HipCricket signs Spanish Broadcasting System


HipCricket, a leading mobile marketing company, announced an agreement that brings Spanish Broadcasting System’s radio stations into HipCricket’s recently announced Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network.  By adding SBS, HipCricket’s Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network will now reach over seven million Hispanic radio listeners in the leading markets across the country such as Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and New York. 

HipCricket announced the launch of the Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network in April with inaugural partners Bustos Media, Davidson Group and Lotus Communications.  One of the nation’s fastest growing demos, Hispanics are among the most active users of mobile technology and text messaging. HipCricket’s Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network enables marketers to tap into and customize a media plan of Hispanic stations in the network — and their audiences — with a single buy. 

HipCricket offers a flexible, easy-to-use mobile marketing platform that is entirely permission-based so consumers only receive the text messages, alerts and other mobile interactions they request. Additionally, all mobile messages are customized based on the consumer’s preferences and needs.  HipCricket works closely with its partners to launch mobile marketing campaigns and provides hands-on assistance in building a station loyalty club that can provide special offers to opted-in members.  In keeping with the overall mission and philosophy of HipCricket, member stations also have full-time access to a dedicated account manager that provides support when and where needed. 

We asked Ivan Braiker, HipCricket CEO and Marko Radlovic, SBS EVP/COO, a bit about the deal:

This is obviously a pretty huge shot in the arm for the network.  You bring up the reach to some seven million people. How will the mobile marketing campaigns work with some of the Spanish language stations and their advertiser partners?  Is there anything already rolled out that you could give us an example of?

Braiker: I think what is important to know here is that what SBS is getting is really what any radio station that works with Hip Cricket gets–the ability to implement interactive advertising, build databasing, be able to communicate with their listeners, be able to do alerts, all of those things.  It’s important to us that we help them do that and that we help them build database because really what our Hispanic marketing network is all about is all permission marketing.  It’s the ability to reach out and touch the people that have agreed to be reached out and touched with very specific value offers and value methods.  That’s what the Hispanic network is going to be about. 

So obviously it is critically important that the station reach the kind of success that they would expect and from our aspect we would like to reach in far excess of that.  With that we will be able to offer a really seamless method for a national marketing brand to be able to reach out and touch the Latino listener/viewer all across the United States. 

Radlovic: We’re in the first stages of rolling this out with Hip Cricket. We are excited to be joining their Hispanic mobile marketing network.  SBS currently is a little behind the times with regards to mobile marketing.  We feel it is time to join forces with a credible company like Hip Cricket, which has a very solid resume and an impressive list of radio partners. 

For me the programming benefit is increased TSL and appointment listening. For me the sales benefit is a new way of generating revenue that we haven’t seriously pursued in the past. With the radio environment being as sluggish as it is today, now is the time to look for other opportunities to generate revenue and that is what we’re going to accomplish with our Hip Cricket partnership.

Do you have a bit of a timetable when it will be implemented at some of the SBS stations?

Braiker: SBS currently has a couple of short codes that are live so that will be able to happen quicker, probably in the next four to six weeks. We’ll have everybody up and going soon after that.

It will work with all the carriers then, that’s not an issue?

Braiker: Yes everything we do works with all the carriers.  It’s interesting to note when you talk about what’s going on in the world of mobile and mobile marketing and how it integrates into ad sales–and this is like right off the press–I got a text message from one of our executives here just about 30-minutes ago. We’re working with a station in Evansville, Indiana and doing an intensive week of helping them sell mobile and integrating it into their advertising. This has been the end of the fourth day which I think is going to be the last day that we’re doing this and they’ve written $500,000.00 in business this week–and that’s in Evansville, Indiana.

Oh my goodness.

Radlovic: That’s how important mobile marketing and what a value asset that could be to a radio station.

Do you have any advertisers that you can talk about that are already lined up for the network across the entire network itself?

Braiker: We don’t do it that way.  There are no short codes that are lined up specifically to do across the entire network.  Every short code we have is across all of the carriers or 19 of the 21 carriers, which includes several of the secondary, and even the tertiary third tier carriers.

Each station has individual short code that’s how it manages the data and they’re being able to reach out specifically and exclusively on the local side to their listeners or viewers.  Then when we have a national brand that’s looking at doing something we give that information to the stations and we manage that across the network.

Are there any specific types of campaigns that you are thinking of already that might be launched exclusively with SBS stations?

Radlovic: Our first priority is to focus on increased TSL.  The next step is to build our databases.  Then we will develop strategies to attract new advertisers on a company-wide basis.

So if you build it they will come kind of a thing?

Radlovic: We sure hope so.  This mobile marketing partnership with Hip Cricket compliments our mass media platform which includes radio, Mega TV, Mega Films, SBS Entertainment and La Musica.com.