Mobile advertising has often been touted as the next big revolution in advertising, but has usually been constrained by the lack of reach and the spam/push nature of most advertising options. Affle, a UK-based mobile media company, has, however, revolutionised this in India with the launch of SMS2.0. In these few months of launch, Affle’s SMS2.0 media platform has gained mass acceptance from users, advertisers, agencies, etc, and has risen to be India’s top mobile media channel, delivering over 65 million targeted impressions a month.
Affle, which had launched its mobile media platform SMS 2.0 in India late last year, has received an overwhelming response from users resulting in over 1 lakh new users getting added every month. Given that the users are enjoying their engagement with this new media, advertisers have been quick to lap it up as well and are leveraging this mobile screen in varied ways to deliver targeted and interactive communication.
SMS2.0 is an upgrade to the SMS application, which replaces and thus captures the most valuable real estate on the phone – the SMS screen. As most users use their mobile phone only for talking and SMSing, the SMS screen is the place where users’ eyeballs are most intently engaged with handset.
According to Anuj Kumar, Executive Director – South Asia, Affle, “SMS2.0 makes for a great media channel as our primary focus is to deliver great value to users. Users love the cool interface thru which they can send SMSes with trendy colours and funky emoticons and enjoy interacting with the personalised free content on their messaging screen. Advertisers like to be on this media only because users like engaging with SMS2.0. The consumer engagement is evident if you look at the numbers.”
“We are delivering 60-70 million impressions per month, which we expect to grow by 10-15 per cent every month. This clearly makes SMS2.0 one of the largest mobile media channels. India is one of our largest business operations and we see a huge opportunity due to the sheer number of people who are using mobile phones and the number of advertisers who are using the medium,” he added.
SMS2.0 works by creating an interactive channel for the non-intrusive delivery of the content and advertising on the SMS window. It allows the consumer to choose his area of interest, while the latest information is delivered unobtrusively when he is composing or reading an SMS message. As this application replaces the existing SMS application on the phone, the user continues to use SMS the way he knows it, without having to learn anything new.
Kumar said, “Advertisers want to be on the mobile phone and most of them are exploring ways to communicate in a targeted non-intrusive fashion on this device. They find the medium very lucrative as the campaigns provide interactivity, unlike the general traditional media or the evolving new media. SMS2.0 thus helps them to be on this media in an environment which users value and have their communication go to a micro targeted audience. The medium also offers instant interactivity with options like call now, get a call back, send SMS, go to WAP, launch video, etc. Most campaigns have thus seen clickthrough rates of 3-4 per cent, which is significantly higher than most other digital media.”
The latest innovative mobile marketing on SMS2.0 is for the IPL T20 matches, where IPL is associating with all cricket related news on SMS2.0 and using this media to have people download IPL related content.
They have done similar initiatives for Nike, Britannia, ICICI, HPCL, Perfetti, Goodyear, Aviva, Godrej, Pfizer, DHL, IBM, Make My Trip, Pepsi, and GSK, among others, and have helped in generating leads, drive sales, create awareness, and get users to contribute their own content.
Affle operates in five countries – the UK, India, Singapore, Thailand and the US. The company is also in the process of strategically expanding into other mobile markets in Asia and Europe very soon.
After success with SMS 2.0 in NCR, Affle plans countrywide extension