Online: Reports From the Media Frontiers

Wireless
Champ Scores With Wireless
by Amy Corr, amy@mediapost.com

It’s no secret that the United States lags behind Europe and Japan when it comes to wireless platforms — especially when they're used as an advertising medium. Large brands are now incorporating wireless advertising into their media plans in conjunction with traditional advertising buys.

One wireless company in particular, Avesair, has experienced a growth spurt in the number of wireless campaigns launched throughout its network. Here's a look at some recent campaigns.

Avesair, which acquired fellow wireless provider WindWire back in February, organized a weeklong campaign for Champs Sports in November. The campaign promoted the opening of a Champs Sports store in Times Square. Rubin Hanan, VP of marketing at Champs Sports, says the campaign was cost-effective and complemented the additional forms of advertising (radio and newspaper) that Champs did for the launch. The campaign was geo-targeted to the New York area, and ads were served strictly to cell phones. PDA devices were scratched from the campaign because the target audience of 12-to-24-year-olds is less likely to own them. Hanan says the campaign was not an aggressive one, with the goal being to drive store traffic. No incentives were offered in the ads served, and the final CTR from the campaign was 3.7%, a percentage that Jane Foreman, VP of marketing at Avesair, says rivals that of the CTRs that online marketers are dealing with. Hanan says that this was Champs' first wireless ad buy, and that judging from the positive response, Champs would consider similar campaigns for other promotional events.

Most campaigns are a month long; some even last for a full year, with Champs' weeklong campaign being an example of a campaign launched in a time-sensitive fashion.

FTD is another example of a time-sensitive campaigns running with Avesair. FTD's first campaign ran during the holiday season from December 16 to 25, with a 10% discount offered on all FTD.com flowers and gifts. The second campaign, scheduled for February 1 to 14, will target — what else? — those buying Valentine's Day gifts for his or her special someone.

Avesair's network of sites usually has eight to 10 campaigns running concurrently, and its list of big-brand advertisers includes American Express, Citibank, Mercedes, and FTD. MSN, Weatherbug, Hollywood.com, and The Sporting News are a few of the 50 sites in the network.

CRM
Small Businesses Wary of CRM
by Amy Corr, amyc@mediapost.com

A Gartner study on CRM has found that small businesses — consisting of 50 to 100 employees — have been slow to adopt CRM.

The main reason is a lack of awareness that CRM can be a business strategy for small businesses, based on the assumption that CRM solutions are made only for large corporations. The survey found that only an estimated 2% to 3% of North American small businesses are using CRM solutions, and that 50% of CRM application vendors are focusing their attention on the small business sector. What are small businesses looking for in their CRM solution? A product that is easy to use, low in cost, and that gives users choices in functionality drive (the option to decide which area of your business — sales, marketing, customer service, etc. — is your top priority).

Cost-effective CRM products exist for those looking to structure their data and get the most out of their email marketing campaigns. And small companies aren't the only ones using them.

Listrak is an ASP email and campaign management company. Its client list is evenly split between companies and agencies, and includes PR Newswire, L'Oréal, and Armstrong World.

Charlie Douglas, creative director at Ground Floor Interactive, the agency for L'Oréal, says the Listrak product was chosen to manage L'Oréal's marketing lists and contests because "it has an easy-to-use interface, it is cost-effective, and you don't need to be that technical to use the product."

Listrak's two pricing tiers consist of monthly payments of either $100 or $250. Ross Kramer, president of Listrak, says, "The $100-a-month package is ideal for small businesses to test the water at an entry- level price."

Key features of Listrak include Personalization Engine, List Hygiene, and Soft-Bounce Resend. Personalization Engine allows emails to be sent from a specific sales rep, so when a person replies, the message goes directly to that rep and not a "marketing" or "sales" email address. List Hygiene is a process that automatically finds mistakes in domain names. If a person types in their email address as name@oal.com, the mistake will be caught and fixed. Lastly, Listrak's Soft-Bounce Resend, debuting this month, does what it says: If you send something to a Yahoo.com email address and get a message that the email is undeliverable because the person's mailbox is full, Soft-bounce Resend will try to resend the email for up to 30 days (you decide how long to keep trying) to help boost delivery rates.