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Facebook-Zipdial's 'Missed Call' format is witnessing success: Valerie R Wagoner

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Facebook-Zipdial's 'Missed Call' format is witnessing success:  Valerie R Wagoner

The partnership between ZipDial and Facebook has made a buzz in the digital world. ZipDial, a Bangalore based mobile agency has used its missed call feature for Facebook to create a greater user experience.

The ad product is specifically designed for emerging markets  with  the ‘Missed Call’ ad format. Once a user clicks on the ad on Facebook, a number is dialled which triggers the ZipDial experience and continues engagement with the user off Facebook via SMS and voice. This experience then drives online-to-offline engagement that encourages the user to perform an action such as purchasing a product, watching a television show, etc.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Valerie R Wagoner, founder & CEO, ZipDial talks about the momentum of their business in the Indian market, the Facebook ZipDial partnership experience and innovations created for various clients...

Q. Having started in 2010, how has your journey been so far?

When we started ZipDial in 2009, marketers were barely getting comfortable with using the mobile at all, and it was an era of small experiments. But in the early 2012, using mobile for media activations had become an industry standard. By now, marketers are truly embracing both bridging offline-to-online consumer experience over the long-term, and driving a real business impact from data and analytics.

ZipDial has helped bridge from the offline world to the online world and has been the inventor of driving consumer engagement via mobile marketing. We enable businesses and brands to use mobile to its full potential.  Today ZipDial is the mobile marketing & analytics platform used by marketers to engage with 100 percent of their consumers. ZipDial makes social sharing and friend referrals simple for 100 percent of consumers on 100 percent of phones, even for users who are not using smart phones or social media. By tracking word of mouth in real-time, marketers can target follow-up campaign updates and promotions to their consumer influencers who have referred the most friends. Targeted promotions to influencers drive an even more viral campaign. For example, mid way through the campaign, use ZipDial Analytics to target the top 10 percent of influencer users with an extra discount, personalized to them to make the campaign go more viral.

Q. What is the idea behind the partnership with Facebook? How has the partnership worked?

We have been talking with Facebook about their emerging markets strategy for over three years now. We are thrilled that this is the first co-developed product that has hit the market.The purpose of the Facebook-ZipDial ad product is to achieve two things- Online-to-Offline engagement and driving results and track performance of Facebook versus other media channels.

Facebook is the media where the ad is displayed. The user clicks the ad. As soon as the user responds to the ad, it bridges from Facebook into a 100 percent ZipDial experience. Some of the brands that have used include Coca-Cola (Coke Studio), L'Oreal (Garnier Men), P&G (Gillette), Mondelez (Cadbury Dairy Milk), Disney Channel and Nestle.

ZipDial also integrates across all media channels, including Print, TV, OOH, and non-Facebook digital ads, which helps in tracking which media drives higher ROI for the advertiser.

Q. How many of India’s 243 million internet users would you think will be using this new ad format?

Currently the Facebook-ZipDial ad format is available on Android and feature phones. This makes up the vast majority of mobile internet users already, and the format will be rolled out to others in time. The ad format has already proven so effective that we are seeing a huge amount of market demand, especially from FMCG, media such as Television Broadcasters, Banking & Financial Services, and Retail. We are betting on this ad format becoming the most prominent and defacto ad format in India, so soon we will reach 100 percent of users.

Q. How well has mobile marketing emerged in India? How are marketers leveraging  ZipDial’s missed call product?

From day one, ZipDial’s vision has always been about creating data where data never existed before. In emerging markets where the vast majority of consumers are still not online and still pay for things in cash, there is exceptionally little data on consumers and their preferences and behaviors. However, only now this year, marketers we work with are ready to embrace a comprehensive data strategy.

Q. What according to you makes a good campaign in the mobile medium?

I truly believe that in order to create a good mobile campaign one needs to follow six best practices of mobile activations – Know your consumer, don’t lose your consumer, simplicity of call-to-action in the media, multiplicity of the user interface after the call-to-action in the media and essential – on-pack activations, making offline, go viral and measurement a much more valuable than the fallacy of a ‘branded call-to-action’.

A missed call or SMS captures a known consumer and enables a powerful, personalized experience. Few global and Indian brands such as Forevermark Diamonds and Gillette have used ZipDial and have got great results. We have also valued customer’s privacy by initiating get permission option for future communication.

Q. Can you share the latest innovations from ZipDial?

ZipDial’s latest and most important innovation is in ‘Viral Mobile Content’ especially for Rural Markets. Unilever’s Kan Khajura Tesan that won three Gold Awards at the Cannes Lions this year is a perfect example of the kind of rural mobile content strategy that ZipDial’s clients are rolling out on the platform. We have taken this to a new level by not only driving consumption of the content, but also making it Viral, even for feature phone users who may not even be literate. We are consistently seeing an increase in reach of 175 to 200 percent in these rural programs, meaning that for every 100 people engaging with the content, they invite another 175-200 people to consume the content as well. Keep in mind that none of these consumers have mobile Internet and none use social media.

Q. Any expansion plans in the near future? What is the percentage of growth in the last financial year?

We are a rapidly expanding global business. ZipDial is already present in three markets- India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and we are launching in South Africa, Philippines and Indonesia in the next two months.

Q. Mobile being an enabler of communication, how do you ensure that the user doesn’t get distracted by ZipDial’s missed call product? How viable is the product for brands?

The results of the Facebook-ZipDial product show success. Consumers encounter advertising across all forms of media, Television, Print, Facebook, etc. ZipDial creates the best and simplest possible user experience to engage with those ads and therefore drive the best results for advertisers.

Q.  How do you ensure to roll out a successful mobile campaign for a brand?

ZipDial’s purpose is to use consumer data that never before existed to deliver the right message to the right consumer at the right time and through the right user interface. The analytics and retargeting platform and the many engagement solutions are specifically designed to maximized ROI and impact for brands.


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