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2/15/2011
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Hipcricket Adds Facebook Integration To Mobile Ad Platform

HIP 7.0, the latest iteration of the cloud-based marketing software, also brings enhanced analytics and CRM integration.

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Mobile marketing and advertising company Hipcricket on Tuesday released HIP 7.0, the latest iteration of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, featuring integration with Facebook, as well as enhanced analytics and reporting.

The cloud-based software's new SocialConnect capability integrates Facebook Pages with the clients' mobile marketing campaigns, allowing advertisers to capture multiple levels of opt-in data -- such as email addresses, phone numbers, and locations -- from Facebook Pages fans. SocialConnect integrates into businesses' existing mobile and email databases, according to Hipcricket.

"With 80,000 campaigns completed and a 10-fold growth in our advertising network announced last year, Hipcricket has experienced incredible growth, even just in the last six months," said Eric Harber, president and chief operating officer of Hipcricket, in a statement. "Our rapid product development and recent partnerships yielded a new version of HIP 7.0. We believe our clients will recognize the significant value of the new platform right away; particularly with the all-important social media integration enabled by SocialConnect."

Demand for mobile marketing is expected to grow this year, with 88% of client-side marketers saying they will use mobile marketing in 2011, according to a study by the Association of National Advertisers, published in late January in conjunction with the Mobile Marketing Association. And 75% of respondents plan to increase their spending on mobile marketing initiatives by an average of 59%, compared with year-ago spending, the online poll of ANA members found.

"Mobile is clearly a fast-growing platform for marketers, but it has yet to attain its full potential," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of ANA, in a statement that accompanied the study's release. "With the anticipated increase in adoption this year, we expect to see fresh, innovative approaches, increased brand-building success, and better accountability for this exciting channel."

With HIP 7.0, businesses also can monitor, measure, and manage advertising campaigns, enabling them to predict consumer behavior, test variables, and make on-the-fly changes to mobile marketing campaigns, the developer said. The software's CRMXchange feature integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing resource management (MRM) applications, so companies can import and export data between these applications and HIP 7.0. CRMXchange combines analytics from mobile channels including SMS, Web, and mobile apps, and then applies rules across all channels, Hipcricket said.

The software's SmartXchange feature remembers and analyzes conversations and actions users previously had with HIP 7.0, enhancing the technology's predictive analytics and improving the software's intelligence, according to the developer.

In addition, Hipcricket continues to expand its partner base, integrating with vendors in areas such as image recognition technology and two-dimensional quality-recognition barcodes used for mobile wallets and point-of-sale scanning.

Clear Channel radio station KIIS 102.7 FM, which has 30,000 fans on its Facebook fan page, has been a long-time Hipcricket client, said Eileen Woodbury, Clear Channel Los Angeles marketing director. The station is using HIP 7.0 to integrate its mobile marketing campaign with the Facebook page, she said.

"For years, Hipcricket has empowered us to do that with mobile marketing and listener loyalty clubs. HIP 7.0 is a benefit to us because of its unmatched abilities to connect our social media campaigns and mobile marketing," Woodbury said in a statement.

Last year, Hipcricket -- whose clients include Macy's, Nestle, and KFC -- announced it had signed a three-year contract to develop and execute all mobile marketing efforts in conjunction with MillerCoors' agency and development partners.

"In 2010, we saw more long-term platform purchases with healthy budgets becoming the norm. More and more, brands are seeking to identify and hire Hipcricket, a trusted mobile partner that can provide mobile marketing and advertising," Harber said at the time.

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