Client Interview: Kim Dushinski (Mobile Marketing – USA)

In our Client Interview blog series, we feature interviews with a client from the crowdSPRING community. Today, we’re very proud to feature Kim Dushinski. A few months ago, Kim posted a project on crowdSPRING, looking for a new logo for her mobile marketing business. The winning logo, designed by lightbox (Chrissy Richards), appears on Kim’s Mobile Marketing Profits website.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

I am the president and founder of Mobile Marketing Profits, a marketing firm that provides mobile marketing education and consulting services to corporations, marketing professionals and entrepreneurs.  I lead workshops and speak internationally about how to profit with mobile.

In my over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur I’ve been in sales and marketing as a Marketing Director at a travel agency, desktop publisher, business marketing consultant, an Internet marketer, and partner in a book publicity firm.

2. Can you briefly describe what mobile marketing is?

Mobile marketing connects businesses and each of their customers (through their mobile devices) at the right time and at the right place with the right message and requires the customer’s explicit permission and/or active interaction. This can be done on the mobile web, through text messaging, Bluetooth proximity marketing or through downloadable content. It can also be as simple as putting a mobile-based call to action on a non-mobile advertisement.

3. What unique challenges exist in mobile marketing as compared to other forms of marketing?

Mobile marketing is so new that businesses are still learning how to do it and consumers are still figuring out that it can be a hugely beneficial way for them to interact with businesses. Because consumers have to opt into mobile marketing they need to be made aware of the value that is waiting for them by doing so. This is completely different than traditional push-marketing where the consumer is interrupted to be marketed to. The different mindset is something that everyone has to begin to understand.

4. You’ve put together something you call the Mobile Marketing Launch Kit – please tell us about it.

This is my answer to the question I get asked more than any other and that is, “So how can I get started in mobile marketing?” The Mobile Marketing Launch Kit is essentially everything you need to know about launching a mobile marketing campaign.

5. Some people say mobile marketing is primarily for larger companies. Should mid-size and small companies be preparing for mobile marketing?

Absolutely! In fact, small to mid-sized companies have an advantage over the bigger companies because they can get started more quickly (fewer committees to run ideas through) and can be more nimble in their implementation.

Also, the results for a small company can be quite impressive and make a bigger impact more quickly on the bottom line than for a larger corporation. An example of this would be redemption of a mobile coupon. If a mobile coupon were to be redeemed by even 15% of a modest 250 person text messaging list it would be a nice bump in daily revenue for a small business. (This kind of list response is not atypical and building a list to that size is not a difficult task with proper marketing.)

6. Will mobile marketing primarily be text based, or are there important design elements in mobile marketing?

I am so glad you asked that question. Of course SMS text-messaging is by definition text based but the mobile web is a wide open ball game in design. Not only do mobile web sites have to be accommodating to a small screen, they have to be accommodating to several sizes of small screens. Everything designed for mobile must be able to be loaded quickly and be seen easily at very small sizes. Mobile web design is trickier than desktop web design because every single pixel counts and must work seamlessly on thousands of devices and screen sizes.

One specific thing about designing for mobile advertising that might be helpful to know is that there are four ad sizes that are starting to become the standard. In any ad campaign you will want to create graphics for these sizes: 120 x 20, 168 x 28, 216 x 36, and 300 x 50.

Smart graphic designers will be paying attention to what is happening in mobile to be on the cutting edge as it comes into its own as a marketing medium.

7. Some Asian countries, including South Korea and Japan, are ahead of the U.S. in mobile marketing. Why?

The short answer is that it their cell phone companies invested in the infrastructure to build and get consumers onto a 3G network faster than the U.S. did. For the long answer to this question, I highly recommend reading a book called Digital Korea by Tomi T Ahonen and Jim O’Reilly. It is a fascinating book about the fully digital lifestyle of South Koreans. Well worth reading.

8. How expensive would it be for a small or mid-size company to put together an effective mobile marketing campaign?

There is no clear cut mobile-marketing-costs-this-much type of answer to this. A micro-size company could pull together a low-cost campaign using free or low-cost tools and piggy backing on their current marketing. A mid-sized company could work with a full service mobile marketing vendor and get into mobile marketing for around $10,000 to start. There are also ways to get started at around $100 per month to see if the concepts are viable for your business.

The component that is critical is remembering to budget marketing dollars to promote your mobile campaign. Whether you simply adjust your current campaign or launch an entirely new one, you must market your mobile campaign or you will not get participation.

9. Do social network services like Twitter impact mobile marketing? How and how can companies best take advantage of these services?

Wow. You certainly dive right into the questions, don’t you? Yes, social network services can impact mobile marketing. It depends upon how consumers use them. If a person only logs into Twitter on their desktop and never turns on their mobile device notification or check in while mobile, then it doesn’t impact it at all for that person. For them Twitter is a desktop application.

However, if a person turns on the device notification and starts to interact with Twitter by getting DMs and notifications from any or all of the people they follow, then it has become a mobile marketing tool for the people who tweet to them. The rub is that no one really knows who has device notification on and who doesn’t.

The best way to use social networking for any purpose, mobile marketing or otherwise, is to use it as a relationship building tool. Just be yourself and meet people. Get to know them and let them get to know you. The business aspect will sort itself out. Just like with any form of networking you will do business with some people and not others.

10. Where do you see mobile marketing in one year?

Consumers will be upgrading their phones to smartphones at astonishing rates. They will then sign up for unlimited data and text message plans in record numbers which will continue to drive mobile marketing more mainstream. By the end of 2009 I believe that most major companies will have mobile-friendly websites and mobile marketing campaigns will be becoming commonplace.

I see mobile marketing becoming something that is part of everyday life for people who are already mobile-savvy now. Going online via mobile will be a daily occurrence and signing up for text message campaigns will be something that we do on a regular basis. Most magazines will have mobile-integrated ads and it will be common to see most advertising have a mobile-based call to action.

For folks who rarely use their cell phone now for anything beyond phone calls, mobile web use and text messaging will still be the stuff of science fiction unless they make the conscious decision to keep up with technology.

11. We understand that you’ve written a book – The Mobile Marketing Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Mobile Marketing Campaigns. Please tell us about the book.

This book is for businesses and marketing professionals who need to know how to use mobile marketing as an effective tool. It lays out the foundation of mobile marketing which is to provide value to consumers. Beyond the strategy of mobile marketing it also includes how to steps in getting started with mobile websites, mobile promotion (mobile SEO and advertising) as well as text message campaigns. You can find out more about it at

12. What do you do with your free time?

In my free time I am a room parent for my daughter’s class a school, a Girl Scout leader and love to scrapbook, read and watch TV while keeping up with my social networking on the laptop. I live in Lakewood, Colorado with my husband, our daughter and our two dogs.

Thanks so much, Kim.