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How to go Mobile - Part 4

David Murphy

In the final part of his series on creating mobile marketing campaigns, Anders Hansson, Senior Mobile Marketing Expert at IntelliTech Software AB, looks at alternatives to SMS, and Digital Rights Management   

AhanssonIn this last article, we will finish our exposition of practical mobile marketing by looking at an alternative way to include mobile content in an SMS message. We will also look at  how users unsubscribe from mobile services, and learn how to protect content so that it is not spread in an uncontrolled way. We will also take a short look at multimedia messaging and a promising language called SMIL that is used to create slide shows and presentations in the mobile.
As in the three previous articles, I will describes techniques that work on the largest number of mobile phones and explain how to implement the different mobile marketing ideas we discuss using the open mobile marketing platform InfoNU.

The two flavours of SMS messaging

The normal way to distribute content to mobile phones is to send an SMS message that contains a few words of text and a clickable link. The consumer receives the SMS message, opens it, and if interested, selects the link, which downloads the content to the mobile phone. This type of SMS message (with a text and a selectable link that optionally can be followed) is called a Service Indication message or an SI message.
Sometimes, we want to send content directly, without any text in the SMS message. This is possible with another type of SMS message called a Service Load message or SL message. An SL message only contains the link, and most mobile phones display SL messages just like ordinary SI or plain text SMS messages. When the message is opened, the content pointed to by the link is immediately downloaded and rendered in the mobile.
To send an SL message with InfoNU, leave the text field empty in the SMS message. If any text is written in the SMS message, the message is sent as an SI message.

How to unsubscribe from a mobile service

Even if we deliver the worlds best mobile information service, a
consumers lifestyle might change and make our service unwanted. The
Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) recommends in its Code of Conduct
for Mobile Marketing that:

Consumers must also be allowed to easily terminate - opt-out - their
participation in an ongoing mobile messaging program through channels
identical to those through which they can opt-in to a given program.

The simplest way to enable people to end the participation in a mobile
service is to unsubscribe via SMS by sending the word STOP followed by
the name of the service. To simplify unsubscribing, include text
similar to the following: To unsubscribe, text STOP SUPERTICKETS to
+44 77 86 202 988. Use the text in SMS messages, pushed WAP pages, in
Java services, web pages, and in printed material.

In InfoNU, consumers who have unsubscribed to a service by sending an
SMS message will have their user type changed to Unsubscribers and a
timestamp is stored in the Statistics log. To view the log, select
Reports in the Intranet Home menu, and click on Get Details.

Digital Rights Management

One of the best things about mobile is that it is incredibly easy to
share pictures, messages and mobile content with friends. A user can
quickly forward an image received in a message. Sometimes this is
supported and even encouraged for viral marketing purposes. But
sometimes, we want to be certain that content sent to a mobile phone is
not forwarded to other phones, which is where DRM (Digital Rights
Management) comes in.

The purpose of DRM is to protect content by preventing it from being
forwarded to other users. There are several different modes of DRM
protection available, ranging from the simple to the complex. Some
phones do not support all modes. The method supported by most handsets
is called forward-locking protection. Forward-locking means that rights
and content is packaged into one single file, and that the content in
the file is protected from being copied out from the device.

Sony Ericsson Corporation is kind enough to provide a free tool called
DRM Packager that helps us put DRM on files. To protect a file like a
.jpg image or a Java game, start DRM Packager, add the file you want to
protect and simply click on Create DRM Content. The Sony-Ericsson DRM
Packager tool is available here.

The resulting file ends with .dm and this file can be uploaded to your
InfoNU account or distributed in other ways. By distributing the .dm
file instead of the original file, we can be sure that the content is
not forwarded to other mobile phones.

Multimedia messaging and SMIL

Multimedia (or MMS) messages can, unlike SMS messages, convey
information in an interactive way. The most interesting part of MMS is
a language called Synchronization Multimedia Integration Language or
SMIL. SMIL is a simple and powerful language for specifying how and
when content renders on a mobile phone.

MMS messages are sent using SMIL as the presentation language. SMIL
describes at what time, and in which place, in relation to other parts
of the message,  one part of the message is displayed. The following
example illustrates the language:















For images, use JPEG with JFIF exchange format, GIF87a, GIF89a, and WBMP images with a size of 160 x 120. To simplify the creation of SMIL messages, download the Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit (NMIT) available here.

Mobile Marketing  - a summary

Together the methods we have covered in this series form a toolbox of
mobile marketing techniques that can be implemented by big, medium
sized and even very small companies. In our mobile marketing toolbox,
we have:

1.Permission marketing with the help of SMS signup and SMS unsubscribe.
Signup and unsubscribe can be simplified even further with the use of
shortcodes instead of ordinary telephone numbers.

2. Automatic replies, where an image, a video clip or a price list is
immediately sent back to a person who signs up for a mobile service.

3. SMS marketing, with personalised alerts and mobile coupons.

4. Mobile content push, where banners, music and video content is pushed to phones.

5. Single WAP or mobile web page push, when we want to publish
newsletters, our latest offers, price lists and general information.

6. Java/InfoNU services that give the user a dedicated icon for the service, just like the

Phones built in address book or calendar, for quick access to our
brand, a free marketing channel and a possibility to create
feature-rich and brand-building mobile applications like mobile
community services.

We have covered many mobile marketing techniques in this series, but
still only scratched the surface of this new and fascinating field. If
you have any questions or comments, email me at anders@intellitech.se
I am also available on skype at andersatintellitech. Happy mobile marketing!

Anders Hansson is with IntelliTech Software AB, a mobile software
development firm. The company offers consulting services for customers
like Ericsson, Symbian, Sony-Ericsson and several European mobile
operators. The company develops the open mobile marketing platform InfoNU.