Apr 13, 2012

Interactive PDA-Pandora’s Display of Affection

Should You Open Pandora’s Box After All?

Everyone loves music and everyone is on the Internet, so it was only natural for Internet radio platforms to emerge in our digital lives. Platforms such as iHeartradio, Spotify, and turntable occupy 31% of the market along with dreaded “others” category. This market is consistently increasing, but who is taking home the main piece of the pie? Pandora Internet Radio currently holds 69% of market and shows no signs of stopping. This is a huge opportunity for digital marketers to up their display advertising game. Not only do listeners log into their account nearly everyday on their computers, but listeners are also tuning in on their mobile devices. With so many sites to choose from, how can advertisers ensure they are picking the right music listening platform? In this case, there really is no competition…Pandora is the only way to go. This is not to say this will be true forever, but as of this very moment Pandora offers a great space for display and mobile advertising.

I am not only saying this because I have personally run ads on Pandora and my experience has been nothing but wonderful, but because Pandora has designed the perfect platform for display advertising. I doubt this was intentional, but the company is now realizing the marketing power of their site. When users sign up for an account they enter in different variables such as age, gender, and zip code. The nature of sites like these “know what you like,” so consumers are willing to give as much information as possible to ensure customized results that cater to their interests. This powerful information that marketers usually fight for is just being thrown into Pandora’s database in a single strike of the keyboard. This information paired with the consumers’ music taste can help target consumers on a personal level. Listeners feel like Pandora “knows” them. Along with this deep consumer insight, the site calls for consumers to consistently interact with it. HELLO! That is exactly what online display is all about, interaction between consumer and site. By liking, disliking, skipping, sharing, and buying, listeners are constantly looking at the page. Music lovers also check the screen when they hear a new song they like unlike sites that allow users to build their playlists. Playlist sites do not get nearly as much interaction because most users hit play and minimize the screen because they know what’s coming next.

With the recent announcement of reaching 400 local advertising campaigns, Pandora is using their consumer information to better target on interests and locations. This is huge for local advertisers and another way that Pandora can show their consumers that they “know” them. Sure the ads are disruptive, but aren’t they all? The key is that the ads are of interest to the consumer in some way. Pandora also recently added mobile video ads into their offering because about 70% of their consumers use a mobile device to get their music. Mobile display is heavily increasing because we as marketers go where are consumers are, and they are on their phones.

Good display advertising puts a brand name in front of a consumer. Great display advertising strives to connect brand to consumers in an innovative and meaningful way. Ask yourself why am I reaching out to this audience and why should they be interested? Finding sites that are consumer oriented and call for high rates of interaction are the best for digital and mobile display. Are your display campaigns worth the share or skip button?