Mobile Ad Bits: Snacks from IAB’s Mobile Leadership Forum

Throughout the various sessions at the IAB‘s first mobile advertising event two themes resonated: “It’s all about the consumer” and “the real impact of mobile advertising is what happens after the click-through.”

Some other takeaway snippets from the forum, which was held in New York on Monday.

Gary Schwartz, president and CEO of Impact Mobile noted that the role of mobile advertising is to take all the marketing material that’s out there and make it clickable.

Mike Anderson
, lead consultant for Live Nation‘s ConcertVision program, discussed how his company, the top concert promoter, has already embraced mobile and has plans to integrate it even deeper into its business model.

To read about it, and other tidbits from the conference, click continued.


Live Nation uses its 4LIVE shortcode as a major branding tool. At all of its venues, concertgoers can text a message to the code and see it stream across the venue’s giant screens. By texting to 4LIVE, they can also enter contests and get more info on the arena, artists or sponsors. The text-message system is integrated with Live Nation’s CRM system, so all those music fans are in its database.

Next year, Live Nation plans to go up against Ticketmaster with its own ticketing agency. Since it already has all that texter info in its database, it’s ahead of the game with thousands of cell phones to target with notices of upcoming shows and invitations to purchase tickets.

The Walt Disney Company has always been near the front of the pack in terms of mobile offerings. Now, according to Larry Shapiro, executive VP of business development operations and general manager, North American mobile for the Walt Disney Internet Group, mobile is taking the lead over Internet as the way kids get their Disney-related content. He also mentioned anecdotally that they’re starting to see kids ignore incoming cell phone calls form their parents, only to text their folks right back to see what they wanted.

During a fireside chat (without the fire because it was really hot in NY yesterday) between some industry analysts, Evan Neufeld, VP of consulting and senior analyst at comScore M:Metrics, noted that “We’re running out of people to sell cell phones to,” but the majority of folks with cell phones still use only voice. Although we’re starting to see wider use of activities beyond voice and text, that adoption is nowhere near the level of broadband Internet, he said.

Linda Barrabee
, the program manager for consumer research in mobile entertainment at Yankee Group, moderated the discussion between Neufeld and John Burbank, chief marketing officer at The Nielsen Company. She pointed out that price is still a significant barrier to data plan adoption. There are a lot of people out there with family plans, with the parents giving their teens buckets of texts, but not paying for the kids to have a data plan. Instead, they’re going the cheaper route and buying something like the iPod touch, which doesn’t need a data plan and connects to the Web at any free Wi-Fi hotspot.

Burbank didn’t exactly disagree with Barrabee, but he said that it’s more a matter of value than price. In his opinion, blaming cost for slow data plan adoption is making the same argument that was made about the lack of widespread text-message use four or five years ago. Essentially, he said, give them something of value for their money and they’ll use it.

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