Summary: The potential of mobile marketing has long been understood and yet unfulfilled. This new report gives our forecasts, plus how Telcos can make the most of the powerful assets available to them to take a valuable role in this market before it is too late. Report extract included.
With Google's planned acquisition of AdMob and the launch of Apple's iAd advertising platform, mobile is back in fashion. But where is the real value in this market and what's the best role for telcos?
A new Telco 2.0 Executive Briefing report, of which there is an introductory extract below, summarises the current status of Telco-enabled marketing channels, and Operators' opportunities to grow the market. It was produced, in part, as context for the Telco 2.0 Use Case analysis for the Use Cases Report and the standalone Executive Briefing Mobile Advertising and Marketing: Text-based Local Search Use Case. Our original analysis on this topic is the 100+ Page Telco 2.0 Strategy Report - How to make the Telecoms Advertising Channel work a systematic approach to making it work for brands and profitable for telcos.
The report provides our forecast of the development of the market, and in particular on the near term opportunities for messaging based formats. [NB There will be more on both telco-enabled marketing and consumer data at the 9th Telco 2.0 Brainsrorm in London, April 28-29, 2010.]
Mobile advertising has long been touted as a major new revenue stream for the telecommunications industry. The role of fixed operators in online advertising has, so far at least, proved to be limited. Because the mobile device can be traced to an individual, however, mobile operators have substantial information about customers that is of potential value to marketers and advertisers.
So far, however, material mobile advertising revenue has proved to be elusive for operators because they have focused on a vertically integrated strategy that involves making money from advertising inventory that they own and control such as on-portal banner advertising. The problem with this is that the portion of inventory that they control is a small and diminishing portion of the total mobile advertising opportunity. We outline this issue in the chart below as well as the key questions facing operators in terms of increasing their addressable market in mobile advertising.
Can the Telco industry extract value from mobile advertising?
The report described here analyses the current strengths and weaknesses and near-term opportunities of mobile advertising. In addition, some customers may also wish to consider participation in our Syndicated Research project, in which we will:
Mobile marketing is back in the spotlight for a couple of reasons:
1. The global recession has focused marketers on media campaigns that have a demonstrable return on investment. As it has become harder to generate sales, so marketing budgets have moved towards activities that can be shown to directly influence the customer's purchase decision. For example, in the UK online search advertising grew three times as fast as display advertising between 2007 and 2008 despite already being three times the size.
Size, £ Millions
SMS advertising (including coupons and vouchers) is the biggest mobile segment and has similar characteristics to online search and traditional ‘direct response' marketing in that an immediate customer action is sought and measured. Display can, theoretically, do this too (by measuring clicks) but has tended to be used for raising awareness about a brand or product.
Many companies have, therefore, turned to mobile to maximise sales during these tough times. High profile campaigns of this sort include Coca Cola, who ran a campaign in the UK in May and June 2009 with digital vouchers for free bottles of Fanta, Sprite and Dr. Pepper being sent to the mobile phones of around 100,000 targets. Recipients of the voucher simply had to text ‘YES’ and their date of birth to a specific number and would instantly receive a text with a code enabling them to redeem the voucher. Participating retailers would key the code into their Paypoint terminal (used for paying utility bills and toping up prepay mobile accounts) which would register the redemption. The use of Paypoint enabled Coca Cola to both monitor redemption rates real-time (87% over the course of the campaign) and pay the retailer within seven days.
a. There is greater demand from end users for mobile media:
i. The rise in flat rate data plans has increased the volume of media consumed on devices and removed the issue of subscribers potentially being charged to receive marketing and advertising;
ii. Mobile devices continue to become more sophisticated - more and more phones now have browsers. This is important: the volume of smartphones in the market is directly correlated to web browsing adoption and usage and to data plan take-up;
iii. The combination of i. and ii. above has resulted in a substantial increase in mobile browsing in key markets. Such browsing increased by 52% in the US from November 2007 to November 2008 and by 42% in the largest European markets (UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy) according to comScore;
iv. SMS marketing has reached critical mass in the last eighteen months. For example, in the US SMS marketing accounted for 60% ($192 million) of the $320 million spent on mobile advertising in 2008 (according to emarketer.com). Similarly, a survey in the US by the Direct Marketing Association in July 2008 found that 70% of consumers had responded to a text ad over a two month period:
b. There has been more industry-wide activity from the operator and advertising communities:
i. The Mobile Marketing Association has developed a mobile advertising code of conduct and guidelines and the Direct Marketing Association has also developed guidelines and ‘help notes' to standardise mobile approaches for marketers;
ii. At the time of publication, the GSMA mobile metrics programme is on the cusp of delivering a complete and standardised picture of mobile internet usage in the UK (and later Germany) so that marketers have a 360º view of audience behaviour across mobile and can plan and buy campaigns accordingly;
c. There has been more effort and activity (including acquisitions) from individual operators seeking to capitalise on this new revenue source, including:
i. In late 2007, Telefonica and Vodafone took minority stakes in Amobee a provider of solutions for operators to deliver ad-funded content and services;
ii. Vodafone Egypt bought the digital media agency Sarmardy Communication (Sarcom) in August 2008;
iii. In August 2009, Orange bought Unanimis, the digital media aggregator to extend its advertising reach;
iv. In May 2009, Vodafone announced that it had successfully rolled out mobile advertising to 18 markets in 18 months. Services include incoming voice/text alerts, branded applications and location-based advertising.;
v. Microsoft paid Verizon Wireless around $600m in early 2009 for the right to supply local internet search and mobile advertising services to Verizon's customers.
This increased activity, of course, leads observers to beg the question ‘why is mobile deemed to be so valuable and where does it fit into the wider marketing mix'?
Traditionally the ‘marketing mix' has been described in terms of the four levers that marketers can change to drive the success of their product or service: Product, Place, Price and Promotion (the ‘4 P's). More recently, advertising agency Ogilvy has suggested that these should be revised to the ‘4 E's' to reflect the impact of digitalisation: Experience (instead of Product), Everyplace (Place), Exchange (Price) and Evangelism (Promotion).
However, to understand the role that mobile can play for marketers it is perhaps more helpful to focus on the customer adoption process for a product or service and explore how mobile can enhance the interventions made by marketing during this process. Again, there are several models exploring how customers first become aware of a product through to the time they are loyal customers. We have amalgamated several approaches into 6 A's: Awareness (& Interest), Assessment, Attempt, Adoption, Advocacy and Abandonment (outlined below).
||Typical customer engagement
|Awareness (& Interest)
||Making the customer aware of (and interested in) a brand or product or service.
||TV, Radio, Billboards, Internet banners
||Customer evaluates product or service against substitutes.
||In-store, comparison websites, peer reviews
||Customer trials product or service.
||In-store promotion, Direct mail, Internet search
||Customer regularly uses product or signs up for service.
||Store, Direct mail, Telesales, Website
||Customer is loyal and promotes product or service.
||Refer-a-friend, social media viral growth
||Customer stops buying product or does not renew service.
||Telemarketing, Direct mail
Mobile is a particularly interesting medium for marketers because it is ubiquitous and delivers a message to an individual that virtually guarantees their attention. If marketers can deliver a relevant message or offer to the individual according to their 6 A's stage via mobile, then they have a good chance of inducing a positive response. And mobile can also provide a response channel for the individual enabling them to transact directly using the handset. Of course, the quid pro quo of using a personal medium like mobile for marketing is that there is a real risk of upsetting customers who feel intruded upon or, worse, spammed. We discuss this in more detail in the sections below on customer data and customer privacy.
The range of formats available on mobile also means that marketers can engage with customers in different ways through the lifecycle. Other media have relatively few formats. TV, for example, has traditionally been dominated by the commercial break although, more recently, direct TV sales channels and product placement within programmes have increased from a low base. Mobile, by contrast, has a wide range of formats.
The key formats outlined in the body of the report are: SMS, MMS, Mobile Internet Banners,Apps & Widgets,QR Codes, Mobile TV & Video, Ad-Funded Content, Mobile Search.
Figure 1: Internet search and display advertising sectors in the UK
Figure 2: Coca Cola’s SMS campaign for 10,000 stores and 100,000 consumers
Figure 3: Percentage of responders to a mobile offer (March & April 2008)
Figure 4: The 6 A’s of a Customer Lifecycle
Figure 5: Important mobile advertising and marketing formats
Figure 6: Blyk Connexions case study example
Figure 7: Arsenal Mobile: for fans of the mighty Gunners
Figure 8: Mobile marketing and advertising applicability: summary
Figure 9: SMS/MMS marketing: currently the most important format
Figure 10: US Mobile Advertising Market, $ Millions
Figure 11: Lots of data but not necessarily complete, accessible, shareable
Figure 12: Sense Networks’ clustering of users based on their location patterns
Figure 13: Customer data approaches for five example services
Figure 14: Technical approaches to addressing privacy
Figure 15: The two-sided Telecoms business model opportunity
Figure 16: Core Telco 2.0 principles followed in this use case
Figure 17: Telco 2.0 ‘Use Case’ Methodology
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We reommend that non-member readers looking for a comprehensive overview of new Telco Business Models enabling advertising and marketing also consider the Telco 2.0 Briefing report Mobile Advertising and Marketing: Text-based Local Search Use Case and the special report Can Telcos Unlock the Value of their Consumer Data? Each report is available individually for single, group and corporate users, and a also in a package of all three reports at a 33% discount - £1,900 for a single user and £2,900 for all three reports for 5 users. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 207 247 5003 for more on these packages and interest in corporate-wide licenses.