds of users who, with priority, use several means of communication based on their own needs, abilities, relationships, moments of the day, etc.
Based on these two considerations is the necessity of companies to reach their clients and be recognized by them. The best advertising form is targeted, direct and “tailored”, which allows companies to communicate with a direct channel and the same language of their target or targets.
In this context, the mobile phone and internet become more and more privileged, familiar, calibrated advertising on the demands of each company, massively chosen by users and, subsequently, by companies to reach, always and anywhere a vast part of the population, that goes from adolescents to 45 year olds and over, in a flexible, dynamic and customised way.
Therefore the passwords are, advertise AnyTime, AnyWhere, AnyHow to a user that shows the desire to integrate and not passively absorb a message, but to be an active protagonist, at the center of his/her own Brand world.
Advantages and disadvantages of Mobile Marketing
A-Tono creates multichannel digital marketing campaigns so each tool, based on its characteristics, carries out different roles within the same campaign, and this allows not only to reach differentiated targets, but also to satisfy the demands of the same client in different moments. The phone, both fixed and mobile, is an ideal channel to create the first contact with the possible target, through a simple tool, through a simple and economic request of integration. The mobile, in particular, is a tool that today accompanies users nearly everywhere and always, a tool with penetration greater than 100% in the Italian population. The mobile today is no longer a ‘phone to make calls’, but also a music player, a digital camera, a news and personal information archive: a privileged tool that users use to acquaint themselves with the outside world. Internet, instead, represents a good channel to go one step ahead and draw the profile of the users with the purpose of customer retention and advanced relationship management, using it for ‘cocooning’ operations made to contact the consumer more times during the year with short advertising messages, but aimed at creating a memory and amplifying awareness also thanks to the ‘Viral Marketing’ engine.
In reality, the mobile phone has got what it takes to replace the Internet in the near future, also in the most articulated interaction phases with users, thanks to the development of applications or thanks to the use of interactive video portals. So far, though, it is necessary to acknowledge that the user experience on the mobile still remains decisively different from that of the web.
Certainly two advantages associate digital channels and Mobile Marketing compared to means of traditional marketing, besides the anywhere and always reachability of the target and to the access availability almost ‘tailor made’ on the characteristics of the users, are – on the company side – the optimization of the contact-costs, that favours the instauration of a continuous relationship, and an elevated measurability of the project performances.
How does the collaboration with Palermo Calcio come into being?
Palermo Calcio had the necessity to create a continuous and direct line with its fans, that could have been complementary to the link established on the web, that allowed the society to communicate in an easy and fast style and that would give its fans the opportunity to live in the world of their favourite team actively participating in initiatives and contests, interacting with the society, customising their own mobile with the Palermo Brand.
The collaboration with A-Tono opened a vast panorama of ideas and opportunities to Palermo Calcio to stimulate and maintain the relationship with the fan/client, a relationship that with time consolidated itself by renewing its own language and communication channels to keep up with the times and to satisfy the changing demands of a target the requires more and more to come out of the dark and become an active protagonist in the relationship with the brand.
Multimedia Relationship Marketing campaigns: an example?
A very successful case history in 2006 was that implemented with THUN, the leader company in gift items from Alto Adige, that is typical of the will of a company to enter the world of its clients in a simple and direct way, through a Mobile Based campaign with the purpose to create a ‘Nice Community for THUN friends’.
This activity, the first of a long series, based itself on the creation of an Instant Win contest to which the THUN clients could participate through SMS, IVR or WEB according to their own needs/characteristics and according to their own familiarity with the access tool.
The objective to reach was double, of short and long term period: on the one hand the sales increase and traffic in the sales points, on the other hand – in strategic terms – the creation of a profiled users database naturally permission-based, that is, consenting, better, happy to receive on their own mobile nice and exclusive information, news and gadgets directly from the THUN world.
All this has allowed THUN to enter and take part of the lives of its clients, to establish with them a direct contact, to obtain a users profiled database where to create groups for subsequent personalized advertising, to give a tangible service to the final consumer that is not only publicity, to have an easy and low cost advertising tool, to involve trade and make it the true ambassador of its own project. Given its success, we can anticipate that soon there will be some nice novelties.
Could you illustrate the main steps of your methodology?
The A-tono method is simple, but effective and above all it moulds itself on the basis of relationship needs that our clients have towards their own targets.
The first phase is that of ‘first-contact’, that usually coincides with the purchase of a product – but nothing impedes the first contact to occur in a location or in another totally transversal situation: the client participates in a contest sending a code through one of the tools available (Mobile, Telephone Fixed phone and WEB). Sending also the profile data requested and giving consent to use this data (activity called optin), the client enters to be part of a community or subscribes to a service of interest linked to the brand. As a welcome gift he/she receives a Digital Gadget, better if branded, that can personalize his/her mobile and image.
This way the client enters to be part of a group and the company acquires or enhances its own CRM file.
The following step is ‘cocooning’, where the company has to keep the relationship lively within the group communicating with the community and stimulating it to carry out actions. The consumer, feeling strong of the relationship established with the company, repeats the purchase and becomes part of a higher membership level. To reward him/her the company gives new digital service gifts, probably elaborated on the demands of the client.
This way the consumer becomes faithful and supplies further information that allows to enhance the database.
The A-Tono approach is never a tactic or an end in itself, but it moves along a strategic axis, exploiting all the digital media potentials, the accuracy of the marketing permission techniques, the effectiveness of the procedures and the creativity of the operations of integrated promo-advertising. It is always about middle-long period operations, that in a brief period however set out tactic goals to increase sales and traffic in sales points, while, afterwards the work will be on the brand consolidation and the fostering of costumer loyalty.