Have You Met Mobile? | npENGAGE

Have You Met Mobile?

By on Feb 3, 2010


Photo by Ruben

Do you remember when Mobile was just a kid with a dream, and nobody believed in him besides himself? Well, he’s grown up a lot lately and proven his worth. I’m happy for him. I really am, but I hope he doesn’t let it go to his head. He has more growing to do.

Sure, he raised over $20 million for Haiti and an impressive array of non-profit organizations including American Red Cross, Oxfam America, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, International Rescue Committee, and the United Nations Foundation  used his services. Good for him. But is that it? I mean, seriously, is raising money all he can do? Is that all he wants to do?

He may have you fooled, just like all the famous TV curmudgeons with hearts of gold. Mobile can do more, and he can do it pretty well. He has people using him for a lot of other purposes geared toward engagement beyond donations.

  • Consider the Humane Society of the United States, who used a text message to give a heads up to their constituents that an email fundraising appeal was coming to their inbox soon. The people who got both the text and the email were 77% more likely to give.
  • Consider how Shedd Aquarium, using an integrated approach, had TV spots that asked people to send a text message to enter a contest. They also had TV spots that drove people to a website. The text version of the TV spot outperformed the others by a large margin.
  • Consider how The Blue Ocean Institute uses text messages to inform their constituents about the kind of fish it is OK to buy or eat.
  • Consider how It’s OUR Healthcare!  used a text to screen campaign to empower constituents to text in healthcare related message to a huge TV placed in front of the California Statehouse.

You see, he has game in other ways besides mobile giving. And I wonder what he has up his sleeve. He doesn’t hang with me as much as he used to because he has been spending a lot of time with iPhone, Black Berry and Droid. I’m not jealous. It’s kind of his job. They seem like they are cooking up some big plans.  I heard them talking (I couldn’t help it, they were loud. I wasn’t eavesdropping):

  • Applications seem like a pretty cool way to present specialized experiences on the phone, especially now that applications can push messages out to you. I haven’t seen any applications on my phone that let me find volunteering opportunities near me this weekend. I have seen a super cool application for the Houston Zoo that tells me all kinds of good things about the animals there.
  • Location-based services are going to be big too. You know, the ones who ask if they can use your current location and then show you all of the other people who are in the Mobile Fan Club within a 5 mile radius. That technology could be put to better use, like CauseWorld is doing, letting me check into places I like to go to anyway, and have some big corporation donate to my cause because I probably bought their beer while I was there.
  • Mobile giving through special mobile-browser optimized forms, where you can give more than $10 at a time. Really, why can’t I give more than that each time? Just give me a form and I swear, I’ll donate more.
  • Augmented reality applications, where you can see data overlays of the very world in front of your eyes. For example, I look at a library through my phone and I see data that tells me how many illiterate people there are in my city and where I can volunteer to teach people to read.

Yessiree, I like that Mobile kid. I think he got a bright future. Not to sound like too much of a fan boy, but he is the coolest. If you haven’t met Mobile yet, you should. Let me know, I’ll hook you up.


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