Mobile movie marketing reviewed: What marketing works best for streamers
Mobile devices have become a major viewing platform for movies in recent years. Indeed, for many consumers they are the main outlet for such content as traditional cinema and television become less attractive to them for a wide variety of reasons, such as cost, accessibility, and content availability.
New research in the International Journal of Mobile Communications looks at the various routes corporate marketing departments can take in terms of promoting movie content to mobile users. The web, social media, brand extension, electronic word of mouth, and timing and regional "windowing" strategies are all reviewed to discern what time of marketing works best in the mobile world and which approaches are likely to be less successful.
Sang-Hyun Nam of the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange, Hun Kim and Byeng-Hee Chang of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea, and Sylvia Chan-Olmsted of the University of Florida, Gainesville, U.S. have based the current study on movie industry data from South Korea. The team points out that this country has one of the most established mobile industries and is the first market in the world to approach mobile saturation. Other countries, one might suggest, are always playing catch-up with the technological advances taking place in South Korea. As such, understanding the successes and failures of companies there as well as consumer response and behavior might provide a way to predict what might happen in the future elsewhere.
The team reports that certain web content activities, brand extensions, celebrity and star power, sequels, and movie length can influence significantly the performance of a movie on mobile platforms. They also found that there were clear differences in the impact of each marketing approach depending on the specific platform used. Website content and activity continues to play an important role in the performance of movie releases on mobile platforms by providing consumers with advance information and insight regarding a given movie release.
Social media and eWOM provide a type of peer review that engages putative consumers prior to theatrical once a movie has already created some buzz online. However, this buzz does not translate to take-up on mobile platforms in the way it once did with theatrical release of movies. It all contributes to branding for a movie's stars. Indeed, the present study has demonstrated that the most effective tools are the movies stars themselves and the existence of sequels. It is these factors that influence mobile viewers the most in whether they will watch a particular release.
"Our results here confirm that brand extension, especially via co-branding with stars and the adoption of an established movie franchise, benefits movie marketers by positively leveraging the existing equity in affecting consumers' attitudes, quality perceptions, and purchase intentions toward the extended product," the team writes.