Mobile Publishers: One Of The Top Mobile-User Activities May Surprise You

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, November 18, 2015

Mobile app publishers are always searching for new and innovative ways to engage, retain and monetize customer traffic in the hyper-competitive mobile environment. 

And some of the highest-engagement features in mobile are, not surprisingly, very local in nature. According to the Internet Trends 2015 report by Mary Meeker, partner at investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, 84% of consumers use mobile for local driving navigation and to get “just in time” information on breaking news.   

What is more surprising is that almost 80% of mobile phone owners use their devices to learn about local events and activities occurring in their communities. For mobile streaming music providers, lifestyle magazine publishers and sports news enterprises that don’t publish localized content, accessing and publishing local events and activities presents a huge opportunity for several reasons.

  1. Local event and activity discovery is clearly in high demand, and will drive engagement and usage;
  2. They are a natural extension of the content these publishers currently offer;
  3. They present a new, compelling ad vehicle for advertisers they current serve — and some they don’t;
  4. They provide a highly relevant, privacy-friendly way to offer opt-in location services;
  5. Perhaps most importantly, they enable these publishers to understand much more about their mobile customers’ interests and passions based on the local events and activities they participate in and the places they visit in their daily lives.    

Imagine the user-engagement, ad-revenue and customer knowledge power for:

  • A streaming music provider serving up sponsored local jazz events to users with an affinity to jazz, and learning that they also frequently visit coffee shops to attract Dunkin’ Donuts as a sponsor…
  • A regional lifestyle magazine publisher serving up sponsored local cultural fairs and festivals, and learning that large audiences of their mobile customers also frequently visit farmers' markets and take cooking classes, to then publish those local events and attract Trader Joe’s and Cuisinart as sponsors
  • A national sports-news and events publisher serving up local high school football and basketball games and learning that large audiences of their mobile customers frequently participate in 5K running events, to then publish those events and attract Under Armour and Nike as sponsors

The possibilities and applications are many and varied, and so are the partner options. Here are some key questions to ask when looking for a local content provider:

  1. What are the partner’s data sources; how many do they have and how frequently are they updated?
  2. How local are the events and activities?  Do they consist of mainly large sports events and concerts, or do they also curate hyper-local events like local hockey tournaments or a jazz combo playing at local bistro?       
  3. Is their presentation layer robust, visually appealing and configurable?
  4. Are the events and activities categorized for flexible rendering?
  5. Does the partner also offer anonymous event attendance verification, so the publisher can understand the interests, affinities and passions of their mobile users for personalized outreach and targeting?

For digital publishers seeking an in-demand way to increase engagement and ad revenue and to gain privacy-friendly, opted-in customer knowledge based on customers’ real-life behaviors, publishing local event and activity content in mobile assets just might be the answer.   

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