Thursday, November 1, 2012

Can Mobile Devices Affect the Online Advertising Industry?

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. advertising (n.) – the business of promoting something through commercials, announcements, campaigns, etc.
Example Many companies believe online advertising is the best way to reach young customers.

2. shift (n.) – to change or move from one situation to another
Example: The real-estate company decided to shift its target from young adults to older adults, who have more money saved.

3. rethink (v.) – to change the way one thinks about something based on new information
Example: To increase sales, the company decided to rethink the product’s packaging and make it more modern.

4. traditional (adj.) –  relating to old or established ways of doing an activity
Example:   Many online businesses break traditional ways of earning money.

5. impersonal (adj.) – not reflecting or showing interest in the personal needs or wants of an individual person
Example: TV advertisements can be impersonal because they may show products that are not important or interesting to the TV viewer.

Read the text below.

The growing use of mobile devices is changing the way the advertising industry works. Companies that depend on online advertising will soon be affected by people’s Internet viewing on smaller screens.

But some advertising experts are asking: can the shift in devices—from large computer screens to small, more mobile screens—kill the online advertising industry?

Amy Gershkoff, from the public relations company Burston-Marsteller, says the advertising industry can still survive through the shift in technology. She says companies must rethink advertising. They should not think of mobile advertising as traditional advertising but on screens smaller than those of TVs or computers.

According to Gershkoff, mobile advertisers can learn from companies such as Starbucks, YouTube, and Amazon, which have done well in advertising through mobile media.

These companies have developed mobile apps that not only promote their brands but also provide consumers with useful features. Starbucks, for instance, allows its   customers to pay for coffee products through mobile apps. YouTube’s mobile advertising focuses groups who would be most interested in the products being promoted. Amazon has an app that can scan the barcode of products at stores, and then shows available deals and prices for the same product on its website.

The advertising industry needs to develop products that are helpful, useful and interesting to users on mobile devices, says Ester Dyson from WPP, an international communication services group. Companies should not simply have impersonal advertisements, but should target the specific needs and wants of individual consumers.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How can popularity and increasing use of mobile devices hurt or help businesses?
·         Do you think there would by any harm in receiving advertising on mobile phones? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think mobile devices have become so popular in the last few years?
·         What programs, apps or services would you like to have on your mobile device?


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