local media insider

Four hottest categories to target for mobile sales

Who is sponsoring mobile apps? Auto, attorneys, fast food and health

Alisa Cromer

There are four hot categories of advertisers that see the mobile audience as a huge opportunity. They want their message to be seen on mobile because of the type of person using it today and the ‘halo’ effect of being in this space at this time.

The categories are: Auto, Health, Financial and Fast food (the "on-the-go" market)

This is one of the most competitive advertising categories. What do they like about being in mobile?

* One of the biggest selling features of new cars is that it has ‘the newest/best technology."  The smart phone audience is pre-disposed to caring about this kind of information.

* Car dealers advertise on TV to help build brand awareness. Customers, however, also surf the web to do research before they buy. Mobile reaches audiences in different stages in the buying cycle.

* Most people buy their cars on Thursdays to Sundays. This time period coincides with peak usage time on mobile (people tend to be on-the-go on the weekends).

*Virtually everyone has a cell phone with them at all times, the advertiser reaches the audience whereever they are - and where competitors are not.

* Mobile ads for dealers can utilize ‘click to call’ phone numbers (directly to a salesperson or to the service department), location listings, manufacturers incentives, featured car of the week (can be changed out weekly), picture of the car; car features, or an ‘offer’ that can be redeemed when taken to the dealership.


This category covers hospitals, laser eye surgery, cosmetic surgery, etc. This is also one of the most competitive categories in advertising. Why do they like being in mobile?

* One of the main messages that many health care facility is trying to get across is how superior and advanced their technology/medical techniques are. “We have the best MRI machines”, “We have the newest technology”, etc.   Advertising in a space that IS technologically smart and new, drives home the message.

* Heath services like the ‘halo’ affect. They know that  ‘users’ of mobile web are current on technology - and will see their company as smart and forward thinking  as well.

* Being first on mobile differentiates health services from other companies - and reaches new consumers wherever they are - and where competitors are not

*Mobile devices are personal devices, a good environment for messages about personal health or beauty

* Health sector advertisers on mobile can use ‘click to call’ phone numbers (directly to a consultant, medical hotline, physician finder, etc), location listings; feature of the week (can be changed out weekly); health topics, pictures; etc. 

Example: Be creative in working with hospital's promotions. Northside Healthcast as on WSBTV's mobile site features links to its videos on six areas of expertise:


Whether you’re talking about banks, mortgage companies or lenders, they all have one main goal: to change their image 180 degrees. Why do they like mobile?

* In the past of banks hammered home the message that ‘your money is safe and secure’…but now they’re having to move off of this and need to promote all their new services such as online banking and mobile banking.

* There is a big push for some banks to get a relationship with 21-34 year olds established early

*Banks are selling convenience: we have ATM’s everywhere....pay your bills online….sign up for sms/text messages that can warn you instantly of fraud on your account, can tell you if you’re about to be overdrawn, etc. Mobile provides convenient ways to sign up

*A great way for credit unions to differentiate themeselves from - and against the bigger banks, to a new, forward-thinking, upscale market

4. FAST FOOD and "ON-THE-GO" products

This category is a bit of a no-brainer - any industry that relies on the ‘on-the-go’ consumer dreams of being able to ‘live’ with that person. And he or she can on the phone.

*  285 million phones in the U.S. today and they’re always with us.

* Makes sense that the person who is already viewing your mobile web site while they are en route is a top target

* Mobile ads can include locations…directions...click to call….or redeemable offers. Examples:  Lizard's Thicket, a restaurant posts its daily special on the mobile ad, with its locations and click to call. Poppa John's campaign on Wave3's mobile site  has both a click-to-order function and a location finder:

other categories not to be overlooked: 


With the decline of yellow pages, attorneys are looking for new and different ways to reach audiences. One personal injury attorney combines on-air and billboard campaigns with a "text-back" message if you have an auto accident, allowing the attorney to call back immediately. Attorneys comprise a surprising share of new mobile advertisers.


What better way to reach young people ready to invest in an education than on their cell phones? This savvy community college marketer asks: 

Are you unsure about your college career? 

Do you even know how to start the college process?

Do you have any questions?

No question is too simple or too difficult. Our counselors are here to help you. 

Click this number to call now! 

WJACTV's picked up a career education program, Pitt-Johnson, that runs a "Real World Action" campaign on mobile screens. 

In closing: These are the just the hottest categories. You can create great campaign i any category by focusing on key mobile strengths: 

*Click to call gives the customer instant gratification

*Location finders help customers find what's closest while they are en route

*Specials and discounts can be changed daily - and the customer can just bring it in, rather than printing a coupon or purchasing a certificate

*Mobile is a "savvier" environment that positions advertisers as forward thinking

*Reach key demographics whereever they are - and where competitors are not

Many thanks to Derrick DeCarlo, Director of Digital Strategy at LSN Mobile, for sharing these sales tips for the top four mobile categories. 

Alisa Cromer

The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and  MediaExecsTech,  developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine,  to showcases perspectives from around the  world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.