Royal Air Force recruitment campaign using SMS and the mobile internet (Incentivated) | MMA Global

Royal Air Force recruitment campaign using SMS and the mobile internet (Incentivated)

April 29, 2007

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Entry title
Royal Air Force recruitment campaign using SMS and the mobile internet

Section / Category
Public Sector / Recruitment / General

Campaign background and objectives
Life in the Royal Air Force is about more than just flying. The aim of this campaign was to highlight the fact that the RAF offers more than 60 different career options, including roles for gunners, search and rescue, medics and engineers.

Targeting 16-24 year olds, male and female, the campaign encouraged applications for these positions and offered potential recruits easy and instantaneous access to job specifications via the mobile internet. RAF research shows that potential recruits are tech savvy and use multiple functions on their mobile phones, so adding mobile to the recruitment campaign met the campaign brief. In addition recruits could text their email address (i.e. send via SMS) for details to be sent by email; the idea being to use mobile marketing to drive traffic to the website (as well as mobile internet site.)

A text call-to-action was added to the heavy weight TV campaign which ran on over 60 channels for eight weeks, as well as in a number of lifestyle magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Company.

The 30 second TV spots ended with a text call to action (text RAF1 or RAF2 to 62233).  Potential recruits who participated received an SMS response asking them to reply with the role of interest (eg ‘gunner’, ‘medic’) their name and email address. A second message was then sent with an embedded WAP push to the mobile internet (WAP) site which includes short job descriptions. The site, which uses live feeds from the RAF’s new fully interactive ‘Rise to the Challenge’ website ( informs potential recruits about the variety of careers in the RAF, along with salary details and necessary qualifications. Applicants can also request a job application form by email.

The new fully interactive website features blogs, videos, podcasts, interactive aptitude tests and fitness guides plus an improved job search facility and helps to prepare applicants for service life. 

An e-bulletin with further information is then sent to the email address supplied driving traffic to the website. 

In just over two months approximately 1,400 users requested details from the RAF. Since the RAF is looking to recruit only a few hundred people, e.g. 400 Gunners, these figures – which were high quality leads – should be assessed in that context. In fact the mobile element of the RAF recruitment campaign delivered 10% of the total leads for a tiny fraction of the budget.

Initial responses to the TV ads resulted in 1,051 unique visitors to the mobile internet site and 1,258 sessions (calculated using the real-time reporting function on Incentivated’s ‘iris’ campaign management platform). 

Since the campaign objective was to target new recruits not sell a product it is difficult to calculate ROI. However in monetary terms the cost per lead for each recruit was only £7!

In terms of advertising, advertorials which ran in three monthly women’s lifestyle magazines, generated a third of total text requests.

The TV advertising, which ran on over 60 channels over eight weeks, generated the remaining two thirds which meant that the most effective media mix for this campaign was mobile and print.

About Incentivated
Incentivated works with global brands to help them communicate with customers instantly and easily via their mobile phones.

We develop and manage mobile marketing campaigns and services on local, national and international levels. (Patented) technology, developed by Incentivated, allows our clients to reach people in all corners of the world and in many languages, using text messaging and the mobile internet.

We believe the mobile phone is an intensely private medium. Respecting this principle, our campaigns provide information that consumers find useful and welcome.

Founded in 2001, Incentivated's fast growing client base includes British Airways, Hilton Group, Carphone Warehouse, OneTel, Scottish Power and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mobile internet (WAP) site