Paran, Part Two.
By Wendy McHale
Yesterday we began with Part One of our two part conversation with Jumptap CMO, Paran Johar on how he, Jumptap and the mobile medium are advancing at an increasingly rapid speed toward becoming a mass media-sized platform for advertisers.
Response has been tremendous. While we have covered various aspects of mobile in the last year and published conversations with other mobile media luminaries, this is the first bit of content on hand-held media that has received an explosive reception!
It's a sign of the times. Mobile programs are no longer reliant only on increasingly spare opportunistic media budgets; the first of which have been cut during the current recession-depression.
Certainly that is one reason for the heightened interest. However the other reason is Johar, himself. Call him a game-changer, a change-agent or just articulate in illuminating the potential that mobile offers. The fact of the matter is that Paran Johar is mobile in motion!
Click on the bar below to read Part One. What follows here is part two of how Johar envisions mobile Madison Avenue. Special thanks to Paran Johar and his talented team at Jumptap for helping us with the production of this effort. The MadAve Journal does not report the news. We are happier making it, instead!
Wendy: Okay, there's no dispute that mobile is maturing as a medium, worthy now of national advertisers take a more serious look at it. However, not everyone has a mobile site. Does it make sense for an advertiser to do a deal even if they don't have one?
Paran: We think so. It's always great to have a mobile site or mobile application if it's applicable to your users. But it's not critical to be successful using mobile advertising. There's a broad array of click actions such as click to call, click to SMS, click to call, click to iTunes, click to video, and click to maps that don't require your own site. We can also help our advertisers and agencies develop a mobile WAP site to get them started.
Wendy: Are there certain carriers and/or mobile phone makers that are easier to work with than others?
Paran: They're all different. Some are really progressive and have understood early on, the power of mobile advertising. They quickly saw the potential role they can play and the revenue stream they can generate. Others have moved a little more cautiously, but they saw what happened to the land line vendors when the cable companies moved in. They certainly don't want to see history repeat itself.
Wendy: I'm an admitted iPhone fanatic, but objectively, ranking the iPhone versus Nokia, Blackberry and the others, which is generating the most audience?
Paran: Ease of use on the handset and on the mobile site is important but it's about more than just the handset. It's about the carrier's data plans and their affordability.
Paran: We know for a fact that lower-priced, all inclusive plans see a huge spike in subscribers and mobile internet activity. The iPhone has definitely been the game changer for mobile advertising. However, even with their phenomenal growth, the market share is smaller as compared to some of the others. But they see the lion's share of mobile internet activity.
Wendy: Do you have any stats?
Paran: As a matter of fact I do! The iPhone user group also displays characteristics that marketers should take heed of:
- 37% watch video on their phone (6x more than typical sub)
- 45% have household income of $100k or more
- 98% use data features on their phone
- 88% use in the mobile internet (4x more than typical sub)
- 75% download apps (5x more than typical sub)
- 72% use location-based services (7x more than typical sub)
- Are diverse in age:
- - 13-17 - 5%
- - 18-24 - 13%
- - 25-34 - 29%
- - 35-55 - 36%
- - 55+ - 17%
Wendy: How does your team get advertisers to come on board, especially if they're bringing their brand into mobile for the first time?
Paran: We have a direct sales force for our premium brand advertisers. They work directly with agencies and brands to help them understand why mobile is essential, how to develop a campaign, how to buy, maximize returns, and measure.
Wendy: Right. So I imagine there is a certain amount of "hand holding" because there is a learning curve and here.
Paran: Absolutely and we see it as part of the service we need to provide our clients. We continually publish white papers, host webinars, and continuously educate so that both premium and performance marketers take a long hard look at mobile as a new opportunity to reach potential customers. The problem right now with the Internet is that it continues grow and the bid prices continue to spiral out of reach. Mobile has yet to ignite a ferocious battle so prices as well as returns, can far outpace its Internet brethren.
Wendy: Interesting. Does your tech team need to do any resizing or any other tasks to sync up their creative with your platform?
Paran: We adhere to the MMA guidelines for mobile ad formats but we can help clients develop and/or resize creative if necessary. As far as reporting goes, we have a wide array of tools for advertisers and agencies that allow them to customize the type and frequency of the reporting. As the industry is rapidly growing and changing, we're developing new features to keep up with the newest demands and needs of our advertisers.
Wendy: So from everything I've heard, the market is moving rapidly and looks like the growth will continue into 2010. Is that fair to say?
Paran: Absolutely. We've seen budgets escalate from single digits to double and triple digits. Two of the largest CPG brands now have 7-figure mobile advertising budgets. There are now also lots of case studies that have clearly proven mobile's ability to more effectively target and elicit higher user engagement, conversions and ROI.
Paran: Momentum is building. For example we've already done more business in the first two quarters of 2009 than in all of 2008. We expect to see more than double the RFP's in the next two quarters. In the next 12 - 18 months you will see an enormous change in the amount of money dedicated to mobile. Whether brand or performance, you're going to see companies of all sizes begin taking advantage of mobile advertising. You'll also see innovation taking center stage with more and more brands leveraging the capabilities of the device and applications to develop some pretty amazing campaigns.
Wendy: Crystal ball time. Although we're in an economic recession, teen and young adult disposable incomes are still percentage-wise higher than their parents. Does that make Jumptap recession-proof? Isn't mobile advertising still a foreign language as a media type to most advertisers?
Paran: Well as we all know, in a recession, marketing budgets are always the first to go. Companies then hold their agencies far more accountable and look for better returns from less spend. Regardless of age group - this is where mobile shines.
Research studies have shown that in a recession, users are least likely to part with their mobile phone service than say cable tv or pc Internet access. According to a Pew Internet Research Study, the mobile will be the primary Internet connection by 2020. (Download PDF).
Wendy: Well, the old bromide of those who continue their marketing efforts during an economic downturn have an advantage when the economy bounces back. It could apply here.
Paran: Exactly. So I guess you could say Jumptap is as recession proof as one can be. We prefer to think that when this recession is over, we'll be the last man standing. We are poised for explosive growth! Mobile advertising is still at an introductory level but those who have mastered the language are admired and quickly being emulated.
Wendy: We always end with each interview with the same question. What advice would you give a college grad just getting out of school today about the media business?
Paran: The worst decision is not to make one. Find a part of media you like and get your foot in the door. I speak from experience. Don't forget, I started in accounting! Work in the mail room, clean bathrooms, or answer phones. Do whatever it takes and you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Wendy: There it is. We come full circle. Thanks Paran, I appreciate your time.
Paran: My pleasure, Wendy