Chapter 24

MillerCoors Drinks from Android Cup

Like Arby’s, MillerCoors employed short message service (SMS) at first while preparing for the day when smartphone penetration would justify broader programs to include such tactics as applications, the mobile Web, and even geo-fencing, which uses technology to reach opted-in mobile subscribers in a designated local area.

“It was probably 2008, mobile was very much a text-driven world, which is great,” says Steve Mura, director of digital marketing at MillerCoors. “It still is very much a text-driven world. Text programs were cheaper, they were more consumer-friendly and easily understood from the retailer perspective. It just made this world we live in easier to navigate for everyone—consumers, companies, and retailers.

“There was this waiting period. We said text was great and it’s working but what’s next? Then you started to see GPS [Global Positioning Systems] pop up on phones, and that became interesting and then obviously the big game changer was the iPhone. It wasn’t a big game changer for the masses but it was a game change and sort of woke up the beast and then everyone said, ‘Smartphones are it. They’re the next thing—look at all the things these mini-computers in your hands can do,’ and then everyone saw the potential.”

But it wasn’t the iPhone and Apple’s closed iOS operating system but another operating system that MillerCoors needed.

“The potential was more realized by the Android phone [developed by Google and partners ...

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