Think Mobile — For Profit: How Media Businesses Can Make Money in Mobile

ThinkMobileLogo.jpgLocation-based marketing continued to make its presence felt during the Think Mobile conference presented by mediabistro.com at Comix in New York, as it was brought up repeatedly by panelists during a Wednesday-morning session titled For Profit: How Media Businesses Can Make Money in Mobile.

Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman said of location-based marketing, “We can deliver consumers content and advertising depending on where they are. The unique thing about location is that you can deliver content that’s continuously updated. 79 percent of consumers found that the use of location as the primary mechanism for delivering that message was actually useful, relevant, and they wanted it. From my perspective, I think it’s all about location and the incorporation of location. Where the consumer is offers a great deal of insight as to their intent.” Moderator Cheryl Lucanegro, senior vice president of ad sales at Pandora Media, discussed time spent waiting in line or other down time, adding, “You’re much more open and receptive to messages that are targeted to you.”

Naturally, the iPad found its way into the conversation, with Lucanegro asking, “Is the iPad a mobile device? I really feel that (the iPad) is a lean-forward experience. You are much more likely to engage, to click on things, to tap to expand, because you can.” iCrossing director of strategy, emerging technologies Rachel Pasqua differed in her perception of the Apple tablet, saying, “The iPad is very much taking us back to lean-back media. Is it ad-supported? Is it premium content? Are there going to be paid subscription models?” And HipCricket chief marketing officer Jeff Hasen asked, “Is (the iPad) a consumption device? I would argue that many people will not have this as their only device.”

Pasqua brought her children into the discussion, adding on the iPad, “I’ve probably spent more on apps for my children than on anything else. I hope my children will have a more sturdy version of the iPad by the time they’re in first grade, because I want them going to school with one of those in their backpacks.”


The panelists shared their views on mobile-based marketing, in general, with Goodman saying, “A big chunk of the business developed into a yield game, where you didn’t really take into account the consumer experience. (Apple has) a real opportunity with mobile to change the entire experience,” and Hasen adding, “What we do is permission-based marketing. It’s consumer-initiated. Time after time, we see opt-out rates in the low-single-digits. An automotive lead is among the most sought-after. Apps in general fit into a permission-based world.”

Pasqua felt that mobile marketing needs to put on a more straight-forward face, saying, “There’s this sense, especially in our industry, that you have to be sneaky about it, because people don’t want advertising. People don’t want bad advertising. It’s not like I’m giving them my home address, my name, and my Social Security number. I’m going to see ads, anyway.” But Safecount vice president, data innovation Jennifer Okula was more cautious, saying, “Are they going to be using the technology to target people in different ways that they don’t know? I think we need to be careful in terms of privacy, especially in mobile.”