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‘Tis the Season for Mobile Shopping

12-19-2011
By Ivan Braiker

The media has been touting the ‘year of mobile’ for quite some time now. In our experience, 2010 was ‘the year’ from the brands’ perspective, as many increased their mobile budget significantly and stations experienced higher requests than ever to include a mobile element to their campaigns.

And now we’re seeing that 2011 is ‘the year’ from a consumer standpoint. This holiday season in particular has been a break-out for mobile shopping. In fact, recent findings from an IBM Benchmark report reveal that retailers experienced record mobile Web traffic and sales made via mobile devices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Mobile traffic more than doubled from 4.74 percent in 2010 to 11.77 percent in 2011, and mobile sales rose from 3.13 percent to 8.25 percent over the same time period. The report includes real-time sales data from the websites of more than 500 leading U.S. retailers.

A recent survey (which I can send you) also found strong growth in mobile retail, reporting that sixty-three percent of smartphone users have visited a retailer’s website from their mobile device—up from 53 percent in 2010—and 41 percent have done so while in the retail store. What does this mean for radio? At the risk of sounding like a broken record - it means opportunity.

I know I say this often, but mobile opens a whole world of new opportunities for stations to make more money and drive engagement. Here are three ways that stations should take advantage of the growing mobile commerce trend this holiday season and beyond.

Proximity
Most Americans are more likely to forget their wallet than they are their phone when they leave the house in the morning. This means that they’re more likely than not to have their phone in-hand when listening to their favorite local station. Spots that offer mobile calls-to-action can be responded to in real time and create value for the advertiser almost immediately. For example, a national retail chain can buy a 30 second spot on a regional station asking listeners to text the name of their city to its short code for a 25% off coupon at their local store. These campaigns have shown significant return due to the personalized, location-based nature of the offers.

Immediacy
Over ninety five percent of text messages are opened within minutes of delivery. Mobile calls-to-action provide an unmatched opportunity to provide time sensitive offers to listeners. The recent study I mentioned also found that thirty three percent of cell phones users are interested in receiving offers based on time and location—for example, a coupon delivered at 4:00 p.m. for $5 off a pizza at a local shop that night only. By combining location and immediacy, advertisers can create a winning combination.

Remarketabilty
More than any other medium, radio can build a sense of local community and loyalty. Many stations across the country have already built databases of opted-in consumers for everything from school closing alerts to sports scores and everything in between. The databases are an exceptional source of revenue. Stations that aren’t doing this are missing out on money-making opportunities.   This holiday season my wish list includes an opted-in database of remarketable listeners and a plethora of advertisers lining up to buy sponsorships. Does yours?

Ivan Braiker is the president of Hipcricket+Augme Technologies, Inc and can be reached at 425.202.0833 or ivan@hipcricket.com




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