Adriano Gaved from mobile media company 3 Italia recently shared the results of an internal case study on mobile content ad targeting. The big takeaways from their testing:
- In mobile content, carriers will be disappointed to discover that the consumer's expectations around content consumption will trump his or her preexisting norms around mobile usage. e.g., free and advertising-supported is the standard content model, rather than premium payments. (Notable exceptions: users are willing to pay extra for games, adult content, and music.)
- Each time you divide a target cluster, you will double the clickthrough rate.
A fairly new carrier, 3 Italia has grown to approximately 7 million subscribers over the past three years. 4.5 million of those 7 million customers have opted in to receive daily promotional content via UMTS push, including both MMS and VMS. (Pull media, on the other hand, goes out through 3 Italia's portal.) Since UMTS is unicasting, this means that if 1 million customers want information, there will be 1 million data flows going out from your servers. DVB-H, on the other hand is a broadcast medium, and has similar efficiencies to terrestrial digital television. Inefficiency is the cost of providing more choice to the user experience, and so the carrier must develop targeting sufficient to pay for the increased costs of UMTS over DVB-H. Here's what 3 Italia found in its test results:
- Case Study A: 8 clusters of 62,500 customers each = 0.8% click-through rate (CTR)
- Case Study B: 24 clusters of 67,000 customers each = 1.8% CTR (Note: though the cluster size is relatively similar to that of A, this represents a finer comb since it parallelled overall growth of the customer base.)
- Case Study C: 48 clusters of 33,000 customers each = 3.2% CTR
These numbers show that targeting makes a huge difference in returns. It left me wondering, however, if 3 Italia stopped testing after C because that was the CTR required to turn a profit on unicasting in their content model. Or conversely, if a 'D' split fails to provide improvements along the same trajectory.