They ran a campaign of under 120,000 MMS picture messages. And that miniscule mobile phone campaign resulted in 45 million - million - dollars in additional business. Business that wes directly attributable - and accurately attributed - to the 120,000 mobile phone messages.
Must be them mad Koreans eh, or the weird and wacky Finns, or the simply different Japanese, eh?
No, this was in Germany. The company who made 45 million dollars out of a tiny messaging campaign was not a pornographer, or a crazy tones subscription provider, nor a phony voting scam on TV, nor some outrageously addictive social networking phenomenon.
It wasn't even a digital business, and the provider was not known for digital innovation. It was that ultimate driving machine company from Bayern, yes BMW. As conservative and "bricks-and-mortar" business as can be, in Germany, far from the leading edge of mobile telecoms.
I've blogged about this amazing mobile marketing campaign, at the Communities Dominate blog, and I have said many times that it is an excellent example of excellence in mobile marketing and advertising, and deserves to win awards this year. It is also a perfect example of engagement marketing, and shows you don't have to create a fantastic mobile social networking service like a Cyworld or Flirtomatic to be able to do engagement marketing well.
So now, my dear friend Ajit Jaokar, who blogs at Open Gardens, has done a nice analysis of the mathematics and economics of the campaign (with some help from the industry guru Romi Parmar, as well as some very intelligent discussions we saw at Forum Oxford). Ajit breaks it down like this:
The campaign went out to only those BMW new-car buyers who bought their Beemer in the summer season in Germany. Out of all cars sold in 2007, BMW sold 117,000 to private citizens in the summer period (anyone who bought a BMW as part of a fleet, would have bulk buyers for their winter tyres)
The campaign sent out 117,000 MMS picture messages. These cost a total airtime cost approx 60,000 US dollars
The BMW campaign received a 30% conversion rate (ie people actually showed up in a store, and made a purchase) - truly amazing, a brilliant number (internet advertising is happy if they get 5% click-through rates..)
The average cost of a set of winter tyres is 700 dollars, and average cost of tyres plus rims 2,500 dollars. Average customer would spend approx 1,300 dollars.
Multiply that by 30% of 117,000 and we get 35,000 customers who received the MMS message, who appeared at a registered BMW dealer, and bought tyres (or tyres and rims) for their new cars.
Total earned by BMW out of this campaign - 45,500,000 million dollars.
45 MILLION earned by one campaign that cost 60,000 to run.
The return of investment per single MMS ad transmitted was a stunning 758 dollars.
Check out Ajit's full analysis and calculations (and his related postings about the utility - and sometimes lack thereof - of MMS marketing)
But yeah, if you can make 45 million more business using a mobile phone campaign that had transmission costs of 60,000 dollars, then any CFO, CMO and CEO will suddenly question the sanity of running television campaigns that cost millions and newspaper and magazine ad campaigns that run hundreds of thousands, with no way to measure their effect.
Gotta love this business.