Marketing to Moms: How Mobile Technology Is Helping Haiti

January 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Everyone is talking about how mobile is going to change the world in a few years.  But the truth is, we are witnessing that change right now as aid to Haiti is pouring in through a text messaging campaign supported by Twitter and Facebook.  In less than a week following the earthquake, the Red Cross raised $20 million dollars.

It was so easy – no PayPal, credit cards, phone-a-thons or snail mail – just a simple and easy method to express your concern and help.  Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross efforts in Haiti.

One reason this method works so well is the immediacy with which the message can be issued and quick manner in which you can respond.  If you have to get your credit card out or find a stamp, you might forget or procrastinate.  The mashup with opportunity and generosity has never been so streamlined.

Organizations and businesses have spread the word effectively in a very short period of time.  The NFL created national PSAs to air in the highly rated playoff games, along with in-stadium video and PA messages.

And as disaster and war has proven, Twitter has become an amazing method for millions of people to report what is happening in real time and to spread the word instantly.  Celebrities with huge followings on Twitter have reached out to their fans to encourage them to help.  Wyclef Jean, whose uncle is the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., has been requesting his 1.3 million Twitter fans to donate $5 to his charity foundation through texting YELE to 501501.

There are several reasons the Red Cross program is working.  Access is key.  Currently 83 percent of adults have cell phones or smartphones and are becoming increasingly adept at using them for tasks such as purchases, search and social networking.  The mobile giving program had been tested in smaller situations and had worked.  Red Cross was ready.  And the message was simple, adapting easily to Twitter, Facebook and other social media, allowing many companies and news outlets to point to this new method of fundraising.

And with Moms becoming so attached to their smartphone, the opportunity for brands to sway the affection of Moms has never been greater than when a calamity of “Biblical proportion happens” as Hillary Clinton commented.

As reported in our Marketing to Moms:  A Just Cause blog, 85.6 percent of Moms feel that it is important for brands to support a cause. So phone companies and organizations such as the NFL have benefited with their association with the cause.

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