Mobile advertising profitability discussed at FIPP Congress

“Mobile is a branding channel and not a performance channel,” said Patrik Fagerlund, CEO and Co-founder of Widespace, Sweden, today at FIPP’s Congress in Rome.

Advertisements can potentially reach a wide audience of mobile users, which can easily and effectively drive brand awareness. “Ad spend follows eyeballs,” Fagerlund said. Smart phone usage is at 1.5 billion and yet, making money from mobile is proving to be difficult for media companies. Fagerlund said that in a few years, media consumption will be an astonishing 90 per cent digital, whereas only a few years ago it was hovering around 5 per cent digital. So, what are the top mobile innovators doing with their business strategy? The growth of digital consumption must be translated to the platform that is most widely used on a day-to-day basis. Mobile advertisements are 400 per cent more effective than websites, proving that mobile innovation is a must for media publishers. Fagerland explained that it is imperative to utilise geo-location in apps and on mobile sites, and the technology to do so now exists. Companies must also make use of the native capabilities available on mobile phones, to make it easier for consumers to engage with and absorb content. It is important for mobile innovation to be easy for advertisers, which are made possible by mobile advertising networks.

Bill Carter, President and CEO of ALM, USA, advised that is is important to stick with the “KISS Principle: Keep It Simple Stupid.” There needs to be synergy between all digital channels because “mobile is not a standalone channel.” Carter used this strategy to increase online subscribers for ALM publications. ALM understood that in 2012 print was lacking engagement and readership, and there needed to be a change. They adopted the corporate strategy “Enhance the Core” to attract, develop, and train top talent. Similar to the sentiments of Fagerlund, Carter stated that ALM wanted to keep simple, clear, and functional advertisements on mobile and web for their audience. As a content creator it was evident to Carter that organizational and process changes required the most effort, but it was important to create a seamless relationship between mobile and other digital devices. This enabled ALM to tap into a new audience by offering quality digital content that was easy and effective for the intended audience. Previously, ALM offered print product at a premium price with digital content included separately. However, the decided change to offer digital-only subscriptions has increased subscriptions by 50 per cent over the last five weeks.

Making money from mobile is challenging, but not impossible. The key to maximising profit from mobile innovation lies in the ease of use, mobile branding, and the art of reaching people where there are at any moment.

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