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Print newspaper taps mobile to monetize content

In response to the suffering print advertising industry, newspaper Metro U.S. implemented an SMS program to get news readers interacting with its print property.

In New York, Boston and Philadelphia, Metro readers can participate in the daily Metro TXT Poll. Every day Metro will place a question on the front page and encourage readers to text in an answer for the opportunity to win a $250 Visa gift card. Results are shown the following day in the Voices section.

"By incorporating text into the print ads, advertisers can have the fastest call-to-action ever created for print ads, said Dave Everett, vice president and partner at KaOoga, Newton, MA.

"This coupon is like a 'mobile magnate' -- it actually stays on the phone of the person who texted," he said.

Tapping into this mobile channel has opened up plenty of sponsorship opportunities for Metro such as bounce back messaging, daily print exposure, prize sponsorship and online interaction.

Each of these advertising packages differs in exposure and are customizable in terms of a monthly or annual program that meets the client's budget.

"The strategy for the newspapers is to use text to create an additional revenue source," Mr. Everett said. "They do this by providing the readers an instant ability to interact with the print."

Metro plans on furthering their SMS integration into a campaign by developing a personalized texting promotion that is linked to the print advertisements.

For a chance to win a prize offering, readers can text into a client's customized number.

"Mobile has captured the loyalty of the younger demos the newspapers have largely forfeited to the online world," Mr. Everett said.

"A text component in their advertiser relationship spices up everything else they have in the menu of offerings," he said. "Text can put print advertising in an entirely new dimension."

Metro claims that its TXT poll is a more personal and effective way to jump off the page at readers, as well as to give its advertisers a more interesting platform from which to engage customers.
Metro and its advertisers chose KaOoga Mobile as the service provider for TXT poll.

This news comes off the heels of KaOoga's latest campaign with SnoCountry, where it helped promote incentives, promotions and seasonal offerings to active skiers and snowboarders.

This advertiser segment that was traditionally committed to print ads has decided it needs to find new ways to reach customers (see story).

According to KaOoga Mobile, SMS is the backbone of mobile marketing and the incorporation of TXT Poll on Metro's front page gives every reader the instant opportunity to interact with the paper.

"Text offers advertisers something to put some excitement and immediacy into their relationship with the reader, Mr. Everett said.

"It gives them a direct outreach to the 'mobile' readers. They are putting one major new weapon in their arsenal," he said.