Mobile apps, and especially branded apps, are all the rage now-a-days, but a resurgence in the lost art of sponsorship is making a comeback, and brands are shifting their thinking because of it.
Steve Smith of MediaPost published a great article recently that talks about sponsorships in terms of mobile marketing, and what benefits the concept provides over branded apps. Marketers are increasingly realizing that not every brand translates easily into the kind of utility consumers really want on their phone, and thus sponsorships are becoming a more attractive option.
Publishers are getting a lot of interest from marketers who want to be sole sponsor of new branded media apps, in lieu of trying to go it alone. Instead of buying up a new audience for their branded app, they prefer to align with a tool and a media source brand that’s already built an audience.
All-in-all, the concept makes a lot of sense. Brands who are unsure how to tackle the mobile app explosion and ecosystem that’s continually forming around them, but who understand the need to get in on the action, can opt instead to partner with an app that’s already done the heavy-lifting in terms development and building an audience.
A perfect example of sponsorships in action, related to mobile apps, is Rodale’s collection of over 30 apps related to men and women’s health. Unlike other media companies that put out a single branded news or magazine app, such as Esquire and GQ for example, Rodale has a more fragmented approach that focuses on mobile tools and references. In the process, they have created a flexible catalog of available ad inventory that can be leveraged as sole sponsorships.
As the mobile app ecosystem continues to be flooded with new apps and techniques, sponsorships will undoubtedly become a favorable option for many marketers. Instead of going head-to-head with an already established app, entering into a sponsorship and gaining an immediate audience simply makes more sense. Whatever the case may be, sponsorships are set to make a comeback in mobile marketing, that’s for sure.