Why mobile and traditional media are a powerful combination
By Tim Favia
If mobile is going to be the next big ad medium, it will need the help of the traditional media formats. The biggest challenge that mobile has is engaging people on their mobile phones in a legal and non-offensive way.
Traditional media, especially radio and television, is struggling to compete with online, reinvent itself and find new sources of revenue. Radio and TV are tremendous broad reach mediums, but are desperate to create more interactivity and engagement with listeners and viewers.
There is a symbiotic relationship beginning to develop. Herein lies the opportunity.
I recently attended a conference hosted by a leading venture capital company that included presentations from the largest U.S. new media, social networking and technology companies to online and mobile startups.
The discussions quickly turned to new media business models that are designed to capture ad spend from traditional media such as TV, radio, print and out-of-home.
Numerous presenters spoke of the inevitable disintermediation of mainstream media as advertisers transition to more measurable media.
The continuing growth of online ad spend at the expense of traditional media serves notice of the success of that strategy.
Also, it suggests the viability of an alternative strategy of partnering with large traditional media companies, with still dominant broad-based access to American consumers, to evolve their medium.
A significant opportunity exists to work with the broadcast and print players to make their programming dramatically more interactive through mobile, and engage the millions of viewers, listeners and readers that they fear losing.
In turn, we in the mobile space can leverage traditional media's unmatched reach to build valuable, consent-based relationships with the mobile users that marketers increasingly covet.
Radio's inherently mobile nature and cost effective broad reach makes it an attractive target. Mobile marketing gives radio stations across the country the tools they need to engage listeners, create sticky programming, increase ratings and, most importantly, drive new revenues.
Mobile devices enable the opportunity to reach listeners wherever they are, and radio offers an established, cost-effective relationship with millions of listeners.
By initiating a mobile dialogue directly with listeners, radio stations of all sizes are able to grow listeners and Web traffic by creating contests and exclusive offerings via programs such as SMS text-to-win promotions and by providing fun, interactive mobile content on their Web sites.
When you combine the broad and demographically diverse reach of traditional broadcasting, with the interactive, engaging and measurable nature of mobile communication, you create a powerful basis for mass engagement.
Once engaged, users can subscribe to a myriad of free ad-sponsored mobile content, participate in contests or engage with their favorite programming. Advertisers in turn get access to millions of mobile users in a highly targeted and relevant way to deliver offers and promotional messages.
Timothy Favia is president/CEO of mobile ad network mSnap Inc., San Francisco. Reach him at />.