Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pitching the Mobile Storyline to the Studio Exec

My fellow Product Managers and I recently met to brainstorm ideas on how we could accelerate innovation within ours organization. Over the course of the discussions, we realized that there are amazing parallels between producing a product and producing a movie. In our company, the Product Management Team meets with the Executive Team on a monthly basis to review key product initiatives for the company. The executives are the ones who review and approve the commitment of resources to bring a product to market.

Pitching an idea for a movie is an experience similar to ours. A good movie is all about the story. Whether an idea for a movie gets approval or not depends on how well you can tell that story within the first few minutes to a studio executive. Even if the actual plot is complex with convoluted twists and turns, the story about the story has to be concise and it has to be compelling.

So - in three sentenses or less - what's the story for SMS marketing?

This is what we came up with: You're a marketer and you're already engaged with your customers through your existing marketing mix. Your prospects and customers are holding your brand message and calls to action in their long term memory. An SMS message at the right time brings an instantaneous connection with your brand, pulling your brand and call to action out from memory into the here and now.

Here's a simple plotline: You're a national retailer and it's that time of the year to jumpstart your sagging sales with special promotions to bring traffic to your stores. Your marketing mix includes TV, radio, newspaper, email, direct mail, search, and your web site promoting your call to action. "Sale starts this Saturday at 9AM! Come in for discounts between 30% and 70% on all items." People have seen your TV and newspaper ads, heard your radio ads, and read your email alerts at one point or another during the week. It's now Saturday morning. Peoples' awareness are focused on the here and now, "it's the weekend, "what's for breakfast", "what's a fun thing to do today?" Bing! A reminder about the sale sent via SMS on Saturday morning brings instantaneous recollection and connection with your call to action that you spent the whole week building awareness for.

Every movie has a tag line, too: "A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," "Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water."

What's the tagline for SMS marketing?

"Add instant energy to your marketing mix"

What one-word keyword(s) best summarizes SMS marketing?
1. NOW
2. Impulse
3. Anywhere

What's your take on our story? Do you have a better one? How would you tell your version of the story in three sentenses or less? What's your tag line? What one-word keyword do you believe best summarizes SMS marketing? Post your comments!

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