Commentary

Television's Next Frontier: Mobile

Changes in mobile marketing present new opportunities for networking, shopping and navigating. To make the most of each ad dollar, companies are doing their best to stay ahead. The mobile channel's growth allows for inventive use of technologies and tactics, like QR codes and location-based marketing. The latest development hits even closer to home.

New hybrid marketing technology will link television and mobile in an initiative that goes beyond storefront advertising and online deals. Using multichannel interaction, we are now able to integrate mobile media marketing with TV ads, sending advertising prompts to nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices during commercials. Once the consumer opts in, they will receive coupons and direct-to-device offers without leaving the room. This marketing technology allows real-time metrics viewing and protects potential customers' personal information.

With Americans watching more television -- over five hours every day on average, according to Nielsen's 2010 Q4 report -- and buying an increasing number of smartphones, this hybrid technology is well-suited to the public's expanding needs.

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Television advertising spending increased 8% last year, per Nielsen, but the average TV ad has actually become shorter. Advertisers are rethinking efforts in the changing face of television spots. With mobile-TV fusion technology, data capture opportunity skyrockets.

The number of phones in a room can be recorded, as can the type of phones used. As this technology transmits deals and sample offers, it can record consumers' preferences for ads and offers, allowing advertisers to adjust campaigns for the ideal response.

We're able to see the social data of how consumers interact while watching certain shows, and that's only the beginning. Since TV metrics are considered increasingly important, performance-oriented advertising reports can be improved with the metrics offered by mobile-TV connection.

In recent news, Canoe allowed consumers to download coupons and catalogs through their TVs, while Shazam secured a $32 million investment in TV-triggered coupons. Brands like Old Navy and Procter & Gamble have already signed on to participate.

Coupon clipping is on the rise, as is smartphone use and television viewership; the stage is set for developments in the mobile channel. Digital coupons are far more likely to be redeemed than printed ones, and their use is growing. The printed coupon business may have seen 7% growth in 2010, according to NCH Marketing Services, but digital coupons grew 60% with only 1% of total U.S. distribution. Digital coupons are also 20 times more likely to be redeemed than coupons from freestanding inserts.

There's a great opportunity to connect TV with the current popularity of digital coupons. Studies show that watchers of reality and action programs are more likely to remember advertising during breaks.

Sharing personal data is more common than ever. Some digital marketing schemes have been criticized for culling mobile phone numbers and email addresses, although marketers are not allowed to collect consumer data without permission.

The hybrid technology available dispenses with the need to gather such information. When it comes in contact with a Bluetooth device, it sends an opt-in notice prior to any targeted offer. It not only protects users, but it manages to streamline messages according to customer response.

Mobile marketing doesn't need to stay in the living room. Thanks to real-time metrics and the easy method of delivery, it can be used for the digital-out-of-home market, allowing direct communication with nearby consumers. Marketers can transmit on-site deals and offers to potential clients, and this can be used in conjunction with TV-mobile offers for a well-rounded marketing initiative.

Hybrid technology could surpass previous consumer-mobile advertising in accuracy and impact. New coupons and digital offers present opportunities for mobile marketers to stay informed about consumer groups; as a result, advertisers are able to offer loyal consumers targeted programs. Multichannel interaction eclipses stand-alone outreach and introduces a new method to monitor ROI: brands seeking a competitive edge will get one with mobile-TV marketing's advanced metrics.

Burgeoning technology will continue to present opportunities and challenges in mobile channel marketing. Communication channels are growing and are providing new opportunities for those willing to explore changes. Fusion technology isn't only beneficial for ROI and revenue production, but for the enjoyment of deal-seeking consumers. Looking at the market direction and predictions, hybrid TV-to-mobile technology could stand as the newest mobile frontier.

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