Mobile YP Begins the Jump From Potential to Profitable

 

Carey Bunks (group VP of mobile, European Directories), Mathias Schroeder (cofounder, Adaffix), Matt Myers (CMO, Shooger) and Ivan Braiker (CEO, Hipcricket) each offer distinct advertising products for SMBs in the mobile space. They are united, however, by a shared enthusiasm for mobile’s mushrooming growth and potential profitability … a sentiment that was evident in their panel discussion on mobile revenue opportunities at DMS ’10.

Bunks highlighted several tiered products that European Directories is implementing. Opt-out bundles are already in place, with premium product rankings in mobile search and click-to-call packages due out shortly. Product innovation is spurred on by mobile’s unrelenting growth, which Bunks predicts to be somewhere between “50 [percent] and 100 percent” of online usage by 2013. 

Schroeder specifically works with mobile calls, defining them as “intentions” that must be monetized (think Google) by getting leads on the screen of a consumer’s phone. For European-based Adaffix, that means appending “relevant” social and local content to calls. This takes a few primary forms, including adding contact information to incoming calls from unidentified numbers and providing alternate business listings if call “intentions” are unsuccessful (a busy signal when ordering a pizza or an unanswered call when scheduling an appointment).

Myers trumpeted mobile for its variety of platforms (SMS, Web, apps) and location-aware capabilities that can increase ROI for advertisers. Tied to these intrinsic benefits, he noted that the onus is on developers to create offerings that are flexible yet simple, affording greater accountability (tracking, transparency) while also being strong on service (sales training, best practices). Shooger aims to integrate all of the above through a deals hub that connects merchants to consumers across the full range of mobile platforms.

Braiker’s do-it-all Hipcricket (mobile applications, couponing, text advertising) has seen text messaging volume skyrocket and actions related to location-based ads increase. This bodes well for mobile monetization as higher CTRs and other metrics that outstrip online can serve to drive up ad rates.

As Myers said, ROI is the “normalizing factor” that will justify a greater mobile spend by advertisers.

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