AT&T, Vehicle and DMA’s Mobile & Digital Community Deliver Mobile Insights

Out of the ballpark penetration.

That’s just one of many ways you could describe video personalization penetration, based on a DMA webinar this week.

SMS and MMS messaging is scoring a 98% open rate and a 98% reach rate TwitterLogo_#55acee, according to research from Epsilon. Given that consumers are spreading a growing amount of their time on their smartphones, it’s becoming an increasingly attractive target for video personalization.

“Smartphone penetration is now reaching in the 90% range, and consumers are spending 2 hours a day interacting with web and app content on their mobile phones TwitterLogo_#55acee,” said Matt Ramerman, President of Vehicle, a video personalization and mobile engagement platform. “Our consumers are interacting with whatever communication that we’re sending, whether it’s email or web content, it’s happening first and foremost on their mobile device.”

In the DMA webinar “The Power of Video Personalization & Mobile” hosted by DMA’s new Mobile & Digital Community, Ramerman joined Sue Rosen of AT&T Wireless to discuss personal, 1-to-1 content delivered to mobile devices via SMS and MMS. Rosen, the Lead Manager of Marketing Communications, Analytics, Insights & Targeted Marketing for the wireless giant, shared case studies of the personalized campaigns run by her team in partnership with Vehicle. Here are some tips Ramerman and Rosen shared with members of DMA’s Mobile & Digital Community:

1. Content Options Galore

MMS is an extension of the SMS/Text inbox and can push longer text messages (more than the 160 characters SMS that limits SMS), audio clips, coupons, images, GIFs and video clips. “MMS is a really powerful delivery channel that can enable a wide range of rich media content to be pushed directly to the consumer’s mobile device,” said Ramerman, talking about the various content options through MMS. “All of this rich content can be dynamically rendered for the individual.”

2. Mobile Provides an Attentive Audience

While mobile has reached wide-ranging penetration, and a strong number of users are accessing content solely via mobile (currently at 18% and growing), the channel also provides a unique degree of intimacy. “Why is this channel so powerful?” asked Ramerman. “In my own behavior, I am never separated from my mobile device. The way we view content on our mobile is vastly different from how we view on TV or desktop.”

With consumers having intimate and close interactions with our devices, they are less likely to be distracted from content view on that device. This provides a uniquely powerful moment to interact with the target consumer.

3. Mobile Messages Can Educate

In presenting a case study of how AT&T uses mobile personalization, Rosen showed a video sent to new AT&T customers. In addition to addressing the customer by their first name, it also walked through what the customer should expect to receive in their first bill, their typical billing cycle and the fees they should expect. Within the MMS, there are also options for closed-captioning and a Spanish-language translation.

When providing relevant and tailored information, brands form a trusted connection with their customers. “The message shows appreciation, but it also gave them help where they can go onward,” explained Rosen. “So it’s not just the one message, it gives them resources to go to next. There are also different click-throughs within the MMS where they can click to get more help.”

4. Expectations Are Transforming

Talking through the current consumer landscape, Ramerman said that the expectations of consumers are shifting in response to new marketing strategies and technologies. “Brands are in the process of reshaping consumer expectations,” said Ramerman. “By proactively pushing relevant information directly to the consumer, as opposed to adapting content that consumers are logging into mobile and apps, they’re changing that around and actually pushing that content out to users.”

5. Personalized Mobile Messages Work

Elaborating on the “first bill” case study, Rosen touted the high marks the campaign has received from customers. “This one campaign has grown to be the number one save strategy in our unit,” said Rosen. “When following up with customers, three out of four customers recall it three months later, which is one of the highest marks we get with any communication. When we ask customers if it helped, it is also the highest ranks we get. So we’re very proud of this one.”

Consumers across many of Vehicle’s clients are reacting well to the personalized ads, according to Ramerman, who was asked if consumers are objecting to personalizations. “We measure opt-out rates when we’re pushing over MMS and also we record people who do literal replies,” said Ramerman. “Opt-outs with personalized content are low and in those responses you see very few objections. When we launched this product we had fears that there was a line that we were going to cross by being too familiar, but I think that the balance there really has to do with the type of relationship that your consumer has with your brand.”

In fact, consumers have become accustomed to the personalization. “When we’ve had more problems is where we’ve gone less personal,” Rosen added.

To view Ramerman and Rosen’s full presentation, click here. Be sure to join DMA’s Mobile & Digital Community for more updates and insights from the field’s leading marketing innovators!