THE MARKETING 100; SKYTEL RAY O'BRIEN

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For skytel's two-way pager, Senior VP-Sales and Marketing Ray O'Brien sees the message in the medium.

The company, with help from Suisse-Miller Advertising, Santa Monica, Calif., is running a campaign carrying the tagline, "Can your pager do that?" It targets some 30 million U.S. consumers already using pagers.

Since the launch last September of two-way paging, SkyTel has acquired more than 20,000 customers, mostly in the business market. Users pay close to $30 a month to send and receive up to 100 messages on SkyTel's nationwide network, which covers 300 markets.

"We're positioning two-way paging as part of the general communications process," says Mr. O'Brien. "People are spending more time away from their desks and phones and need to get quick responses from their pagers."

In addition to advertising, SkyTel has tapped direct mail, telephone marketing, a sales force and a Web site (http://www.-skytel.com) to help create demand.

The company, looking to double its customer base, will break new print and TV campaigns, with an increased budget, this summer promoting the capabilities of two-way paging.

With the convergence of technology, SkyTel hopes to soon offer paging services that integrate wireless with e-mail and the World Wide Web. SkyTel last summer won a "Pioneer's Preference" grant from the government to develop and test the two-way technology.

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