Five-minute interview: Jeff Hasen, Hipcricket

Jeff Hasen is chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, a US-based mobile marketing and advertising company that has run over 225,000 mobile campaigns for brands that include Ford, Macy’s, MillerCoors and Nestlé. Hasen is the author of Mobilized Marketing, he blogs at and offers Internet-based mobile marketing training at

• You can catch Jeff Hasen at MMA Forum San Francisco, January 29-30, 2013 (mobiThinking readers can claim a 15 percent discount for this event with promotional code MobiTHINK_2013).
• Jeff Hasen was recommended for the five-minute interview by Jay Emmet, OpenMarket.

Q1. What is the one thing that gets you most excited about mobile Web, mobile services and/or mobile marketing?
The fact that mobile marketing isn’t brain surgery – it’s what we know: companies need to sell more stuff. Mobile has changed the how-to-do-it part, but the what-needs-to-be-done part stays the same. MillerCoors is a great example – everything it does in mobile – and it does lots – is focused on moving more product off the shelf.

Q2. What are your favorite (and least favorite) a) mobile Websites, b) mobile services and/or c) mobile campaigns? What can the rest of us learn from these?
My favorite success (disclosure: Ford Hipcricket client) was a 2011 Ford Focus campaign that produced a 15.4 percent lead conversion by adding a simple SMS call to action to traditional media including TV and print. The ads gave viewers/readers the ability to text in for the local loan offer to help purchase the Ford Focus. Those who responded were asked if they would like to be contacted by a local dealer – 15.4 percent said yes. Someone called it a great example of a meat and potatoes program – I’ll serve meat and potatoes all day long to brands if we can achieve a 15.4 percent lead conversion. It blew past the projections.

Q3. Who is the new kid on the block – the mobile site/business to watch for the future?
Lowe’s home improvement stores – Lowe’s is embracing mobile by arming sales people with smartphones and tablets, to help combat show-rooming (where customers view the product in-store, then search the net for the best price) with enhanced customer service and transparency.

Q4. What (vertical) sector would you say is furthest ahead in mobile?
Retail. Companies like Macy’s are building databases that offer consumers the choice on how they engage whether in-store or on the Web. They are not demanding that you have, for instance, the right scanner or handset to participate in a QR code program. You can engage with Macy’s via SMS, MMS, mobile web, apps and more.

Q5. What’s the most exciting/inspirational country/part of the world for mobile Internet/mobile marketing? What can the rest of us learn from there?
Every country provides a learning experience. For example, I traveled to South Africa last year and saw how access to banking via mobile is fundamentally changing people’s lives by giving them access to loans, the ability to pay bills, and more.

Q6. What technology or initiative is most likely to revolutionize mobile Web/marketing? What sites/brands use this to maximum effect?
The mobile Web, since more and more people are looking at the Internet on a handheld device. In fact, experts predict that more people will be accessing the Web via mobile than PC in two years.

Q7. If you could wave your magic wand and change one thing in the industry, what would it be?
Marketers’ lust for shiny objects like wacky apps or out-there augmented reality, rather than pragmatic mobile products and services that sell stuff and build loyalty.

Q8. What’s the biggest mistake in mobile Web/marketing?
See answer to Q7.

Q9. What are the most useful resources – sites, must-read books, associations etc – for mobile marketers?
Mobile Marketing Association; comScore; Nielsen.

Q10. Which mobile-marketing guru would you like to do our five-minute interview next?
Richard Ting from R/GA – @flytip
• Check out the interview with: Richard Ting, RGA.

Recent mobiThinking five-minute interviews:

Richard Ting, R/GAAndré Andrade, MEFInbar Chap, DMGLynne Gordon, BrandtoneJames Connelly, FetchKerstin Trikalitis, Out There Media; MMAScott Seaborn, XS2Jay Emmet, OpenMarketChris Bourke, MobextDr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCityCarsten Frien, MadvertisePam Horan, Online Publishers AssociationBarney Loehnis, OgilvyOne, Asia PacificTom Eslinger, Saatchi & Saatchi

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