As an example of advertisers trying to introduce themselves on any mobile medium they can, Relevantis has introduced a new platform that uses branded paid icons on interactive maps to get the message out. The service is aimed at user’s accessing the maps via their mobile device, as well as on their in-car navigation system. The user can then interact with that advertiser with one click, getting things like instant coupons, directions, or a one-click phone call. It creates a win-win situation for everybody, as stated on their website;
The map publisher receives revenue from advertising; advertisers are able to reach out to consumers in an engaging and effective manner; and, most importantly, end-users have a great experience that doesn’t feel like advertising. The map icons feel natural – like they belong. This leads to greater ad revenues and increased customer satisfaction and retention.
Advertisers are charged based on how many impressions their icon receives, or how many user-interactions their icon generates, i.e how many people used “click-for-coupon”. The platform is part of Relevantis’s Universal Ad Platform which supports a wide array of advertising channels. Not only can you advertise via relevant contextual ads on the web, but also via mobile content, and even in-car navigation systems and home set-top boxes. All in the same platform.
The website doesn’t talk much about how it plans to incorporate interaction via in-car navigation systems, which would prove how cool this platform could be. We’ve already been able to instantly dial businesses via our navigation systems with points of interest, but they’ve never been sponsored by the businesses themselves as advertisers. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate the click-to action functions such as click-for-coupon, and other unique content. Most likely it will use SMS/MMS messages to deliver the coupons, directions, etc. When displayed on a mobile device, the ads show up like they would on Google Maps or Yahoo maps.
It’s an interesting platform, and yet another way to tap into the mobile user, but I’m sure Google, Yahoo and the other big players are ready and willing to take on the same concept.