With devices like the iPhone growing in popularity, stations have a new way, right now, to let their advertisers reach consumers through marketing campaigns, promotions and other offerings like local information and games.
With mobile devices, particularly smart phones, becoming increasingly popular, it’s incumbent upon broadcasters and their advertisers to tap mobile opportunities if they want to stay in the game, industry experts said Thursday at BIA’s Winning Media Strategies conference in Washington.
Though broadcasts of regular programming is not yet available on mobile technology, like the iPhone, handhelds offer both stations and their clients means of reaching consumers through marketing campaigns, promotions and other offerings, like local information and games, they said.
The most immediate opportunity is “using mobile as an auxiliary channel,” said Michael Boland, program director, mobile local media, The Kelsey Group. Promoting and marketing both station and advertisers’ products via mobile not only extends the businesses’ reach, he said, but also provides both groups with quantifiable evidence about whether their efforts work, Boland said.
“It just adds a measurable component to something that is more opaque,” he said. “For some companies, it’s going to be a kind of retention play to prove value to an existing ad buy. The second scenario is moving beyond retention. This can be used to generate attention-based revenue.”
Research backs up that contention, Boland added. Kelsey Group research shows that number of smart phone users in 2008, 54 million, is expected to grow to 95 million by 2013. Over the same period, the amount of money spent on mobile advertising is expected to grow from $160 million to $3.1 billion — a change Boland calls “big growth in bad economic times.”
Fellow panelists — Sam Matheny, general manager, News Over Wireless, and Ivan Braiker, CEO, HipCricket — agreed with Boland, citing the success of recent mobile-based campaigns.
When Jiffy Lube, for example, offered mobile users a coupon, 50 percent of the individuals who redeemed them were first-time customers, they said. And when WDIV Detroit ran a contest for a shopping spree, 91,000 mobile users responded, they said.
That kind of response and research shows that smart phone consumers use their devices to tap local resources, such as finding local businesses or recreation opportunities, a trend that stations can maximize by providing the local information users want, he said.
In addition, the potential reach of mobile is even higher than the numbers show, Boland claimed. Since 20 percent of smart phone users do nothing more with the devices than talk or text, the remaining 80 percent of users has yet to be tapped, he said.