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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
mobile feature 20 MEDIA Trends + Strategy CASE STUDY ISH Media’s philosophy of creating “Content in Context” whether it be for TV, radio, mobile or online has seen them gain an early foothold into the mobile space with their innovative short- format series Girl Friday which has already seen the company pick up a prestigious AIMIA award for Best Entertainment. Managing Director Debra Allanson explains how the product is engaging both consumers and advertisers alike. Can you tell us about the product? We pick the platforms that best suit the content, and that is always our starting point. We choose the platforms that we think are best going to communicate the story to the audience. I guess that our proposition in using media the way we do and engaging the audience in story and characters is that you can have a deeper engagement with that audience. How can advertisers monetise this? For a client, if they are looking to enhance their return on investment for advertising, our proposition is that they will be gaining a signifi cantly deeper relationship with their clients and are therefore able to communicate their value proposition in many different ways. Our particular proposition, is engagement in story and character so that the brand has more of an ongoing relationship with them. How does this translate into dollars? It is a very measurable opportunity for the advertiser. The tools that we have developed that sit behind our product enable tracking, customisation, and measurement and those are things that are increasingly important to advertisers in being able to measure their return on investment in marketing. We have spent a great deal of time talking to brands and their agencies and marketers and have had enormous interest, but we haven’t yet seen the level of commitment that we are hearing is being made into new forms of digital media products. We are currently working outside the traditional framework of marketing and advertising, but forming relationships with some marketing groups and we are very confident that over the next six months we will see a number of developments including some brand relationships associated with our products. What issues and barriers are preventing that level of commitment? I think it is still a bit of the great unknown. Advertisers ask the same questions – ‘How can you prove the return on investment?’ Until there have been a couple of products in the market, there isn’t a track record. We are right on the leading edge of where this is going, and are feeling very comfortable because we see such a change in the understanding amongst advertisers and marketers about how all of this works and perhaps a more sophisticated understanding of digital media, and not being quite as fearful of change. I think that as products like Girl Friday and others in the market gain traction, then confi dence levels will build amongst advertisers that ‘ok this is somewhere that we can put some of our advertising dollars and have a go at it.’ Where is the market heading in the next 6-12 months? Its really crystal-ball gazing for everyone. We have a relationship with Bigpond TV through Telstra and if I echo what we have seen from there, they are very confident that mobile is going to be the new big opportunity for advertisers, and we would have to share that view. I think though there is still the need to trial a few different models of content and the proposition for the customer as to whether they should be charged, or whether it be advertiser supported or some other model. For our part, we think there is merit in providing some content at no cost to encourage people to take up the opportunity, to learn it, get committed and get excited and then to introduce some of the subscription-type models that are already out there. A big concern seems to be that the consumer won’t pay for something on a mobile that they can access free of charge online? I suppose where we have our own position on that is what I mean by content in context. I don’t believe that you just distribute to the mobile phone the exact same content that you get somewhere else. I believe there is a value-add or a differentiation that needs to occur. At the moment, all that is being distributed are the actual short-format episodes for the series whereas the full development of that product offers additional content which is made specifically for the mobile. That means that once a brand is involved in the co-ownership of the Girl Friday brand they can have a much closer relationship with the mobile customer because they are getting something different and unique. I think it is much more about the ownership of the content by brands and a much more immersive experience that they offer their users and that is where we see our value proposition What do media buyers and planners need to know? You have to be careful not to intrude. Mobile is the most intimate of communication devices so to simply send something which may not suit that particular customer can run the risk of putting those customers off-side. The opportunity is to genuinely engage in that intimate relationship and so being really aware of what it is that will suit each mobile user. There are tools available now to help know more about the user and that is going to be a very important part of the proposition – tailoring the content and message to that your user feels that you are delivering a service and not intruding on their personal space.