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The Next Generation of Media Buyers

When you think of a traditional ad for the clothing giant, Gap, what comes to mind? Most likely, you think of a billboard, print or TV ad even the occasional radio spot with models and actors displaying the brands latest line of sweaters and jeans. Recently, Gap employed a new digital strategy: geofencing. In New York, San Francisco and Chicago, the retailer placed ads in public transportation sites, and using local apps on mobile phones, they are able to determine when shoppers are nearby and send mobile ads and coupons directly to those consumers phones.

In todays day and age, staying abreast of the latest digital ad trends is imperative for brands to stay top of mind in a market when the only time that consumers are not seeing advertisements is when they are sleeping.

So how does this tie into broadcast media? Well essentially, we are all in the process of becoming media buyers. There is more and more tie-in with advertising that hits consumers when they leave the house. The broadcast industry must adapt to the trends and embrace new strategies in order to stay relevant in a digital world.

Radio sales, up until now, have been primarily traditional, but the tides are certainly changing. The comScore 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report tells us that brand advertisers have shifted dollars to the digital medium in the past year, and in fact, 4.8 trillion display ad impressions were delivered across the U.S. web in 2011. Further, the majority of mobile phone owners consumed digital media on their device in 2011. Gone are the days where the mobile phone was used primarily for communication it is now a huge driver of content and ad consumption.

What new-age digital ad tools can you use, to make you more and more like a media buyer every day? As advertisers search for ways to increase effectiveness with new digital techniques, using the below strategies will in fact create a new category of prospects for radios on-air and digital platforms.

1. Mobile websites This is an imperative first step. In an age where nearly everyone browses the mobile web for information when they are on the go, building mobile compatible sites not only ensures that consumers can quickly discover more when they are not on their home computer, but offers brands a different medium for engagement and customer delight. 

2. Mobile coupons and SMS campaigns This strategy is sure to boost your typical radio spot. Increase consumer interactivity with a mobile coupon campaign that improves ad recall and grants access to analytics for success. By offering listeners a chance to text in and win a coupon, you not only increase loyalty with your existing customer base, but tap into an entirely new segment thats hot for a good deal. Remember, these deals are entirely opt-in, so you can build a customer loyalty program that is open to engage with you in the future.

3. QR Codes This strategy is not just for movie posters and brands anymore. It is a great example of how to embrace the fact that listeners are beginning to experiment and use their phones to engage more with the physical world. These 2-D, rectangular, pixelated codes are hard to miss on physical ads, in grocery stores, on TV ads, and more. A lot of education is going on in the industry, from marketers, to inform shoppers why they should care, how to scan the codes and reap the benefits. They are a great way for consumers to engage with the code, be pushed to a website or mobile landing page, be directed to a registration page, and further, offer the station or brand a way to re-engage with that consumer in later campaigns. For your advertisers, its a great way to reach real people and engage in a unique way that drives interest and intrigue, and most importantly, is measurable.

4. Social networks More than 70 million Americans are on Facebook and Twitter constantly. Yes, that means that your listeners are hearing what you are saying and simultaneously scanning the voices and opinions of others via only social networks. Make sure your voice is being heard there and extend the stations presence on those sites as well via encouraged mobile and remote engagement.

5. Geotargeting More and more consumers are demanding content that is relevant to them and them only. As more and more people become comfortable and engage with ad content that is personalized to them, location-specific opportunities are just one way you can engage on a personal level without bombarding your customers with cookies. Check out my recent article on radio stations that were able to drive traffic to NPR affiliate station websites by geotargeting local stories to Facebook fans in specific cities. Blue Moon, a MillerCoors brand, leveraged geotargeting to reach traveling fans and offer them the opportunity to opt-in to receive updates from the beer company when they arrive at an airport, telling them which bars serve the brew. This is a no-brainer: national sponsors and broadcasters can have increased local relevance through targeted offers, and can even add mobile calls-to-action for added ROI as brands and stations build their loyalty program.

You might feel like an ad kid in a candy shop, but remember to step back and take a deep breath. With all of these techniques, its still important to remember that at the end of your campaign, what will be your return on investment? Is your goal to have thousands of mobile and digital banner ad impressions? 50 hot leads? To double or triple your listener loyalty opt-in program? Tying your goals to these strategies is when things start to get really fun as you monitor, examine and iterate on your successes.

Ivan Braiker is the president of Hipcricket+Augme Technologies, Inc. Drop him a note at

Read more articles from Ivan HERE