Go where the audience is –
mobiles – to raise revenue

By Jerome Chong
Bulletin Staff

Today’s media landscape has brought mobile and digital content to the front lines of new revenue initiatives, according to the chief executive officer of Bar-Z, a mobile software development company.

Lee Little, also the founder of Bar-Z, based in Austin, Texas, gave a presentation Friday, Feb. 19, at the New England Newspaper and Press Association winter convention on ideas for effective mobile advertising sales approaches.

During the workshop, titled “Using mobile solutions to drive new revenue,” Little said people want to know how to make money on apps.

“Eighty-five percent of all Americans who are making $75,000 or more own a smartphone,” Little said. “That’s the market your advertiser wants to be in front of.

“One of the statistics here is that you check your phone 46 times a day on average,” Little said.

Sixty-five percent of all Americans own a smartphone that allows them to access the Web. Fifteen to 20 percent of people say their smartphone is the only access they have to the Internet, he said.

App users will favor news outfits more if they have an app for their brand, Little said

“On average, we spend five hours a day browsing the Web and using apps. That’s more than what we do on TV right now,” he said.

He told the audience about a study that asked people whether they would rather give up daily showering or their phones, and a large majority of them said they would rather give up showering.

“Nearly 90 percent of all users are using turn-by-turn navigation,” Little said.

Little then discussed the functionality of the Near Me feature that is available on smartphones. That feature can locate areas of particular interest, such as sports bars or shopping malls.

Like the Near Me feature, geo-targeted push notifications end customers content on their phones when they download an app, Little said. Little gave as an example a football stadium with an app that audiences can download to get notifications about sales or special deals from sponsors connected with the football stadium.

Little also discussed mobile coupons with the audience of about 25 people.

“(C)ustomers, rather than cutting out coupons and clipping … coupons, would rather see it on their phones,” Little said. “As a publisher, you should be agnostic as to how people consume your content … You just need to follow where the eyeballs are.”

Little also discussed how native advertising can be a source of revenue because it can’t be negated by ad blockers.

Native advertising is something to consider when trying to generate revenue, Little said.

“People are positive towards it and it works,” he said.

Little said publishers have to work hard to get their apps at the top of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store because “you want to make sure you aren’t buried at the bottom, and if you are buried at the bottom, you got to get people to download the app and rate the app in a positive manner.”

Little said consumer satisfaction would improve by maintaining and updating the news company’s app.

“A mobile user wants the latest and updated information,” Little said. “If you print it once and walk away from it in six months, you’ll never grow your audience. It needs nurturing and growth.”

POSTED 3/12/16


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