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How Old School Marketing Supports New School Marketing
By: Elaine Reed
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Mobile Marketing has been on the radar for a while now, with Marketers trying to figure out the best way to make it work for their products. Whether it is advertising on mobile networks, developing a mobile site or creating a full-blown app, the possibilities are wide and often expensive.  So how does a marketer on a shoe-string budget get started? Look at ScoutMob.

ScoutMob, founded in Atlanta in 2009, pushes out city specific deals every day. Unlike Groupon and Living Social, ScoutMob users do not have to pay for a deal up front, nor do they have to snap them up the day they are offered. Essentially, ScoutMob offers coupons to local restaurants and retailers.  The original model worked liked this: Atlantans registered their email address at ScoutMob.com and were added to the daily email list. If they were interested in an offer they clicked the “get it free” button and entered their cell phone number. The deal was sent via text to the user’s mobile phone. When they got to the store or restaurant, they simply showed their text message to redeem the offer.

Since redemption was via cell phone, it only makes sense that a mobile app was not far behind. Initially, iPhone users were able to download the app, and use it to redeem offers, rather than following the two-step process via email. Eventually the app was rolled out to Android and then Blackberry users. The app has special “app only” deals. But how does a company that found success with email transition to mobile? Through email, of course.

Once upon a time, the ScoutMob emails held a bit of a similarity to the deal-a-day websites: it had just one offer. Today, the daily email usually has four offers: three app only offers with links to the download pages, and then way at the bottom, the fourth offer, which can be accepted through the original process. The concept is working. In fact, it’s working so well, that ScoutMob had to develop a version for BlackBerry, when the original intention was just to develop iPhone and Android apps.

The amazing part of the story is that ScoutMob is not seeing a deluge of unsubscribes on their email lists now that the apps are going strong. The content they provide in their messages is so entertaining that people look forward to the messages. They also offer great content through the app, but there are enough differences that people like having both.

When the time comes for you to develop your own mobile strategy remember this: whatever you develop has to be useful for your customers, it has to have great content and you can get people to be devoted users through that tried and true tool: email.

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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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