Continuing the theme of mobile advertising: Simon Darr of Comverse (a provider of mobile messaging, content and billing systems) helps to flesh out an important qualitative issue. Of the three entities in the mobile advertising value chain - advertisers, carriers, and subscribers - the relationship between advertiser and carrier is the least established. Would-be mobile advertisers should take these deceptively simple rules into account when considering mobile campaigns:
1. Understand the typical carrier's business priorities. To establish a win-win proposal, mobile marketing campaigns must take these carrier needs into account:
- Carriers want to not only increase their subscriber base, but also increase their averager revenue per user (ARPU).
- Carriers want to reduce churn, and worry that giving advertisers a channel into the subscriber will harm their subscriber bases.
- Carriers want to increase the ROI on their 3G networks, as they have yet to see meaningful returns on this investment.
2. Think proactively about traffic optimization. Traffic optimization is the biggest challenge to the adoption of mobile push campaigns. For example: In Europe, Christmas Day messages make up 1/4 of an entire year's messaging total. Once a carrier builds out a system capable of handling Christmas Day traffic, it must then find ways to make money back on that system during the rest of the year. Advertising push has an opportunity to add value, but it presents a new challenge for the carrier: when the system is busy, what gets prioritized - the advertiser's message, or a subscriber's birthday message to Grandma?