Now that nearly half of all Americans are the proud owners of a smartphone, and nearly 30% own a tablet or an e-reader (Pew Research Center), data and information consumption is increasingly taking place on the go. This mobile explosion is not only driving innovation and cooperation in the wireless industry, and a greater proliferation of Wi-Fi in consumer venues to meet demand, but is also creating new challenges and opportunities for brands trying to reach mobile consumers.
On June 25, through Boingo’s location-based media services, Google Offers became the first brand to reach one of the most connected, mobile commerce savvy, always on-the-go audiences in the U.S. – New Yorkers – in a location where they were previously disconnected: subway stations. Google Offers will be sponsoring Boingo Wi-Fi in six subway stations and more than 200 hotzones throughout the city through September 7, and as part of the sponsorship will be offering New Yorkers the chance to check out location-specific offers near them, as well as a reliable Wi-Fi connection to keep them in the know on the go.
This sponsorship and new locale for brand engagement captured the attention of ad and marketing press, with Mobile Commerce Daily noting that it’s “great to see Google Offers sponsoring free Wi-Fi…because this shows that the company gets how important it is for consumers to…access the mobile web while on the go in order to drive the use of local offers.” The publication further noted that Boingo’s expanding subway Wi-Fi services will “create a unique mobile advertising and sponsorship network enabling advertisers to deliver specific, location-based messages,” while Ad Week reported that “subway riders in particular are a valuable demo for advertisers to target,” reaching highly connected and high-income audiences.
With the explosion of mobile connectivity, and the increase in Wi-Fi availability at consumer venues, today’s advertisers have new opportunities to leverage value-added, location-based media services to capture and keep the attention of smartphone crowd.