Ads in Real Time

May 01, 2002

1. You see an ad in print, on a billboard, TV, radio, or on a product that interests you.
The number of internet users accessing the web through wireless devices is likely to skyrocket in the next five years as web-enabled cell phones and PDAs proliferate. According to market research company Computer Industry Almanac, much of that increase will happen in the United States, where the use of wireless trails far behind that of several other countries. Only 4.5 percent of the United States' 149 million users go online through a wireless device, compared with 34.8 percent of the 115 million users in Asia-Pacific countries, where the wireless boom predicted for 1999 and 2000 actually occurred.

2. You dial the short code number listed on the ad.
Hoping to capitalize on the forecasted surge, mobile marketing technology provider SkyGo and Versign, an internet security company, applied the same direct-response platform they used to connect cell phone customers to advertisers in Hong Kong and released it in the United States.

3. You instantly get a response that allows you to interact with the advertiser.
The platform allows companies to register numeric codes, which they can place on any kind of offline advertising, such as billboards, magazines, and television commercials. Interested consumers can dial the code on their mobile phones to interact with those advertisers. They can receive additional information on the spot or use the cell phone keypad to type in questions and get answers in real time.

Although no pharma clients have signed on yet, Leah Bibbo, public relations manager for Skygo, says the service is applicable to any industry that uses cross-media campaigns and wants an effective way to target consumers.

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