||'I Can't Express How Big Mobile is Going to Be'
The common theme by many of the speakers at the Borrell Online Advertising Conference this week was how quickly mobile web was being adopted.
From Borrell Associates' research, comScore research, Nielsen and others, mobile usage doubled last year and will continue again in 2013. Better than half of all adults in the US have a smartphone and/or tablet.
Seth Godin, author of 17 books, shared how local media is undergoing a revolution, and traditional media must be willing to make mistakes, learn from them, and move on until we hit a home run. There is no time to wait. His suggestion was to "jump off the cliff and figure out how to make wings on the way down."
Radio's number one category, automotive, is under attack by online publishers like AutoTrader (see the Sales Tip below). Chip Perry, President and CEO of AutoTrader, spoke and said they have listened to what consumers want and what the merchants -- the dealers -- want and built their sites around those needs. They help consumers research vehicles and connect them to dealers, which we know is what dealers want.
Perry spoke of the limitations of moving to a completely online transaction for automotive, but he said technologists are working on ways to overcome each element of dealers' foursquare: trade-in value, vehicle price, down payment amount, monthly payment amount. AutoTrader has optimized sites for mobile so consumers can research from a dealer's showroom.
Gian Fulgoni, Chairman of comScore, said mobile is bringing to life retailers' worst nightmare. Retailers are now competing with Internet sellers in their own store.
President and co-founder of ReachLocal, Nathan Hanks, said their 800 sales reps in 50 offices across the US have grown revenues 22% the past year to over $400 million. Their view of the world is that online directories, including search, are little different than offline directories when it comes to driving consumers toward a purchase. eCommerce is the solution. ReachLocal is helping local businesses create desktop and mobile eCommerce sites. The solutions they are creating are turnkey to the merchant.
John Trimble, Chief Revenue Officer of Pandora, shared how mobile is impacting their usage and revenue. Revenue was up 60% in 2012 to $400 million. Over 1,000 different kinds of connected devices include Pandora, including 85 vehicle models. Pandora has listenership due primarily to mobile. Currently, 75% of Pandora listening is on mobile. They have over 65 million active monthly users. Now with scale, they are building out their local sales staffs. They have "25 markets with feet on the street." Mobile has been so strong, Trimble said what next will be mobile video.
Yelp's VP of Business Development, Mike Ghaffary, said Yelp is "a new spin on the oldest advertising form and most effective...word of mouth." Yelp allows consumers to get reviews before making a decision. Half of their searches and reservations are being made through mobile. Yelp is in 50 markets in the US with a direct sales team in several cities.
Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, talked about how mobile's growth has exploded. "We had Internet, then social, then mobile. And it is happening fast." He said mobile has a number of unique advantages:
He quoted P&G's CMO: "Nothing brings marketers closer to consumers than mobile. Nothing." Stuart shared his thoughts for local media:
Mobile is personal (one person, one phone).
Mobile is pervasive (everywhere, all the time).
Mobile has proximity (tracking location).
(Source: John Potter, SVP/Professional Development, RAB)
Local media (sales) can (should) lead.
Lots of opportunities to innovate (and educate sellers and clients).
If it's really about personalization and proximity, you must get scale.