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New service brings voice into the mobile marketing mix
Mobile marketers can literally voice their pitches with technology from Zoove.
Managing Editor, International Research
Mobile marketing typically is conducted through mobile sites, apps or texts. However, a new service is bringing voice into the mix.
Zoove, a company that offers direct response marketing via mobile dial codes, this week announced a service that allows consumers to dial a vanity code beginning with ** and followed by a brand, for example, Nike, and opt in to receive marketing offers via text messages, apps, coupons, web pages, multimedia and—especially intriguing—voice.
The service, based on a vanity code Zoove calls StarStar, is available on most large U.S. cell phone networks, including AT&T and Verizon, Zoove says. The company says the 2- to 12-character dial codes combine the benefits of a web address, 800 number and SMS/text short code into one branded call to action. Marketers can mention their StarStar codes in radio and TV ads, e-mails and other marketing media to get the word out.
The voice component of the program can work in combination with other marketing assets, a Zoove spokeswoman says. For example, callers can be greeted with a custom voice message, then sent to a web page on their phone to view product information, contact sales or request more information.
The brand can select to have their StarStar code forwarded to any phone number they want. Then when a consumer dials that code, it is just like dialing the phone number, she says. For example, **ZOOVE could direct the caller to a sales phone number. Another other option brands have is to include a custom audio greeting with their response, so when the consumer calls he gets a brief audio recording. In this case a brand could have a celebrity spokesperson say: "Thanks for calling. We've sent a message to your phone with more information about our services. Hang up and check out the info!" The brand can create that custom greeting, and it is not a phone call, but more like a brief audio greeting in addition to a text or other response, Zoove says.
Time Out North America, which offers event guides for major North American cities, is using the service to make it easier for consumers to find and download its mobile app, says Marci Weisler, digital business director of Time Out North America.
"Our StarStar Code, **TONY (Time Out New York), gives our users a really simple way to access and download our mobile application without searching and seeking, in a streamlined way,” Weisler says. “Quick access is important if the user needs information immediately to decide where to go.”
USA Today and ClearChannel Radio also use Zoove, the company says.
The Zoove platform provides a web interface for a brand customer to setup and configure each code and each campaign on their code, a Zoove spokeswoman says. Through this portal, the brand designates how each StarStar campaign will be delivered, chooses the response type, and enters the information relevant to that response type such as text content or image file to be delivered.
Along with its dial code offering, Zoove launched a mobile dial code directory where brands, advertisers and agencies can lease and manage their StarStar codes. Codes start at $10,000 per year, and there is a transaction fee of 10 cents per dial, Zoove says.
"StarStar Mobile Dial Codes become a ubiquitous mobile direct response mechanism capable of reaching over 285 million consumers in the U.S. with relevant messages,” Zoove CEO Tim Jemison says. “The undisputed support from the major U.S. mobile carriers represents a dramatic change in the capabilities of the marketing industry. Just as marketers scrambled to secure their branded URLs back in the early '90s, so, too, will they need to secure their brand's StarStar Code."
Zoove says a brand can get a campaign—including code registration, campaign management and reporting—up and running in 10 days.