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Cold Stone Creamery issues mobile call-to-action via radio

August 21, 2009

cold-stone1A Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop in Roanoke, VA, launched a mobile campaign with a call-to-action broadcast on a local radio station.

As part of the Cold Stone Grand Opening Giveaway, listeners were encouraged to text in the keyword COLDSTONE to the short code 52353 for a chance to win a free cone at the new location. One in 20 participants won, and everyone got a mobile coupon for a dollar-off their next purchase.

“Cold Stone was looking for a way to increase customer loyalty through a mobile marketing campaign, one that was quick to implement and provided immediate, measurable results,” said Eric Harber, president and chief operating officer of HipCricket, Kirkland, WA. “The opportunity to do this was presented by K92, a contemporary hit radio station in Roanoke, VA, for which Cold Stone was already a sponsor.

“The partnership provided a true win-win-win scenario: Cold Stone reached new customers or existing customers through a new medium; K92 provided an important sponsor with a turnkey opportunity to conduct mobile marketing; and HipCricket was able to provide significant benefits to both K92 and Cold Stone,” he said.

Winners received the following text message: “Congrats! U win a FREE Coldstone Like It Size Signature Creation! Visit us at Valley View beside IHop and show this code: plu #20”

Cold Stone employees entered each code number into their point-of-sale system.

The mobile call-to-action went out on the Roanoke radio station WXLK, better known as K92, which plays current hits.

The Cold Stone Creamery store received nearly 500 text messages in three days and had a redemption rate of 26 percent.

“Studies have shown that mobile marketing provides higher rates of brand recall than other methods of marketing,” Mr. Harber said. “We’re seeing clients measure every dollar more carefully.

“Many are increasing overall spend in mobile marketing,” he said. 

The target demographic for the campaign was male and female consumers ages 18-34.

Cold Stone Creamery previously ran a mobile coupon program during the holidays to get consumers in-store and ultimately drive sales (see story).

“HipCricket helps its clients achieve closer relationships with their customers by communicating with them on a highly-personal medium – their mobile devices,” Mr. Harber said. “During these difficult economic times, companies like Cold Stone are looking to remain relevant and important to their customers.

“It’s easy for a customer to see an ice cream cone as a luxury,” he said. “At the same time, Cold Stone has certainly emerged as a beloved brand with significant customer loyalty, and all it may take for an existing customer to return or even a new customer to come in and try a cone is a simple reminder on their cell phones.

“And customers see the chance to win a free cone or get a savings coupon well worth the process of opting in.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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