Monday, October 04, 2010

MePlease launches today and shares interesting case studies

meplease logo It’s about time I blogged a few things as it has been a while and I feel no better place to start than with MePlease. I’ve known about MePlease for some time now as I met the founder, Steve Jarrett, over a year ago at The Tuttle Club and it was then that I first heard about his plans to launch a new company to provide mobile and social marketing services to retailers. Some of you may know that this is a topic close to my heart having spent my early career in fashion retail and more than 10 years ago, was part of the start-up team at ZagMe, the world’s first location-based mobile marketing service (sadly no longer). With all that in mind, I am certainly critical of mobile marketing services to retailers – sometimes overly so. But that’s because I’ve been there, done that and can quickly see the holes in a new service. I’m pleased to say that this isn’t the case with MePlease. With several solid and successful client campaigns under their belt, they’re now in full launch mode and sent me their latest press release.

So what is MePlease and what’s so special about them?

MePlease is an integrated social and mobile marketing platform that provides businesses with powerful ways to engage customers on their mobiles, along with easy social media sharing. Just as importantly, their platform gives people using MePlease complete control over which businesses can interact with them and how often. [I like the fact they’re combining ubiquitous SMS with mobile web and social media. No, SMS couponing isn’t unique, they’re not the first to do it, but I believe they’re doing it right, and I know for a fact they have a strong management and investment team.] And you can see how it works in this short video clip featuring Me Please's Cait Roberts (you may recognise her from TechfluffTV and Mobile Monday London.

MePlease In Action at PizzaExpress from MePlease on Vimeo.

MePlease Phone Screenshot The MePlease team also tell me that its mobile social platform makes any marketing campaign interactive, measurable and shareable. It has the ability to include voting, competitions, customer feedback, location check-ins and the sending of treats and promotions.  Using SMS, mobile web, facebook and more, this enables companies to help achieve specific business goals such as increasing loyalty, acquiring new customers, and driving footfall. MePlease provides a seamless experience with social media, especially Facebook’s Open Graph, making it easy for anyone to share MePlease treats and invitations with friends.  Importantly, however, with MePlease customers are in control of what companies they hear from and how often. Unlike mobile location or voucher-based applications, MePlease works on any phone and can connect with any business or service, from national brands to small businesses. [Sounds pretty comprehensive to me and worth a look if your game is retail. And I know they also have ways to be location-based without a customer needing to have a smartphone.]

pizza express Pizza Express ‘Create Your Pizza Challenge’ Campaign

PizzaExpress, the UK’s favourite high-street pizzeria (well, it’s certainly my favourite high-street pizzeria and a firm favourite with the Mobile Monday London team), is among the first to take advantage of the MePlease’s integrated social media and mobile platform in an upcoming national campaign.

PizzaExpress is using the MePlease system to enable interactive customer voting during the final round of their ‘Create Your Pizza Challenge’, which has already drawn over 48,000 entries since the competition opened (not too shabby a response I would say). Through on-table displays in every PizzaExpress locations from October 18th to November 14th, customers will be prompted to text-in their vote for one of the five finalist pizzas they would like to see on the menu. Once customers text-in, they will also be able to post their vote directly to Facebook to encourage viral sharing via MePlease.

John Sullivan, Director of Group IT at Gondola Group, (PizzaExpress’s parent company), said, “We really like that MePlease enables us to directly engage with our customers using their trusted one-to-one communication channel.  Recently over 10% of our MePlease users texted in for a special lunch event at our Richmond restaurant; this response rate was very encouraging and happened within 15 minutes of sending the initial call to action.” [We had similar response rates to this when we launched ZagMe so I’m not surprised at this figure. It is most definitely achievable.]

Steve Jarrett, CEO and Founder of MePlease commented, "Most businesses know they should be doing more with mobile and social media. I am hugely proud that our world-class team has created such a powerful, yet simple and fun way for businesses to engage with their customers and friends – while allowing each person to retain complete control about what they receive and from whom. There’s nothing else like the MePlease service available today and I’m really excited about the ways in which businesses are already using the platform.”

MePlease’s current clients include: PizzaExpress, Cineworld, Jack Wills, Nimax Theatre Group, Jongleur’s Comedy Clubs, Ted Baker, Waxy O’Connors’ Pubs, 333 Holdings, Kick Fitness, Tonicity Spa, William Thomas Hair, House Keepers London, Got Fitness and Fancy Dress.

tragus logos And if you think this Pizza Express campaign is a one-off, then they’ve also achieved great results with many more, including the  Tragus Group (Bella Pasta, Strada and Cafe Rouge):

Project: 6 month trial at selected Tragus locations in London in order to prove viability of national rollout to 250+ UK restaurants

Key Results: 

  • 9% average text redemption rate
  • 53% redemption rate for single campaign
  • 20% joined via sharing or signing up online

jongleurs And also Jongleurs:

Project: Promote Jongleurs’ new comedy club Sway, Covent Garden London during August, a typically quiet month

Key Results:

  • Drove up to 25% of the club’s footfall on Friday
    nights during one month, including ticket sales and
    food/beverage purchase
  • Increased ROI by 40% in one month

“We are really pleased with the results of our first MePlease campaign. From a sales and marketing perspective, August is our most challenging month so the fact that MePlease filled up to a quarter of our seats that month is a truly outstanding result.”
- Will Beckett, Operations Manager, Jongleurs