With mobile phones becoming increasingly versatile, various applications are being introduced to arm them with more features. mGinger, an entrepreneurial venture, is one such company using the platform of permission-based mobile marketing. The Bangalore-based start-up was set up by Chaitanya Nallan, Veerendra Shivhare and Anil Sharma in April 2007.
mGinger’s model builds its consumer base through a registration process in which the consumers specify their interests, maximum number of ads they would like to receive in a day, convenient time-slots and their demographic information. The company is now looking at expanding its customer base from the current 1.6 million to 5 million by April 2009.
Chaitanya Nallan, CEO, mGinger, said, “We work on the premise of letting the consumers spell their interests. As the business model, there are three value props that include giving information about relevant deals to our subscribers, it is completely anti-spam, and the third is a hook which is that our consumers get paid 20 paise for every ad they receive.”
The business model focuses on bringing the local advertisers on the mGinger platform as these are messages that would make the consumers walk to the store in the vicinity and avail its offers. The sales force is designed accordingly, which focuses on getting these local advertisers on board. Currently, mGinger has an advertiser base of 300, which includes 250 local advertisers.
Nallan added, “The clients pay for impression, and we also share revenue with the users (20 paise given for each message received). In mobile space, there are three different models that include permission driven, very targeted, high ROI and response rate like ours. The others are display advertising on GPRS and the footer ad. Our model is unique and one of its kind in India as it targets specific customers and their interests, and we have seen conversion rates as high as 80 per cent.”
He further claimed that the company was adding nearly 5,000 customers every day, and this was primarily through word of mouth. They have started exploring Internet advertising, and would consider the traditional advertising medium probably with the next round of funding. mGinger had received $2 million VC funding seven months ago.
On their expansion plans, Nallan said, “This quarter, we are looking at a consumer base of 2 million members. The target is to have 5 million customers by April 2009. Also, we are looking at an advertiser base of 600-700.”
The plan is also to focus on more sophisticated creatives, and the company is putting resources in place for this.
mGinger has four offices in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. The Chennai office is slated to open soon.