The only hard part of Publishers Clearing House's mobile marketing plan is going to be getting that huge check to fit in those tiny cell phones. In June, PCH launched two iPhone applications—PCH Trivia and PCH Slots—to begin its push into the mobile marketing arena. Historically a direct marketing giant, PCH expects a lot from this marketing channel that fits in the palm of a hand.
Making sure PCH had the flexibility to really wring dollars out of the phones, the Port Washington, N.Y.-based direct marketer known for its multimillion-dollar sweepstakes sought a mobile ad network provider that could meet the challenge. It chose Fremont, Calif.-based Nexage and its AdMax Gateway solution after chatting at a convention, where PCH learned that it would be able to include multiple advertising networks in its mobile applications, plus turn the networks on and off based on their performance.
Dennis Vukelic, PCH's director of online strategy, elaborates on his company's approach to mobile marketing and direct marketing—and how PCH plans to integrate the two.
Target Marketing: Since this effort began in June, what channels are involved in Publishers Clearing House Online Network's effort to promote its iPhone applications, as well as to drive people to the mobile PCH site?
Dennis Vukelic: We've basically been promoting our mobile efforts exclusively to our existing customer base. And we've actually also experienced a fair amount of installs and activity due to organic activity. What I mean by organic is within the iTunes store itself, about half of all of the installs that we've seen for the two applications—and it holds true on both applications—have come from people just coming across our applications in the site or doing a search for it, all exclusively within iTunes. The other half has come from [e-mails we've sent to] our existing customer base. We have just recently started to put cross-promotional banners within our applications, so that slot machine is promoting the trivia app and vice versa. And we are putting some banners throughout the rest of the PCH Online Network right now. So as these perform well, it helps us out on the organic, as well, because it increases our placement within the iTunes store ...
TM: What percentage of PCH Online Network's 5 million unique visitors per month responded to the direct marketing promotional efforts and became mobile visitors? Ideally, what percentage would PCH like to eventually reach?
DV: It's still a very small percentage. In the single digits. Probably even below 1 percent. We're not that concerned yet with creating a goal. Right now we're just trying to understand more of the marketplace and understand what type of a business model we can build behind it.