State Farm takes third place: 2010 Mobile Marketer of the Year

State Farm takes third place: 2010 Mobile Marketer

State Farm Insurance Co. has placed third in the 2010 Mobile Marketer of the Year awards.

Based on the nominations received from readers and submissions from this publication’s editorial team, Mobile Marketer is convinced that State Farm serves as a role model for marketers for its outstanding use of mobile as a marketing medium. Here is a breakdown of State Farm’s work in the mobile space in 2010:

“It is not about the budget, but the smart thinking with the appropriate use of marketing dollars for mobile,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer, New York.

“Overall, the idea is to give this honor to a marketer which made effective use of mobile through creative execution and marketing offer to consistently generate a high response rate for mobile marketing campaigns and outreach,” he said.

“State Farm meets this criteria.”

Branding, customer acquisition and retention
State Farm has consistently made effective use of mobile marketing for branding, customer acquisition and retention.

For example, the company’s Pocket Agent application lets customers stay up-to-date with account information.

The application is available both for Android and iPhone devices, demonstrating State Farm’s understanding that a cross-platform strategy is very important in mobile.

The Pocket Agent application lets customers endorse a check, enter the amount and take a picture.

“Our strategy is to provide mobile services that our customers want and value,” said Matt Edwards, social media analyst at State Farm, Bloomington, IL. “We have a large customer base and needed to extend our native apps beyond iPhone.

“There is clear growth and adoption of the Android platform,” he said. “We need to go where our customers are.”

Mobile as part of the multichannel mix
While standalone mobile marketing efforts are OK, State Farm incorporates mobile into a multichannel plan.

Mobile’s role in giving legs to social media, print, TV, radio, direct mail, catalogs, insert media and the Internet is what makes it a standout medium.

State Farm rolled out an iPhone application to complement its successful “Steer Clear Safe Drivers Discount Program.”

The Steer Clear application gives young drivers a convenient way to complete the Steer Clear discount program, encourages supervised driver education and reinforces State Farm’s commitment to preventing car crashes, which are the No. 1 killer of teens in the United States.

State Farm claims that the application is the first of its kind to help teens gain more experience behind the wheel, building on State Farm’s overarching goal to reduce teen driving deaths.

“Mobile applications are becoming a way of life for many people,” said Vicki Harper, spokeswoman for State Farm. “More and more, people use mobile technology socially.

“Our mobile technology strategy is to provide a useful and relevant way for people to connect with State Farm,” she said.

High response rates
State Farm achieves a high rate of response to campaigns on a consistent basis, thus proving deft use of calls to action and targeted marketing.

A State Farm-sponsored promotion during the University of Missouri verses University of Kansas football game resulted in more than 5,000 fans participating.

The mobile competition was conducted at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 24.

The campaign was deployed via the in-stadium jumbo screen.

As a result of the campaign, State Farm saw an increase of 5 times the response rate received for its text-to-win marketing efforts at the same game the year before.

As part of the promotion, a “Hi-Striker” game was displayed on the stadium screen.

Fans had 30-seconds in which to text a short code indicating which team they were there to support.

While the clock was counting down, a pair of animated carnival strongmen struck a target with hammers for each text they received, one side representing Missouri, the other Kansas.

The contest offered a fun method for friendly competition amongst fans, with the side receiving the highest number of votes winning.

Based on the text entries, the percentages of votes were visible to the audience on the screen. It was clear to the audience who was winning, and the crowds were cheering as intensely as they were during the game itself.

Outstanding creative
There is no doubt that State Farm’s mobile marketing creative has consistently been outstanding.
The ads and imagery convey the brand attributes.

State Farm was one of the charter iAd advertisers.

The company launched the State Farm NBA All-Star 2011 Sweepstakes via Apple’s mobile advertising network.

Users engaging with the ad could enter to win an ultimate fan experience trip to this year’s All-Star festivities in Los Angeles and learn about the history of the game.

As a charter iAd advertiser, State Farm used the platform to offer millions of basketball fans an immersive All-Star experience directly through interaction on iPhone and iPod touch.

“The strategy behind the iAd is a continuation of what we want to do in the digital mobile-social space,” said Tim Van Hoof, director of marketing and communications at State Farm.

“IAd provides a one-to-one opportunity with an app-within-an-app environment,” he said. “We are able to target more specific audiences and tailor an experience to them.

“I would say mobile is extremely important to us in this three screen world spanning television, PC and mobile. Of the three, the mobile screen is most explosive.”

Shaping the industry
State Farm most definitely shaped the mobile marketing industry this year, serving as a role model to other brands, agencies and service providers.

The company is also a role model to its target audience.

In fact, State Farm is aiming to stop distracted drivers and prevent automobile accidents via an Android widget that sends automated responses to incoming text messages.

The On the Move widget lets texters know when a user is driving or busy.

The service prevents drivers from reading and responding to text messages while on the road by composing and preloading customized messages that can be sent as automated responses.

The service is free to users who have an Android device and is part of the company’s updated Pocket Agent Android application.

Users can personally create their own responses and save them to a library for future use.

The widget works with all incoming texts or can be limited to senders listed in the address book.

In addition, users can activate the service prior to getting in their vehicle.

“We are thrilled to have our teams’ work nominated for this award,” said Lisa Kitterman, systems director at State Farm. “We’re pleased with the quality of our mobile portfolio and are working to improve them continuously.

“Our top priority is meeting the needs of our customers, and we do that by providing useful mobile capabilities,” she said. “It’s important to us because it’s important to them.”

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