SALES OFFICE BY ABBY AUERBACH

Stations Shouldn’t Give Away Mobile Ads

Broadcasters should seize the opportunity, bring mobile DTV to market as quickly as possible and monetize this valuable asset from Day One. As mobile DTV rolls out, marketers will have the opportunity to establish the deepest connection with consumers through the reach of television, their relationship with local news and entertainment, the interactivity of the Web and the intimacy of personal mobile devices. Mobile DTV will offer true value, not added value.

Mobile DTV is poised to become a potent new offering in TV stations’ digital quiver. As signals are turned on and receiving devices are rolled out, mobile DTV will give marketers valuable new connections to consumers and valuable new advertising opportunities through which to engage with them. Mobile DTV will provide true advertising value and broadcasters shouldn’t be shy about bringing it to market, from day one, priced accordingly.

MagnaGlobal’s recently released forecast stated that “interest in mobile advertising has been catalyzed among large advertisers over the past year, and we expect growth of 60.1% during 2011.” That interest was clear to me as I observed the record number of agency and advertiser executives attending the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. Marketers went to see, first-hand, the consumer electronics industry’s vision of converged media and the devices that will put those media in the hands of American consumers. They went to discover the next ad apps and opps, and local broadcast television had a lot to offer with mobile DTV.

“Mobile DTV will be bigger than anybody thinks,” Jeff Minsky, director, emerging media at OMD Ignition Factory, told me on the CES floor. He’s excited about the ad opportunities that TV stations will offer in the mobile space — and broadcasters should be excited too, because Jeff and other “new-media” strategists influence budgets beyond spot TV. 

Mobile DTV solidifies TV stations’ place in the digital-media planning conversation and it warrants the attention of all media strategists. As mobile DTV rolls out, marketers will have the opportunity to establish the deepest connection with consumers through the reach of television, their relationship with local news and entertainment, the interactivity of the Web and the intimacy of personal mobile devices. As Mobile DTV signals go live and devices are turned on, shoppers will be the recipients of advertisers’ local TV schedules and unique advertising opportunities will be added to their suite of creative possibilities. 

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Mobile DTV won’t be fully deployed at the flick of a switch, but it is coming. Currently, more than 50 stations are broadcasting mobile DTV signals. And a variety of industry organizations are working hard to spread the revolution. Mobile Content Venture, a joint effort of 12 major broadcast groups, has announced it will provide mobile DTV channels in 20 markets this year. The Mobile 500 Alliance, whose member stations represent 92% of the U.S., is also committed to launching mobile DTV.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition is working with device manufacturers to bring mobile-DTV-enabled devices, including smart phones, iPad/iPod accessories, laptops and DVD players, to market.  And broadcasters are in discussions with carriers, device manufacturers and content providers to develop a revenue-producing business plan for mobile DTV.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

It wasn’t long ago that stations had similar Internet “toes-in-the-water.” At first, only a few stations published a site and fewer offered dedicated advertising packages.  In those early days, many sales teams introduced stations’ Web assets to customers by adding Internet impressions to on-air schedules in the form of added value — at no charge. As stations’ Web offerings grew, site visits increased and advertising potential rose, it was difficult to monetize the value of stations’ websites with customers accustomed to receiving those impressions for free.  There is a lesson in that experience for broadcasters as mobile DTV comes to market.

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Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting, recently told me: “Mobile DTV will extend and expand our audience, so it needs to be valued.” Like our earlier foray into the Internet, mobile DTV will start small.  But every opportunity to connect an advertiser with a shopper and enable them to engage in a marketing dialogue will have true value.

Advertisers recognize the power of the mobile medium and are exploring its new opportunities — with growing budgets. Broadcasters should seize the opportunity, bring mobile DTV to market as quickly as possible and monetize this valuable asset from Day One. Mobile DTV is true value, not added value.


Abby Auerbach is TVB’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. She can be reached at [email protected]. All about sales and advertising, Sales Office appears once a month in TVNewsCheck through the cooperation of the TVB, which solicits the columns from its staff and members. To see all the columns in the series, click here.


Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Michael Miles says:

January 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

how about stations shouldn’t give away any ads?

Gregg Palermo says:

January 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

too little, too late, we can all remember when local TV was a big deal, but the quarterly bottom line blinded its keepers


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