Broadcasters moving into mobile marketing


There was big excitement at the NAB Show over new portable devices which consumers will soon be using to watch broadcast television. But there is a handheld screen that broadcasters, both TV and radio, can exploit right now for marketing and reinforce their connection with viewers/listeners – the wireless telephone.

Although you might think of his firm, HipCricket, as a texting company, CEO Ivan Braiker said on a panel at the Mobile Entertainment Summit that to focus just on texting is to miss the opportunity. The real objective is to engage people and create tribes. “As a television station or radio station you can become a tribal leader,” he said.

Gowri Shanker, Sr. VP of Singlepoint, provided a huge success story. His company partnered with NBC Universal for the Beijing Summer Olympics. People were offered more than 700 alert groups they could opt into so they would be notified of scores and other developments regarding particular sports or athletes. The response was beyond NBCU’s expectations as Americans opted in to follow their favorite parts of the Olympics. In some cases, they also got to watch a brief video replay of the highlight after being informed, for example, that Michael Phelps had won his 8th gold medal.

Esteban Blanco, Executive Director of Interactive Media, Entravision Communications, noted that Hispanics out-index the general population for texting, emailing and downloading music, so “for us, mobile is very important.” And it is an important revenue source. Blanco said Entravision tries to have a mobile component included in every ad buy.

In the view of Soren Schafft, Sr. VP Content, Fox Mobile Distribution, having a mobile offering is a way for a station to differentiate itself for advertisers in these tough times when every advertiser is looking to get the most bang for their buck.