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Ivan Braiker

Mobile is More Than Increasing Cume

By Ivan Braiker

I have fond memories of the first time I learned about mobile marketing, back near the dawn of the current millennium. My immediate reaction was, This is exactly what radio needs. Since 2004, I have been an evangelist for mobile marketing within the radio industry. Ive said that mobile will help stations increase cume. Ive said that mobile will help stations engage with listeners. Ive said that mobile will help stations build re-marketable databases. All these things are as true today as they were in 2004. But heres the real story mobile will help stations make money.

In the abstract, radio is everything that can be heard, that keeps the audience engaged the music, news, sports and talk. But in the real world, stations need revenue to survive and thrive. Theres a finite amount of airtime that can be devoted to ads before audiences turn the dial. Stations must get creative with new ideas to generate revenue. I dont have to tell you that mobile phone penetration is over 96% in the US (source: CTIA). Stations know that their audience is mobile, but what many dont know is how to leverage that to their advantage.

Here are a few ideas:
Sponsored Alerts
If your station isnt already providing text message alerts to opted-in listeners, then its time to start. Popular options include weather updates, school closings, traffic alerts, programming alerts and more. These alerts offer sponsorship opportunities for your advertisers which deliver real revenue opportunities. For example a mom receives an SMS alert that her kids school is closed for the day due to inclement weather. The alert is sponsored by the local movie theater and states, Not sure what to do with the kids? Get $5 off movie tickets today only! The ad is timely, relevant and local all the ingredients for success. From an advertiser standpoint, they know exactly what theyre getting the number of people opted-into the database who are all local and relevant consumers.

One Day Only Sales
Air time is always at a premium, so offering advertisers low cost ten second spots for a limited time with vanity  keywords is an easy way to quickly add revenue to your bottom line. For example, a station in Knoxville recently encouraged advertisers to purchase  keywords including ski, money, and car. For example, the ski spot encouraged listeners to text the word ski to be opted-in for snow reports exclusive to the sponsoring ski resort.  For the advertiser, the premium program gave the resort a market advantage over the three other competitive resorts in the area. For the station, the one day sale generated over $100,000 in revenue for the station.

Mobile Coupons
Mobile coupons have a wide reach, theyre simple to implement and they can be delivered via text message promoted in a short spot. Mobile coupons are unique in that they allow a station to actually track an ad from the time it airs in a given market, right through to the consumers final purchase stage. This high degree of traceability allows you to measure the success of campaigns in real time and make changes on the fly. It also provides an invaluable tool for your ad sales team to help them close the deal.

While I wholeheartedly still believe that mobile marketing is exactly what radio needs Ive realized over the years that it is so much more than that. Mobile marketing is the road to revenue. Its more than an engagement tool, its a money generator.

Ivan Braiker is a former broadcaster who continues to love the radio industry. He is now the CEO, Hipcricket and can be reacjed at

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Great write up! It is imperative for media and specifically radio to go mobile and target that audience because of the technology and accessibility.

I would say that they could take it a step further and control the content and advertising that is delivered to their audience with some sort of Content Management System (CMS)... it will be a great time for radio to get in on the game while this is still new and in the early adoption stages.

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