December 3-6, 2006  |  Scottsdale, Arizona
Published: December 14, 2006
Emerging Mobile Business Models

Third Screen Media's Jeff Janer and Verizon Wireless' Stephanie E. Bauer discuss the current mobile advertising landscape to an audience at the iMedia Agency Summit.

At last week's iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, Third Screen Media CMO Jeff Janer opened the discussion "The Mobile Advertising Ecosystem and Emerging Business Models" with mobile's four media types:

  • Mobile internet
  • Video
  • Downloadable applications

"Subscribers want premium content on their phones," said Janer. "There is also a threshold to the number of subscription-based services mobile subscribers are willing to pay. These consumers are not averse to advertising on their cell phone because they understand that advertisers subsidize content."

Janer explained that all those assumptions signify that "advertising is a necessity to the continuing growth of mobile data."

The mobile ecosystem, according to Janer, consists of buyers, ad-managed delivery, the sellers and distribution channel, as well as the audience.

"From the advertiser perspective, we are seeing a lot of interest in mobile marketing. And through test and trial over the past years it has been a positive experience," said Janer. "Mobile users have validated this new channel as a means for brand engagement."

Janer told the audience that, "small ads on small screens get noticed."

Advertising budgets for mobile are increasing with large advertisers planning to spend more money for mobile marketing in 2007.

"Burger King experimented with mobile marketing campaigns and they are now coming back for seconds," said Janer. "This means that the large companies are having a good experience."

In November Dennis Digital launched a mobile version of its men's magazine Maxim and secured Burger King as one of its sponsors.

"Many content publishers, traditional publishers are also extending their brand in mobile," said Janer. "USAToday does a cross-platform promotion. The company promotes their mobile content in their print edition.

Janer also said that more ad inventory for mobile is needed for growth as well as creating advertising rights with wireless carriers.

Janer then turned the discussion to his co-presenter Stephanie E. Bauer, manager, mobile web and mobile advertising, Verizon Wireless, to share the carrier's perspective.

In November Verizon Wireless struck a deal with to offer portions of its content on Verizon Wireless' Vcast service.

"We wanted to see how receptive consumers are to advertising on their mobile phones," said Bauer. "Our surveys found that the customer was sort of welcoming, but they didn't want pop-ups getting in their way as they accessed their mobile content."

Echoing Janer, Bauer said, "We found that customers were accepting of simple, small banners on their mobile cell phones."

A Summit attendee asked about concerns over customer privacy.

"As a carrier we have a huge risk and have to move conservatively with our customer data," said Bauer. "We can bring location, behavioral, demographic and billing information for more effective advertising. There is a huge opportunity, but we have to be very careful."

The discussion ended with the co-presenters sharing their ideas for growth in the mobile industry.

"Inventory, scalability, better targeting and third party research to validate the technology are needed for growth," said Janer.

"There is a huge opportunity to engage the mobile consumer," said Bauer. "We need to be creative while engaging with these consumers."

Roger Park is news editor for iMedia Communications.