Mobile Marketing the DIY Way

David Murphy

US company Mobile Visions has announced the launch of Mobivity, which it says is the first fully automated, do-it-yourself mobile marketing system in the US, enabling businesses of any size to set up two-way interactive mobile marketing campaigns online, in minutes. Marketers can create a keyword on a 5-digit shortcode, and configure their campaigns through a simple web-based dashboard.
The company points out that Mobivity is not a bulk text message sending service. The spam-free service ensures that the mobile phone owner has opted-in. To be put on a list, the mobile phone must send a text message with the business's keyword to the shortcode. Customers are encouraged to opt-in through the use of txt2win contests, voting, coupons, and specials, or by providing information via text message.
For example, says Mobile Visions, a restaurant can easily set up a contest to give away a free entre in just a few minutes. They can then send a text message to their list when they are having a slow night, offering a coupon or special offer for that evening only.
"The possibilities are endless," says CEO, Greg Harris. "Mobivity provides a public access cable TV. show with the same text message voting abilities that American Idol has. We give a local restaurant the same ability to reach the consumer as Starbucks at a fraction of the cost."
Currently, says Mobile Visions, the barrier to entry for the small to mid-sized business is too high to provide a good return on investment. The business has to work with mobile marketing agencies, or deal with the wireless carriers and aggregators to do simple interactive campaigns. The cost in terms of setup is thousands of dollars, and weeks of time, it says.
Harris says he recently read about a tanning salon that ran a campaign that cost over $10,000 (5,000).  "The same campaign using Mobivity would cost only $79, and could have been set up in minutes" says Harris. 
Using the open API, businesses and content providers can send any content to a mobile phone. Mobivity can be easily integrated in to existing systems, for dynamic real time content delivery. There are no contracts, and the service is billed on a month to month basis. A free trial is available on the Mobivity website.