You can't turn on a television these days without finding at least a couple reality shows. Those programs are making an impact in mobile, as well. Participation TV (PTV) is one of the hottest and fastest growing areas of mobile marketing.
According to the Mobile Marketing Association's (MMA's) "Annual Attitude and Usage Study,", released earlier this year, participation in voting campaigns increased from 8 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2006. Voting campaigns and initiatives receive, by far, the highest amount of consumer interaction of any mobile marketing form. The trend is set to continue.
According to Telephia, Americans sent nearly 35 million text messages in Q1 2007, generating roughly $35 million in revenue. One reason is many PTV initiatives offer incentives or prizes that encourage engagement; the shows also enable viewers to interact with their favorite content, an obvious draw. Couple those with programs that teach consumers how to interact and engage with their devices. The shows, in effect, walk consumers through the steps required to participate in a voting campaign and interact with their devices.
Companies like CBS, Endemol, NBC, and Telescope Inc. are working together to launch PTV initiatives that put consumers in the driver's seat. All campaigns are expected to adhere to the MMA's "Consumer Best Practices Guidelines," which defines the base set of rules for PTV.
A few key guidelines for interactive television:
A premium charge call to action integrated with programming may be a single opt-in when the call to action contains the following conditions:
The industry has worked together to ensure the guidelines reflect industry demands, support sustainable growth, and protect the consumer experience as well as the industry. The guidelines are evaluated every six months to ensure they address the needs of both the industry and consumers. The MMA also recently launched a PTV committee, comprising representatives from across the ecosystem, which will work to ensure best practices are enforced and the industry grows in a responsible and effective manner, ultimately protecting all in the value chain.
What makes a successful PTV initiative? As with all mobile marketing campaigns, integrating the mobile call to action within a cross-media marketing initiative is key. In PTV, the mobile call to action can be integrated into television, print, the Internet and so on, to drive consumer participation in the program. Since the early days of "American Idol," a number of best practices have been gleaned, including:
As PTV grows and the number of shows leveraging an interactive element increases, it's imperative all players be proactive about adhering to guidelines and best practices to protect the industry's continued viability.
As the number of consumers interested in engaging with their favorite programs and content increases, media companies will continue to experiment to provide more to their viewers. Voting, sweepstakes, polling, games, and trivia are just some of the tactics that have been deployed to connect programs to viewers. PTV is one of the many ways the mobile channel continues to be leveraged to engage consumers and drive overall brand awareness...and revenue!
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