Each morning as I ride the 66 and Blue Line into work, I make the conscious effort to disconnect from my smartphone and look at the faces of my CTA comrades and the clutter of ads that shine on our happy morning faces.
I use that time to open my mind. What is happening around me and why?
One ad caught my eye this morning. I would like you to take a moment and make your own interpretation of this ad.
Now this is how I interpreted it.
“Harrington College of Design”
“Graphic design. Photography. Interior design”
Really? You aren’t getting me excited. Where’s the visual?
“Stop staring at our logo.”
“Start creating your own.”
No thoughts really spilled out at this moment, but a feeling did. I felt motivated. I felt a smirk develop. It was clever to me because I read the ad just as they wanted me to…left to right, ask myself the question of what the heck is this ad going to do?, and the answer was read to me “Start creating your own.” because it is up to the individual, the go-getter, to build your skill sets to make you unstoppable.
My interest was there, until I kept reading. It is simply my preference, but I would never text a random set of numbers to get more information. If you want me to use my phone right then and there, give me a website…give me an app…a QR code…but I do not want automated systems responding to me through text messages.
My takeaways from Harrington:
- It’s important to utilize the most relevant communication channels in a culture engrossed in technology. According to a Marketing Charts survey taken in June 2011, texting is the 2nd most utilized function on smartphones, followed by email, browsing the internet, Facebook, and listening to music. Wonderful, but knowing that smartphone users text does not completely support that texting an ad for more information will generate leads for Harrington.
- Dig deeper! Research is the key to experimenting with the most effective marketing campaigns. The communication channels should piggy back off of one of the most basic principals of marketing: running ads at the right time, in the right place, and in front of the right people is crucial.
The trick is…how do you determine the right time, the right place, and the right people? It comes down to making a decision about the data that you are collecting and does that data support the strategy of the campaign. Harrington decided to use texting as their followup communication channel. “So What?” What metrics were they using to support their decision and what value did those metrics really bring to the college?