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CBS Interactive exec: Mobile wallets have friction points to overcome

October 4, 2012

NEW YORK – A CBS Interactive executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 conference said that the mobile wallet still has a ways to go.

Executives from CBS Interactive, Flurry Analytics and Applico spoke about how applications play a role for brands during the “Branding in the Apposhere” session. The session was moderated by Jake Ward, senior vice president at Application Developers Alliance, Washington.

“It is changing the paradigm for the big companies already like eBay who is seeing the dramatic, exponential growth of gross transactional volume that was happening where the transaction and bidding is done all through the device — it actually caught them by surprise,” said Philippe Browning, vice president of advertising and operations at CBS Interactive, Los Angeles.

“In terms of the penetration of mobile payments – this is a tricky area,” he said.

“I think that we are at the very beginning of the arc with the mobile wallet concept – there are a lot of friction points that have to be overcome.”

Buy on mobile
One of the problems with mobile wallets is that there are tons of players in the space, each of which is vying for a consumer’s attention. However, the number of choices also creates confusion for consumers around the technology.

Beyond mobile wallets, being able to leverage commerce into traditional marketing mediums – such as television – could also be effective for marketers.

For example, a Shazam-style app could sync with a TV program to let users buy clothes off of a cast member on a TV show from a sponsor.

“The explosion in tablet usage is really exciting, and I think it’s a primary screen and second screen,” said Sean Galligan, vice president of sales and business development at Flurry Analytics, San Diego.

“You’re going to have all kinds of different advertising models that are going to be created as the result of this device and this emerging behavior of consuming content on your television,” he said.

App nation
Consumers are increasingly spending significant amounts of time inside apps, making them a loyalty and acquisition tool of many marketers.

The key though is to understand how consumers use apps with metrics.

As examples of brands that are getting their app strategies right, Mr. Galligan said that both Nike and Kraft have both used apps to provide a utility to consumers.

Similarly, it is important for marketers to tie their initiatives to a marketing objective.

With consumers increasingly using multiple screens to watch and interact with consumers, advertisers are becoming more interested in cross-platform services, per CBS Interactive’s Mr. Browning.

“We are seeing success in that we are creating a significant new audience who are mobile consumers of our products and that we are monetizing that at a growing and fast rate,” Mr. Browning said.

“More and more advertisers are hoping to play in a broad distribution channel that is on-air, online, mobile – and there is a unique quality to each of those items from the advertising perspective,” he said.

“Sports, news, entertainment, technology – in each of those areas, we’ve been able to publish what I call a hero application that has gotten significant scale and becomes a revenue generator but more importantly than the revenue generator, it has become a value point for customers. I feel like we have a very direct pipe to our audience as a result of what we have been up to on mobile.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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