New York Times on Text Messaging To Reinforce Branding

In today's New York Times, Business writer Bob Tedeschi takes a look at text messaging, and how online retailers are successfully using the medium to reinforce their brand messages:

ONLINE retailers were, for all the obvious reasons, the pioneers of Web advertising. When it comes to advertising on the mobile Web, though, they are treading carefully.

On the one hand, executives and analysts said, online retailers are right to be cautious. After all, few consumers are buying items through their mobile devices. But at least some online retailers say they have found enticing success from early marketing efforts, as long as those initiatives are aimed at simply keeping themselves on the radar of customers as opposed to trying to prompt an immediate purchase or a visit to the company’s Web site.

So how does it work?

Take Moosejaw Mountaineering, for example, an outdoor goods retailer based in Madison Heights, Mich. Earlier this year, Moosejaw began sending out text messages to more than 1,000 of its customers who had signed up to receive them. The campaign caught on quickly, with recipients often sending messages back to the retailer and receiving loyalty program points as a reward.

A recent message sent to customers, for instance, conveyed the news that someone had told Robert Wolfe, one of Moosejaw’s founders, that he looked like Ben Stiller. It then asked customers whether that was a good thing and promised points in the company’s rewards program for those who answered “correctly” (meaning yes). Sixty-six percent of the customers who received the message voted.

There is a lot more to read, so head over to the New York Times now.

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