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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
digital Xip Mobile – Carving out a niche in mobile JohnSmallwood, GM– Sales, Xip Mobile explains how their niche approach to mobile is paying dividends. Tell us about the Xip Mobile concept. The concept has been around for quite a few years now, and it has been trialled and tested in other markets. The key is that it is an opportunity for someone to interact with the advertising message – it could be a newspaper advertisement, it could be on TV, or it could even be on your business card – and get either basic information sent to their phone, or very detailed information emailed. The majority of the traffi c and the requests for information are from people who want detailed information sent to their inbox. If you are looking for a house to buy, you look at the newspaper and go onto various websites and get the information, but if you are passing something for sale, you can SMS the Xip Code on the ad, and when you get home, the information will be delivered to your inbox. How detailed is the information sent to mobiles? It really depends on what you want to be sent. I access my email on my mobile, so for me, I would just request an email. There are implications from a delivery perspective – there can be cost implications if people have restrictions on the amount of information they can download – but really there are no restrictions at all. Can you give an example of a recent successful campaign? We actually conducted trials specifi cally in the real estate market earlier this year and the results were mixed in that the biggest thing we had to overcome, was people understanding that it doesn’t cost them any more than a standard text message fee. That is an education process, but we found that the people who actually used it, used it again. We think in real estate, there is a definite opportunity. The experience has got to be the same so what we are pushing with Xip Codes, is that no matter where you see it – it could be on the side of a local plumbers van, it could be on a billboard, or on the television – you know what the experience is going to be like. We tried to create something that has a consistent experience across the board. Are there any opportunities for cross-platform initiatives? Xip Mobile and Xip Media were set up quite separately. With Xip Media, we have an actual product which has certain restrictions because it doesn’t have audio, due to the retail locations, but we want to provide an interactive mechanism, and SMS is a very simple mechanism – much easier than Bluetooth for example. I think that the diff erence with what we are doing in the mobile space, compared to a lot of other players, is that we are very niche about it. The space that we are in is very much business to consumer. We are not really into content, so we are not trying to sell ring-tones. It is a solution that we think will get simpler down the track as more people become more familiar with it. Where do you see the mobile market heading in the next 6-12 months? There is no doubt that it is moving rapidly. It moved slower than people anticipated in the earlier years, but it is starting to gain momentum and getting to the point where people are able to understand how it fi ts into their marketing and communications. Most of the bigger companies that you talk to today believe that mobile will form part of their marketing strategy going forward, but, the jury is still out for a lot of people on how that fi ts in. It’s going to be a big year, and it is only going to get bigger over the next couple of years. 62 MEDIA Trends + Strategy