The Parallels of In-App Advertising and Mobile Marketing with Digital-Out-of-Home Media

The following is a guest post by Dan TrigubVP Business Development at Blue Bite.

This week marks the launch of Digital Signage Expo (DSE) in Las Vegas – no, not nearly as anticipated as CES but it is the self proclaimed “World’s largest international trade show and conference dedicated to digital signage, interactive technology [including mobile marketing], and Out-of-Home networks.”  Unfortunately, the majority of exhibitors, attendees and those talking about it in the Twitterverse are digital-out-of-home (DOOH) insiders, and the most important people, the media buyers, are few and far between. Without question, in-app advertising is the buzz right now and justifiably so, but media buyers do not yet recognize the parallels of mobile marketing with DOOH media and in-app advertising. Mobile marketing coupled with DOOH media can serve the same purpose and at times be even more effective.

Today there are two primary mobile ad networks that run inside smartphone applications.  The first is AdMob, which was recently acquired by Google and the second is Apple’s iAd, which it built through the acquisition of Quattro Wireless.  For those of you who missed Steve Jobs’s demo of iAd, it is worth watching and can be found here.  Simply put, in-app advertising relies on the fundamental notion of content in the right context.  For example, while I peruse a newspaper application on my smartphone and read the sports section, an in-app advertisement for Nike would appear featuring the latest basketball shoe. Given the contextually relevant environment within the app, Nike knows that they are generally speaking reaching basketball enthusiasts and expect the audience to click on the in-app advertisement and not only learn more about the shoe but to make a purchase.

Just like in-app advertising DOOH networks provide marketers the ability to deliver content in a contextually relevant environment and at moments of maximum influence. Just as Steve Jobs promoted the iAd in his demo presentation, RMG Networks, one of the leaders in DOOH media, created this video to demonstrate the power of DOOH and is worth watching as well.  Using the example of a Nike shoe placement – there are multiple DOOH networks that have digital screens in gyms across America including RMG and their Fitness Club Network that has 18 million monthly viewers.  Imagine now if I am running on a treadmill in front of an RMG digital screen and see a placement for a Nike shoe. Running is definitely top of mind (I am actually doing that at the moment the ad plays) and what better time to attempt to target the consumer with a Nike ad placement.

If you remember from our in-app example – we can only say that “generally speaking” the app user is interested in the add placement.  There is no way for sure to know that the app user who is on the sports page really cares about a basketball shoe and did not mistakenly click on that advertisement. Though, we know with 100% certainty that the treadmill runner likes to run (well maybe not that they like to run, but at least that they are running).

Finally, the placement of the advertisement on the DOOH network provides a great opportunity to take the experience one step further and deliver content to the consumers’ mobile phone or to drive them to a mobile site. There they can view or download further content, extending the DOOH experience and providing the brand tracking and measurement comparable of in-app advertising.  In addition, in-app advertising only targets smartphones, while a variety of mobile marketing channels can be coupled with DOOH to reach virtually any mobile handset – see my last post to learn more about these channels.  With all of the press around smartphones, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that according to ComScore only one out of every four mobile subscribers today actual has a smartphone; meaning in-app advertising cannot reach three out of four mobile subscribers. Smartphone market share will continue to grow over time, however, in the near-term, mobile marketing channels such as SMS, proximity marketing and QR Codes coupled with DOOH is a very effective way to reach those audiences.

Just last week, ADCENTRICITY, a DOOH ad network – essentially the iAd of DOOH media, published its 2011 DOOH Media Outlook & Planning Guide and its Q4’10 DOOH Market Review. The reports note that “2011 will bring some significant DOOH industry changes through acquisitions, cross-media integration (think mobile, social & retail integration) and alliances.” The majority of the large media industry players still spend a significant portion of their budgets on traditional media channels; however times are changing as witnessed by the adoption of in-app advertising and the observations of ADCENTRICITY.  Certainly more consideration should be given to DOOH media integrated with mobile technologies in 2011 and beyond.

About the Author

Dan joined Blue Bite as VP of Business Development in March 2009. Dan is responsible for business development, marketing, operations, finance, and corporate strategy.  Dan joins Blue Bite with over 6 years of early stage startup, finance and marketing experience. Most recently Dan held the title of investment banking Associate at GCA Savvian, a firm principally focused on providing M&A advisory and capital markets services globally in the digital media space among others. Previously he worked at Analysis Group, a leading financial, economic and strategy consulting firm in Washington, D.C.  Dan has a B.S. in Economics from Vassar College.


Company Media Kit: Blue Bite Media Kit (January 2011)

Email[email protected] (@datrigub)