Hong Kong publisher Next Digital has amped up its location advertising with a new beacon-based AppleSpot service that allows advertisers to push promotion alerts to users of the wildly popular Apple Daily mobile app who come within 50 metres of their businesses.
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Janet Tsim, COO of Apple Daily E-Classfied Limited, a subsidiary of the publisher, said the new service was launched simply on the premise that Apple Daily is the "must-download" news app in Hong Kong and the huge potential the publisher sees in this service to help its advertisers drive conversions.
"All the retailers and F&B brands that we work with have different backgrounds and their own marketing philosophies," she said. "We have to be the pioneer to tell them how to do conversion marketing better."
In the current market, digital advertising is more focused on branding, Tsim said. "But we believe that for retailers and F&B brands, proximity advertising will offer a better solution to drive conversions."
Tsim said she is confident that the service is a solution to "win the market", as the bluetooth-enabled service does not require users to download another app, and Apple Daily users are already mobile savvy. "We are riding on the exisiting consumer base to get them more engaged with the app and offer different solutions for advertisers," said Tsim.
According to Next Digital's 2016 annual report, offline accounted for 58% of its advertising revenue, while online advertising and mobile advertising each accounted for 21%. The company's digital division lost HK$1.2 million (US$154,000) in what the company noted was a tough environment; overall advertising expenditure in Hong Kong declined by 9.1% to HK$41.6 billion (US$5.33 billion) during the period.