Weatherford Democrat


September 22, 2011

Marketing via mobile phones


The all-too familiar sound of a phone receiving a text message has become a commodity in today's society. Individuals of all ages, from children to senior citizens, are capable of achieving anything from surfing the Internet to posting a Facebook status update just through the use of a mobile phone.

Even advertisers are wising up to the trend in today's market and creating mobile campaigns to reach their customers via text messages. The movement is so vast and over-utilized that an organization was created for individuals specializing in mobile marketing.

According to, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) was established in 2000 as the Wireless Advertising Association in New York. The company joined forces with the Wireless Marketing Association in 2003 to form MMA, which then went worldwide.

Today, MMA is "the premier global non-profit trade association representing all players in the mobile marketing value chain." Among the association's research are case studies, which observe the effects of various mobile marketing campaigns throughout the world.

One recent example is their case study with Pizza Hut, who partnered with Ping Mobile to launch a texting campaign to get the word out about new products. The results spoke for themselves - according to, more than 2,000 consumers responded in less than two weeks with 54 percent double opted-in to receive more offers.

The option of marketing via text is of interest to many businesses in today's market, but of particular interest to restaurants. Chick-fil-A of Weatherford is just one of several examples in the Parker County community employing such methods to reach their customers.

"We think we have great products and we want great people to come in and try them," Beth Geck, marketing director at Chick-fil-A, said.

Geck said the local restaurant has a Text Club for its customers to join which will send them the latest offerings.

"We want to get the word out about our last-minute promotions, offers or special events," she said. "It's a great last-minute tool and we cater to families who are always running around doing last-minute things."

One of the best examples Geck says, is the latest breakfast items the store recently launched, which enabled their Text Club to come in handy.

"You don't necessarily know we have new breakfast items - we have to inform you," she said.

Geck said the messages Chik-fil-a sends out is sporadic and "often a surprise to our members."

Earlier this summer the country celebrated National Lemonade Day and a text message was sent out to all Text Club members offering a free lemonade. And they even sent out an offer for a free milkshake earlier this year too.

Customers are asked to show their phones if the message includes a free offer. Employees use a code when entering the purchase and it enables the restaurant to track the number of offers being redeemed through the Text Club.

Geck said the individuals in the Text Club can even be grouped in subcategories, for example, the business they work for. This allows Chik-fil-a to send out special messages to those specific individuals for an exclusive offer.

"We want it to be interactive and fun for people," Geck said.

To join Chik-fil-a's Text Club, text CFA2525 to 411247.

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