How to Breed MICES

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This week’s message came to mind in the mists of Indiana’s corny farm fields.

Not the first place you’d think of as an oasis of marketing inspiration, right?

Here’s the replay . . .

Two hours behind schedule because of boa constrictor traffic, now driving as fast as the speed limit allowed, we were nowhere near to being on track to get to the U.S. Grand Prix qualifying trial on time.

The only way we’d make it for the start is if we were in Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari.

Was there any other way – at all – we could find out what was happening?

We considered our options:

a.) Find a local radio station:
country, farm report, baseball,
sludge rock, NO!

b.) Stop at a truck stop with
SpeedChannel – too smoky

c.) Forget about it – are you serious?

d.) Log onto
from the passenger’s seat – huh?!?!

Now, I must admit I seriously considered everything (well, maybe not the truck stop) except the correct answer, D, because I’m still acclimating to using my Treo as an Internet
connection – make that a mobile sports channel.

Vaguely recalling that we used the Treo to check on the World Cup scores once from a botanical garden, I stealthily eased it out of its sleek black leather case, logged on inconspicuously and announced, ‘I have THE latest F1 stats!’

It’s a wonder the car stayed on the road.

Now here’s the lesson . . .

MICES, Mobile Interactive Client Engagement Systems, (yes, I did make that acronym up) delivered via cell phones allow you to connect with your clients anywhere – even inside a noisy
minivan playing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and matt pond PA ( on I-65 in Indiana.

Even if you’re a mobile-info junkie, have you ever considered how to squeeze your business into a cell phone?

Think mini-websites, textural text-messages, file photos, your company’s ringtones (if you’re a composer) and well, maybe even phone calls.

Now, let’s talk about how you can use MICES to catch your mobile clients.

Before we get into too much detail, you need to know that your clients must want to be caught.

In fact, when they’re so eager to want to have you reach them anywhere, anytime, MICES is a service they crave.

(Note to real life mouse catchers: a friend’s recent in-house survey showed that mice – at least one she was trying to catch – prefer Ghirardelli over cheese. Try it.)

How hungry are your clients for MICES?

Here’s a way to gauge/generate interest.

Today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal features an interview with James Stengel, Global marketing officer, Procter & GambleCo. Stengel talks about using cell phone marketing with a reference to the new Crest with Whitening Plus Scope Extreme toothpaste ‘irresistibility quiz’ consumers can take using text messaging. Stengel is quoted as saying, ‘The last thing we want to do is aggravate and interrupt someone in a media they’re enjoying. . . whether it be on mobile (phones), gaming or the Internet, we start with, ‘What’s our place, what’s the consumer habit, what would be helpful, what would be interesting?’

So how do you breed MICES?

Start out by designing/breeding MICES communications by answering these questions:

1. Who in your client base would best benefit
from timely text-messages, a mobile enhanced
site or even photos?

2. What kind of information would you send:
reports, scores, reminders, project updates,
event promo/reminders, links to sites, special offers?

3. ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Site’
What will your site look like and how will it
function on a cell phone screen –
test it out as is now and map out a mini-version.

4. When would your client use this information
to connect and/or buy from you?

5. Where does MICES fit into your communications
plan and what does it integrate with?

6. Why do you want to use MICES –
to enhance your client communications, right?

7. How will you inform them/will they sign up?
And, how will you monetize the service –
subscription fees, ads, sponsors, faster and better sales?

MICES References & Resources

Formula One Subscription package
options such as 15 text messages and 1 picture per event

Crest Whitening Plus Scope – mobil rules guide

Mass text-messaging site offers a free trial;
we have no experience with this one, but
you can try it out when you call your
disparate teenagers to dinner

Google guide to SMS (short message service),
shows how to use
Google’s search/text message service on your phone

How about 100,000,000 messages?
Check out this article about
Chicago’s own Vibes Media,

Billion Dollar Business From the
July 10 edition of the International Herald . . .

‘In 2005, according to Gartner,
text messaging generated $70 billion
in revenue for the carriers,
which made a whopping gross profit
margin on that part of the business
of more than 90 percent, about
double the margin for the
business as a whole.

By contrast, mobile instant messaging
generated $55 million in revenue in 2005,
according to In-Stat, though that is
forecast to grow to more than $3.6 billion by 2009.’

So, think about how you can turn your client’s cell phone into an on-demand mobile interactive client engagement system (MICES) that makes money and good sense for both of you!

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