Very few companies have effectively commercialized MMS for use in mobile marketing. Enabling an enduring, robust connection between SpyderLynk’s proprietary branded SnapTag with an MMS short code required a complex integration and Sybase 365 worked with us to make it happen seamlessly.
SpyderLynk is a marketing technology company, enabling a mobile connection between brands and consumers by making brand logos a gateway to mobile brand dialog. The addition of a SpyderLynk Code Ring™ around a brand logo makes it an interactive SnapTag – when SnapTags are placed in advertisements, retail displays and other marketing collateral, they give consumers access to brand discounts, video clips, promotions, store locaters, free samples and much, much more. Consumers use their mobile camera phone to snap a picture of the SnapTag, and send it via MMS or email to SpyderLynk. SpyderLynk’s image analysis technology reads the SnapTag and returns the designated brand response message to the consumer. Business Advantage Key Benefits Sybase Technology Industry
SpyderLynk turned to Sybase 365 to enable short connectivity between consumers and SpyderLynk. The Sybase MMS 365 gateway processes multimedia messaging service (MMS) transmissions that allow consumers with mobile phones to send SnapTags using short codes. In addition to providing the gateway technology, Sybase 365 ensures that SpyderLynk’s technology interfaces properly with mobile carrier networks by providing the required programming and technical support when carrier networks do not perform properly.
SpyderLynk is a marketing technology company, enabling a mobile connection between brands and consumers by making brand logos a gateway to mobile brand dialog. The addition of a SpyderLynk Code Ring™ around a brand logo makes it an interactive SnapTag – when SnapTags are placed in advertisements, retail displays and other marketing collateral, they give consumers access to brand discounts, video clips, promotions, store locaters, free samples and much, much more. Consumers use their mobile camera phone to snap a picture of the SnapTag, and send it via MMS or email to SpyderLynk. SpyderLynk’s image analysis technology reads the SnapTag and returns the designated brand response message to the consumer.
Pioneers in Mobile Brand Marketing Technology
SpyderLynk is a mobile marketing and technology company pioneering highly-functional solutions that enable mobile connectivity between brand marketers and consumers. The company’s patent-pending, SnapTag solution delivers mass-marketing interactive functionality and detailed analytics reporting by turning any logo into a gateway for mobile marketing campaigns.
As an alternative to two-dimensional mobile barcodes or tags, SnapTags are accessible without downloading a phone application and can be created from just about any logo. Any consumer with a mobile phone camera can snap and send a SnapTag to access brand offers, video clips, coupons, promotions, store locaters and free samples as well as any other type of text or video messaging related to a marketing campaign.
“With 85 percent of advertising budgets targeted towards reaching consumers off-line*, our SnapTag mobile barcodes add the interactive functionality of online advertising, direct marketing and behavior tracking to mass-market advertising,” says Jane McPherson, CMO of SpyderLynk. “This combination allows brands to improve marketing campaigns and enhance consumer relationships.”
Mobile tagging is a rapidly evolving space, and nearly all mobile tags require users to download an application to communicate, creating a significant barrier for many consumers. Only 20 percent of consumers have smart phones that can download applications and even with the right type of phone, consumers still have to go through the process of downloading the application. But SpyderLynk technology is unique in that it does not require an application. “We simply make it easier by allowing consumers to send images just like they would send a text message,” McPherson says. “There’s never a need to spend time downloading an application.”
Providing Consumers with Quick Access
“We wanted to make participating in a SnapTag program as easy as possible for the consumer with the objective of driving the greatest amount of program participation for our clients,” McPherson says. “The short code provides quick connection speeds, great burst capacity and is really friendly for consumers.”
To give consumers the ability to send SnapTags via a short code connection, SpyderLynk realized it would need to find a partner that offered effective multimedia message service (MMS) technology. The partner would also need to have well-established relationships with leading mobile phone carriers already in place.
“Processing MMS transmissions is still relatively new for the carrier industry, so we also realized we needed a partner that could provide a gateway solution for our first of its kind technology,” McPherson says. “We needed an innovative technology firm that could collaborate with us to create a new solution for the marketing industry.”
Sybase 365 Provides Gateway Technology and Carrier Relationships
After researching several mobile gateway aggregators, SpyderLynk chose Sybase 365 because of its reputation as a worldwide leader in mobile technology and equally important because of Sybase 365’s strong working relationships with leading mobile carriers across the globe.
“Developing the necessary application programming interfaces (APIs) so that our SnapTag technology works properly with the mobile carrier networks requires a high level of expertise,” McPherson says. “Sybase 365 demonstrated its ability to provide this capability along with strong partnerships with the carriers.”
The deployment of Sybase 365 began in December 2009, and the first connections between SpyderLynk and major U.S. carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Alltel and were operational by February 2010. Sybase 365 collaborated closely SpyderLynk to ensure the initial API with each carrier worked properly. Since the initial launch, Sybase 365 has been a reliable partner in helping launch new programs that require short codes to be integrated with each mobile carrier.
SpyderLynk relies heavily on the expertise of Sybase 365 professional services personnel as the short code provisioning process is fairly complex and each carrier has multiple business units that Sybase 365 needs to interface with to complete the provisioning process.
The Sybase 365 team works on SpyderLynk’s behalf each time a new program requires a short code connection, and responds quickly when a carrier network performance issue arises. When one of the major carriers applied an update to their network that caused the SpyderLynk API connection to go down, Sybase 365 responded quickly to get the connection working properly again.
Major Brands Benefit from SpyderLynk Campaigns
One of SpyderLynk’s clients that has benefited from the Sybase MMS 365 solution has been Coke Zero, during which SpyderLynk processed 140,000 SnapTag MMS messages including burst activity that occurred during heavy promotional periods. Warner Brothers, another SpyderLynk client, uses SnapTag technology to send handset optimized video content from DVDs that are new to the market. Another client sends recipes while others conduct sweepstakes drawings.
“Very few companies have effectively commercialized MMS for use in mobile marketing. Enabling an enduring, robust connection between SpyderLynk’s proprietary branded SnapTag with an MMS short code required a complex integration and Sybase 365 worked with us to make it happen seamlessly.”
The combined SpyderLynk-Sybase 365 solution allows SpyderLynk clients to combine mass marketing with online marketing. Consumers can interact with brands from any place an impression is delivered—such as advertisements, marketing collateral and retail displays. Next up, SpyderLynk is extending the SnapTag to television, enabling brands to activate a mobile engagement when watching TV.
Sybase 365 Solution Benefits Consumers and SpyderLynk
“For consumers, the major benefit that Sybase MMS 365 provides is the ability to send a SnapTag via a short code connection, expanding the accessibility of SnapTag programs, providing great burst capacity and quick connection speeds.” McPherson says.
The implementation of Sybase 365 was unique and complex compared to MMS provisioning, but the Sybase engineers offered a collaborative approach to help SpyderLynk develop a solution that is effective for consumers, SpyderLynk and its clients. The system has been stable since the initial deployment, with new programs and codes added seamlessly.
“The technology and the expertise provided by Sybase 365 to connect our solution to mobile carriers is a strong benefit to SpyderLynk,” McPherson concludes. “Sybase 365 has acted as our champion to ensure our programs progress through the provisioning process. As we grow, we know that Sybase 365 is robust enough to handle large bursts of activity as more consumers connect with our clients.”
*Emarketer (November 2010)