Link: The MySpace of Mobile?
Among marketers, mobile has been hailed as the next big thing for years now, but in the U.S., actual adoption has lagged behind the hype (see BusinessWeek.com, 4/23/07, “The Sell-Phone Revolution”). With the exception of a few big brands, most advertisers have taken a wait-and-see approach when it comes to mobile marketing campaigns. Now Mozes, a 14-person startup from Palo Alto, Calif., with $5 million in venture funding, is hoping to give both advertisers and consumers an incentive to experiment, by offering up its text-messaging platform for free.
While its service is available to anyone from individuals to school groups to small businesses, Mozes is targeting the music industry, promoting its Web-based platform as a free tool that bands can use to connect with fans on their mobile phones, notifying them when concert tickets go on sale, for example, or running text-to-win contests. When the Plain White T’sÃ¢â‚¬â€a band that topped Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart in JulyÃ¢â‚¬â€ran a backstage pass giveaway with Mozes during their tour last fall, around 50% of audience members participated each night, the company says.
It’s an interesting gamble – by targetting the music industry, Mozes hope to build a ‘branded network’ of consumers. Once the marketing database hits critical mass, they’ll be in a position to charge advertisers for getting their message to their network. However, the question still remains whether consumers will be happy to receive marketing texts from third parties. Mozes clearly state on their homepage “You won’t be spammed or tricked” – could this be seen as a little misleading?