SOURCE: JiWire

December 21, 2009 08:00 ET

Engagement to Drive Mobile Advertising Innovation

Industry Leader JiWire Offers Insight on Market Changes and Trends

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 21, 2009) - JiWire, the leading mobile audience media company that reaches over 20 million unique users per month across its Wi-Fi media channel, today announced its forward-looking perspective for the digital marketing industry. The company has seen substantial growth in demand from advertisers looking for new ways to engage coveted audiences when they are on-the-go leveraging innovations in location-based advertising, sponsored wireless connectivity, and new channels such as in-flight interactive advertising.

Consumer Mobility is Transforming Advertising

Today's consumer lifestyles are undergoing revolutionary change; in the past two years, people are spending significantly more time on-the-go and less time in the office or at home, and this trend will continue. This is having a transformative effect on the media and advertising market, as both traditional and digital media adapt to an increasingly mobile audience that consumes media on a progressively broad range of portable, personal devices such as laptops, smartphones, kindles, gaming devices, netbooks, and so forth.

"Brands will have to redefine their marketing strategies to follow their consumers when they are on-the-go," said Dave Courtney, CEO of JiWire. "Digital media has proliferated through peoples' lives in ever-growing ways, and is expanding rapidly into the mobile space. The continuing surge in smartphone penetration and the rush of new devices into the mobile market is completely changing the rules of engagement between marketers and consumers. The audience has moved, and brands will rethink their approach and change their strategies for reaching these dynamic new consumers."

Audiences Will Replace Channels

As technology enables increasing consumer utility and "connectedness", legacy media distribution channels become less relevant to marketers than audience segmentation. Media channels that reach mobile audiences are mirroring each other to a great extent. Out-of-home advertising is going through drastic changes by becoming more digital and much more interactive. Mobile device-based marketing campaigns have become far more like traditional online campaigns. Digital, mobile, and digital-out-of-home channels will increasingly converge, and keeping these channels separate for ad buying purposes will be more difficult and increasingly irrelevant.

The proliferation of technologies and devices is introducing numerous ways to connect to an inherently mobile audience. As marketers seek to reach a specific audience when they're on-the-go, the traditional media buying channel segmentation will cease to be as effective as it once was. Agencies will seek to create more compelling campaigns for their clients that converge these opportunities, blurring the lines between these channels. They will need to stop being organized around distribution paths to being organized by audiences. However, it won't be an easy transition as this direction runs counter to how companies are organized today. Agencies that can move quickly and flexibly in this regard will drive media innovation early in 2010.

Mobile Evolves Beyond Devices

As mobile marketing matures, it will become less about the device and more about the audience. Mobile advertising is following a development path similar to Internet advertising: in the early days of the Internet, marketers included haphazard online purchases in their marketing mix. While the medium wasn't understood at the time, it had great potential and marketers made purchases with little direction. Now Internet ad buying is based on audience, much like traditional media purchase, and has become much more effective. In 2010, mobile advertising buys will start to look more like online buys.

Mobile advertising will be far more about lifestyles and audiences, and less about specific devices or technology channels. For example, just as it became impossible to buy a laptop without Wi-Fi in the past 18 months, it will become impossible to buy an application-enabled smartphone without Wi-Fi in 2010. Mobile advertising's market share will be small in 2010 relative to overall Internet spending, but will grow faster as the mobile audience grows and new approaches and formats mature to drive better engagement.

Contextual Location Emerges

"Location-based advertising will become more mainstream for brands in digital and mobile marketing," said Courtney, "but it will not be focused solely on 'where' with regards to a pinpoint on a map. Rather, location will be seen as another form of context. It will be a filter that will indicate a tremendous amount of information about an audience based on the type of place a person is in at that point in time. Location will become a form of interest and intent, equally as relevant, if not more, than content is today."

Helping to drive this trend, the increasing proliferation of location-based services in both mobile and online will create significant scale and reach for location-based advertising towards specific audiences. Knowing where ads are placed will become a core element of marketing programs that use numerous channels to reach an increasingly on-the-go audience, doing so in context. When a person shares that they are in a café in Boston, this reveals a great amount of rich data that can make advertising more relevant. The combination of location, audience, and context of that location will be a powerful tool for advertisers.

Engagement as a Metric

For years the advertising industry has lamented low click-through-rate (CTR) performance, and argued that CTRs are not the best measurement of digital advertising's impact. In the same light, brands can no longer speak to their audience only through having consumers see their ads. Brands will need to emphasize ways for people to engage with their products as part of the advertising experience. While CTR will not go away, cost per engagement will emerge as an increasingly important metric for success.

The ability to create and measure brand engagement has improved with technology, and will increasingly define the conversation around campaign design and objectives. The rising focus on social media and making an audience part of the brand conversation is part of this trend. Similarly, offering the consumer something of value in exchange for engaging with a brand will grow in importance.

With a shift towards a more mobile, on-the-go audience, the emphasis on engagement will come from numerous directions. For example, out-of-home may become an attractive channel in this new environment, but the big focus will be on how to measure engagement when a click-through is not even an option as a metric.

About JiWire

JiWire is the leading mobile audience media company, delivering advertising across premier locations and devices. JiWire's breakthrough advertising medium enables marketers to reach an influential mobile demographic at the point-of-connection. JiWire's portfolio of blue-chip advertisers, combined with its market-proven delivery platform and registry of hotspot locations, enables wireless broadband networks and device manufacturers to leverage advertising as a currency for wireless Internet access. For more information, please visit www.jiwire.com or call (415) 877-4711.

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