The more indispensable cell phones become to consumers, the more major brands look for new ways to reach them where they live – on their mobile. One of these new solutions comes from ChaCha, a start-up that danced its way onto the scene in January with its Mobile Answers service.

caught texting jiu.jpgUsing ChaCha Mobile Answers is as easy as texting any question to 242242 (CHACHA, of course), waiting a minute or two and getting a reply text with the answer. Unlike a search engine, ChaCha has thousands of human “guides” all over the country waiting to research your question. And, notes ChaCha marketing VP Susan Marshall, because all the questions reach humans, you can use text shortcuts and not have to worry about making a computer understand.

Last week, the company unveiled its second service, ChaCha 1:1, a mobile marketing solution that couples Mobile Answers with analytics and reporting. According to Marshall, consumer brands started approaching ChaCha after learning of Mobile Answers wanting a way to make a customized version available to their customers to build deeper relationships.


When a company signs on for a ChaCha 1:1 campaign, it gets its own ChaCha short code, which can be used for all sorts of interactive marketing activities. An example Marshall gave was that a hotel chain could advertise online, on a billboard, on the radio or in-venue with a message to text a keyword to the hotel’s short code. Texters could receive a list of fun getaway ideas and a discount coupon for the one they choose. ChaCha also manages the back-end couponing, downloads and in-venue mobile activity.

ChaCha kicked off a pilot campaign for the new service with Coke at the Allstate Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis in late July. More than half of the race’s attendees participated in the text-to-play and text-to-win campaigns. According to ChaCha, the beverage brand saw a 5.2% conversion rate as a result of the campaign.

(Image credit: Jupiterimages Unlimited)