Mobile advertising tapping into the lucrative voice channel

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Mobile advertising tapping into the lucrative voice channel

  1. 1. Mobile Advertising: Tapping into the Lucrative Voice Channel
  2. 2. Mobile Advertising: It is important that advertising on the voice channel is non- intrusive and does not interfere in any way with the actualTapping into the Lucrative conversation. Rather, the advertising is focused on other aspects of the voice inventory: the pre-call and post-callVoice Channel periods. Making Money Before a Call Is AnsweredVoice has long been a prosperous kingdom ruled byoperators, but times are changing in the voice realm. No Instead of listening to system tones while waiting for aone is more aware than the operators themselves that over call to be answered, both parties can opt to listen to adthe past few years voice ARPU has been dropping at a content. The caller can opt in to listen, and the called partydisquieting pace of about 5% per year1. can also opt in to have ads played to his/her callers. (Users are motivated to opt in because of incentives offered forOne way that operators have been fighting the declining participation).revenue curve is by focusing their hopes on data andadvanced services, but this alone is not enough. An To increase effectiveness, the ads can also be interactive. Foradditional operator response has been to explore the mobile example, the user can press “1” to skip or “2” to get moreadvertising arena. information via SMS after the call.Currently, the most common channels used for advertising Due to the enormous volume of calls, the exposure potentialare SMS and mobile Internet/WAP, and these channels have is huge and the attentiveness of the caller waiting for the callbeen delivering promising results. Increasingly, however, to be placed is high — particularly because the rich store ofattention is being turned to voice, and the question being information available to the operator about the user can beasked is: Why not use the voice channel for advertising? leveraged to target the ads to user interests.Compelling Case: Using the Voice Channel for Making Money after the Call Is CompletedAdvertising A caller hanging up is not the end of the operator’s revenueThe case for using voice as an advertising channel is opportunities — there is still money to be made.compelling. Voice is still far and away the killer application,accounting for the lion’s share of all mobile phone usage. Many operators offer complementary call services, forVoice doesn’t require smartphones or data or user education example notifying users by SMS of calls that were missedand it never becomes “uncool” or goes out of fashion. when the user was out of range, new voice message notifications, etc. Advertisements can be inserted intoAs the most heavily used mobile service, voice calls offer the these call completion system notification messages withoutlargest possible ad exposure in the mobile world and present requiring users to opt-in, since these message alerts area solid business opportunity: offered for free by operators. The reach of these ads is quite broad, due to the fact these free services increasing callA million users opting into a voice ad service would generate completion are usually auto-activated by operators to theseven million RBT ad opportunities each day, assuming an entire subscriber base.average of seven calls per day per user. Even if an operatoropts to use only a portion of the possible calls for ads, this Voice Advertising Pays: Success Storiesstill leaves several million new revenue opportunities everyday from existing traffic, driving up ARPU without costing the Even though use of the voice channel for advertising is ausers anything at all. relatively new and unexplored realm, trailblazers in this arena have already been meeting with notable successes:Non-Intrusive Approach to Advertising on the VoiceChannel • Turkey: Winner of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards for 2009 in the category of best mobile advertising service1 http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2009/03/voice-a- was Turkcell, with its RBT Ad service Tonla Kazan (Tonenew-platform-for-innovation/ and Win). Turkcell announced recently that this serviceFor more information please visit www.comverse.com 2
  3. 3. reached 200,000 subs in only 8 months and has helped the operator to reduce churn.• Czech Republic: Telefónica O2 explored a new concept of using ads in voice services by offering subscribers one minute of calling to any mobile or fixed number in the Czech Republic for free. This service was implemented by an IVR system where users dial a special number and listen to a short commercial message. Then they select the telephone number to call and receive one minute free of charge. By the end of 2008, more than 10 million calls were made in this manner, a very high number for a service launched only 6 months earlier.• South Africa: Vodacom South Africa’s “Please Call Me” service enables prepaid subscribers who run out of credit to send a free SMS to a more affluent subscriber and ask to be called back. The advertiser pays for the SMS in return for inserting an ad, enabling advertisers to reach the mass market by SMS. Vodacom reports that “Please Call Me” generates 20 million messages per day with 2.5 million unique users,2 and additional revenues are generated when the calls are returned. Without the ad-sponsored service, this profitable activity would not take place.Advertising on the Voice Channel Goes MainstreamUsing voice for advertising benefits everyone involved.Subscribers gain the ability to enjoy discounted and freeservices and other incentives. For advertisers, the voicechannel offers a broad, targeted and cost-effective reach totheir target audience, with highly precise metrics. Operatorsgain a lucrative opportunity for a new revenue stream fromvoice services — their greatest asset.These are but some of the reasons that mobile advertisingon the voice channel is well on its way to going mainstream.2 Yankee Group, March 2008 About Comverse Comverse is the world’s leading provider of software and systems Copyright ©2009 Comverse, Inc. All rights reserved. enabling value-added services for voice, messaging, mobile Internet and mobile advertising; converged billing and active customer Comverse, its logo, the spark design, Kenan and Netcentrex are registered management; and IP communications. Comverse’s extensive trademarks of Comverse Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United customer base spans more than 130 countries and covers over States and other selected countries. Other denoted product names of 500 communication service providers serving more than two Comverse or other companies may be trademarks or registered trademarks billion subscribers. The company’s innovative product portfolio of Comverse, Inc. or its subsidiaries, or their respective owners. The materials enables communication service providers to unleash the value of presented in this communication are summary in nature, subject to change, the network for their customers by making their networks smarter. and intended for general information only.For more information please visit www.comverse.com 3

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