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Mobile Marketers Walk a Tightrope With Smartphone Ads

Campaigns on personal devices must intrude -- but not too much

For many people, no piece of hardware is more personal than their smartphone — so any marketing targeted at that device has to be done with extreme caution.

Push too hard and you’re being invasive, but bypass the phone and studios miss a chance to convert a potential fence-sitter.
Mobiquity Networks has been walking that line for five years. The mobile marketing company, which has done work for several Lionsgate releases, including this year’s “Divergent,” as well as “Avatar” and the WWE, helps studios direct push opt-in marketing in more than 100 malls across 17 of the U.S.’ 20 biggest markets. The company’s campaigns receive between 100 million and 120 million visits per month.

Up to 20% of potential customers accept the opt-in, watch a trailer and increase the odds they’ll wander from the food court to the theater.

However, says co-CEO Michael Trepeta, offering the opportunity to say no is critical.

“I think the opt-in solution shows respect to the (customer),” he says. “A phone is a very personal device. If you get bombarded with messaging that’s not relevant to you, it’s definitely distracting.”

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