Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Selling Mobile

The process of selling mobile is often challenging.

I'm absolutely confident that mobile will become a significant part of the overall marketing mix, and it will happen very fast. However, getting that message across to potential clients is sometimes difficult.

Several times I've pitched to a junior or intermediate member of a corporate marketing department. These folks are usually interested, but then share with me their challenges of selling the concept to a board of directors who are in their 70s, and have never sent or received a text message in their life.

Most advertising agencies I've pitched to were keen. But they face their own challenges selling the concept to their clients. Agencies also have to be cautious spending their clients money on untried concepts.

One media director that I met was seriously negative on mobile. He said it might work, one day, in the distant future. In the meantime he was content to just wait and see. Certainly not the type of forward thinking that I would expect from an agency media director.

So what does it take to convince these folks? Or to help them convince their clients? My answer to that is a simple demonstration. Anybody offering bulk text services can configure their system for demonstrations. Imagine this situation: you're in a corporate board room, trying to explain how big mobile will become in the next 18 months. You ask all people to get their phones out of their pockets and text DEMO to whatever shortcode you are using. They all instantly get your previously-prepared, customized return message in their text in-boxes.

If they don't have phones, or don't have text messaging, then do the demo on your own phone. Or better yet, let them do the demo on your phone.

Nothing sells better than a little hands-on demonstration. It works for me. Let me know if it works for you.


  1. Steve, curious about the audience you're pitching to. Anyone with interactive marketing experience (e.g. email marketing, online marketing), or are they direct marketers and brand marketers?

  2. It varies from place to place, although it seems that most agencies refer me to either a media director (see my post below: Mobile, is it just a new Media?), or an interactive manager.

    Mobile is more than just a new media. And it's not just an extension of e/online marketing. Mobile is another piece of the overall marketing mix, and I try to recommend to agencies and marketing departments that they encourage all their staff to attend my presentations.

    To answer your question directly - yes I have pitched to emarketing and interactive types.