A few months ago I was on a trip visiting a couple of my closest friends. We were having a blast as usual, but all of a sudden the momentum of our weekend really kicked up a notch. It all started as we were parking looking for a bite to eat. Scanning the radio stations of a foreign city, we finally heard one jam that riveted our attention:

We couldn’t help ourselves – as the song filled our rental car’s speakers, the energy for the whole weekend just catapulted exponentially. Of the ~330K Youtube views, probably 150 have come from my laptop since that day.

And it’s that memory that’s behind the spirit of MobileDemystified’s first 2012 mobile marketing award: the Brand That Felt Like Busting Loose. Meaning, which brand in 2012 just put a stamp on the year in terms of innovation, progress and modeling best practices for those looking to build out a mobile strategy?

In 2011 the winner was Starbucks. Everywhere you looked, whether SMS, mobile web, mobile app, payments – Starbucks was kicking mobile butt. In 2012?

Congratulations, Target. You are the 2012 brand that felt like busting loose. Out of every brand that I can think of, none went from “not on my mobile radar” to “fully on my mobile radar” more profoundly than Target in 2012. Let’s take a look at two of the reasons why:

1) Innovative Use Of Mobile Across The Brand: 

If you’ve been a frequent reader of Mobile Demystified, you’ll know that successful mobile strategy requires commitment across the brand. Throwing an SMS call to action on one piece of collateral will return much lower ROI than posting that CTA across print, online, social, mobile app, wherever.

Target’s 2012 mobile efforts took this line of thinking even further. In addition to promoting mobile across channels, Target uses mobile opportunistically, targeting campaigns based on needs, environment, audience or use cases.

For example, Target used mobile not just as a marketing tool, but also as a recruiting tool. Brilliant move if you ask me. In a down economy, people are looking for work. Target makes it as easy as possible to apply, and the goodwill generated by displaying job opportunities so publicly is worth something (probably a lot) as well.

2) Attention To Detail

In the mobile world, attention to detail separates the good from the best.

Take for example this recent campaign from Target we saw on a local bus stop:

So congratulations to Target, our winner for brand that busted loose in 2012. I look forward to seeing more of your innovation in 2013.

Stay tuned as we continue with the rest of Mobile Demystified’s Year End Awards next week. Until then, have a good weekend and happy holidays.

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