Advertising on feature phones?
When Hindustan Uni Lever’s ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ campaign came home back with a Gold Lion in the mobile ad category from Cannes in 2014, it took the complete industry by surprise.
The campaign planned out by the FMCG Major was an honest effort to reach out to the media dark areas. ‘The Kan Khajura Station’ a 15 minute free,entertainment, on-demand channel was a service where people can give a missed call using their cell phone and then get entertained absolutely free.
The brand created a new type of media through a basic mobile phone that successfully brought people out of complete media ignorance and connected them with rest of the world. According to the HUL brand, the activity was implemented at a cost of INR 6 per person. This campaign was successfully executed in Jharkhand and Bihar.
This is not the first time that country’s largest fast moving consumer good company had implemented a campaign for people with simple feature phones in the country. Couple of years back the HUL’s detergent brand Active Wheel had also used a missed call as an marketing and advertising inventory to grab the attention of consumers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
In addition, the company is now going to have tie-ups with local grocery Kirana shops and is working on making tailor made caller tune as part of it’s new marketing initiative. This means that whenever a consumer calls ot the shop to place an order they will be informed about different promotional offers on the various available brands from the house of HUL. According to paper economic times, HUL has piloted this initiative in Delhi and Mumbai.
Studies by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that feature phones still cover over 70 per cent of the vast Indian mobile market. Experts in the sector are optimistic that the scenario can change the game. A recent IDC report clearly mentions that India is the fastest growing market in Asia Pacific region, with a year on year smartphone sales growth of over 186 % in first quarter of 2014.
Is the market still present for marketing and advertising on feature phones in India where smartphones are growing exponentially?
Digital Quotient COO Vinish Kathuria have strong belief that there is a lot of scope open for exploring this market. As per him, advertising opportunities on various feature phones rotate around text and banner advertising on WAP websites, IVR based reach,SMS and missed call strategies services which are being used even today by many big companies.
Out of these available advertising options, missed call as tool looks very promising to many other field experts. In a recent move, Facebook announced that it is going to introduce missed call inventory to grow its advertising revenue that counts for the second largest user base for it i.e. India.
This advertising tool will allow mobile phone subscriber to click a button that calls an advertising company, immediately drop up and then receives back a return call. The return call give a pre-recorded normal / audio messages about everything from sponsored cricket match scores to information about shopping mall discounts, optimizing data charges for the user.
The Facebook has partnered with ZipDial for this exercise. In early tests of the missed call ads service by L’Oreal owned haircare product Garnier Men, the advertisement led to a 2.5 times yearly increase in online revenue, as per Facebook.When inquired about how different is it to implement an advertising campaign on feature phone compared to a smartphone, ZipDial CEO Valerie R Wagoner says, “We don’t think in believing of it as advertising on feature phones but rather advertising and marketing to consumers who possess feature phones.”
Wagoner also thinks media activations with this kind of mobiles can deliver great business results. She is of the view that every media whether television,print,outdoor, or digital ads should have a mobile call toaction to make it interactive,innovative and to drive ongoing engagement with customers in a very targeted and personalised way. “Since QR Code is relevant to less than 1 % of mobile consumers in India, a missed call service is the easiest possible thing that anyone could possibly do using any phone”.
She informs that ZipDial tie-up with Unilever to work on expansion this success globally across growing markets like India.
Apart from cost being minimalistic. Executing a campaign on feature phones could cost a brand anywhere between INR 3 to 6 lakhs says a senior media planner.
The Roadblocks :
Having said above, althought there is a huge opportunity in using a feature mobile as a broadcast channel to directly interact with consumers, it has to be implemented very carefully, especially for consumers using feature phones.
“Advertisement potential is significantly low on feature phones due to two main reasons. First being limited screen size and phone’s processing makes it difficult to offer majority of multi media advertising options. Second, availability of mobile apps and usage being significantly lower. So, for app advertising, one of the largest mobile advertising categories, is almost non-present,” as per Kathuria.
Ideally Brands should never spam customers. Wagoner states, “Blasting messages or voice calls could be extremely intrusive. Although, SMS and voice Calls services are unique tool when you use them wisely in combination with taking care of consumer privacy. Like, standard sector response rates to generic push message blasts are around 0.1-0.2 %. However, response rates to SMS sent via ZipDial followers are some where between 9-56 per cent ,reason being users give permission and are in perfect control of the content they receive.”
It is extremely important to have personalized experienced touch which targets the correct message to the right customer at the right time that will successfully lead to change, conversions and business growth across this segment.”The difference being there are hundreds of agencies designing for smartphones (mostly companies in the West and developed country markets),there are very few innovative agencies designing and building great advertising technology services for emerging markets”.
Source – IndianTelevision