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In the preceding entry we talked about pushing forward with a mobile text messaging program in order to learn about – and take advantage of – the surge in texting behavior. And, to be ready for the not too distant day when marketing to cell phones comes into its maturity as a major force.

The question is, how much progress can you make in 2009 in building your list – a topic for our next blog entry – and creating programs that work for your business? The focus here is on how to begin the process.

First, who does it?

As the person who pays the bills, the business owner probably feels some ownership of any new program. This could be a mistake, especially if you have people in your organization who are seeking new opportunities.

Delegation is a good thing, period. As a rule of thumb, the more people you have involved in the process, the better. Here are some things to consider when you decide how to manage your mobile marketing campaign in your organization

  • Your employees may be younger and may relate to this program. It’s possible that someone in your organization has strong thoughts or good ideas about text message marketing already.
  • Your employees may be looking for added responsibility, or to add to their skill sets. Capitalize on that energy and motivation.
  • If you have a valued employee who is bored and you fear that they may want to leave, this might be the thing for them to focus on. During difficult economic times, business owners tend to focus on daily problems and challenges. Employees who buy into a grass-is-greener perspective may look for opportunities that they perceive to be better. Remember that it is your best employees who have the most opportunities. Give them something new and different to do.

Give an employee a specific purpose and responsibility to focus on, and show them that it matters with daily follow-up of even the most informal type.

Second, how do they go about it?

Many people – even bright ones you value – do not possess the creativity and initiative to go about this kind of thing in a systematic way. So, give them a framework for learning about mobile marketing. Here are some ways to do that.

  • Assign them some reading. Reading! It sounds terrible, but it’s a great way to develop some perspective. Have them read the blogs and guides on the site. Then, point them in the direction of a web site devoted to mobile marketing like so that they can begin to understand the background, the trends, and the opportunities. Don’t stop there. Ask them to talk to you once a week about something they have read about mobile marketing. It’s a good way to see if they are up to the job you’ve given them.
  • Involve more people! Tell your designated employee to talk to as many people as they can about their assignment. Their grandmother is an unlikely candidate for this kind of thing, but even the act of explaining it to their grandmother stretches their ability to understand and talk about mobile marketing. Great ideas often come from places you wouldn’t expect, but they also come from your suppliers, your customers, and other business people.
  • Have them opt into the mobile marketing programs of other companies in order to see what they are doing. Start with competitors, and then move on to similar markets or products, and then move on to companies you admire. You cannot collect too much market intelligence this way – it’s the easiest way to learn what your competitors are doing, and it will open your eyes to the many possibilities that exist out there already. Capitalize on the experience of others, and don’t let your competitors outflank you with new offers that you are not ready to provide.

As your expertise and experience grows, take things to a higher level. Chicago is filled with colleges and universities that have a tremendous interest in teaching new media. These may be business classes or they may be media classes. Ask a professor if you can present your issues to a class and see if an individual or a team want to take up your cause as part of their course work.

Finally, encourage your employee to take action. Especially at the beginning, be conservative and take baby steps. Use techniques you’ve seen others use and, monitor the results closely so you can see what works for you. Enjoy small successes and build from there. As the business owner or department head, stay involved and let them know mobile marketing is important to you.

We will talk more in future blog entries about how to design offers and measure results, and we’ll also talk about how to involve your entire organization in the mobile marketing program. In this entry we’ve talked about putting the program in the hands of one person in order to make sure that the responsibility belongs to one motivated person, and not a committee. As the program develops, you’ll want to encourage others to contribute ideas and help carry them out.