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Bonneville boosts listener engagement, saves money with SMS push

Bonneville International is leveraging SMS messaging to better engage audiences across its portfolio of radio stations in contests and sweepstakes while reducing costs.

Bonneville?s use of Marketron?s SMS service will enhance marketing programs by allowing a disc jockey to alert listeners about a sweepstakes, then broadcast what keyword or short code they have to text in to be entered to win. The move points to mobile?s ability to help broadcasters efficiently streamline audience communication at a cost that makes the system readily available to all stations, regardless of market size.  

?It?s easy and efficient for both the stations and their audience to do sweepstakes via SMS than calling campaigns ? be caller number 10, etcetera ? or a Web based contest,? said Martin Kristiseter, vice president of Mobile Solutions with Marketron, Hailey, ID. 

Natural fit
Radio listeners are already mobile, so making the response channel available through SMS is a natural fit. 

Sample radio station call to action via SMS.

More importantly, a growing amount of radio consumption happens through the mobile device, such as streaming.  

?Stations are making their content readily available across any and all platforms that their audiences want to consume it,? Mr. Kristiseter said.  ?Making it easy to get a dialogue started with that audience, whether it?s sending questions or comments to their favorite show or enter contests, is a natural extension for all broadcasters.  

?Mobile is critical for all broadcasters,? he said. ?Looking at mobile advertising spend, it actually surpassed radio ad spend last year.  That?s a massive change.  

?Broadcasters are very forward thinking and fully understand that the consumer is in charge and if they want to consume their content on the phone, tablet, PC, or TV or their car radio, they need to be there,? he said. ?It?s really that simple. ? 

Broadcasters have realized for some time that marketing needs to be tied into mobile to boost ad revenue while staying connected to mobile-savvy listeners.

Adopting mobile lets radio stations build a mobile database for future marketing, increase time listening through text-to-win contests and help advertisers better reach their goals.

?We consume so much of our content via mobile phones now, so having a solid mobile strategy, which messaging is a part of, is critical for their ongoing success, both engagement and revenue wise,? Mr. Kristiseter said.  

?Most stations ask their audiences to opt-in to the station mobile community to get inside information and other special information.  We?ve seen stations opting in as many as 50 percent of contest participants to their loyalty club.  

?The open rates from such messages are over 80 percent in the first two minutes which just can?t be found in other response channels,? he said. 

Multiple products
Bonneville, the Salt Lake City-based owner-operator of radio stations in Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, has been using Marketron Revenue Solutions for more than a decade. 

Radio and SMS: a natural fit.
?Our clients have launched multiple products through our solution set to take advantage of the growing mobile audience and especially growing budgets,? Mr. Kristiseter said.  ?We enable our partners to tap into budget that weren?t available to them just a couple of years ago.  

?The fastest growing mobile product at Marketron is location-based advertising where broadcasters can deliver hyperlocal banners, rich media, and video ads on behalf of local marketers that extends far outside of the broadcaster?s own audiences across apps, mobile web, and messaging inventory, ? he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York.