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Internet perfect platform for promoting value added services: IAMAI survey

17-December-2005
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Internet perfect platform for promoting value added services: IAMAI survey

Internet could be a perfect medium for marketers of mobile services to interact with a young, upwardly mobile, tech-savvy demographic as 47 per cent respondents indicated that they would be willing to pay for mobile content in a recent survey conducted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Cross Tab Marketing Services.

The survey found that 70 per cent respondents had downloaded ring tones, 44 per cent took part in SMS contests, 37 per cent had opted for wallpapers, while 32 per cent had accessed information about mobile downloads from different portals.

Reflecting on the numbers, Preeti Desai, President, IAMAI, said, “It’s a perfect opportunity for mobile operators to reach post-paid subscribers with higher-value content and services, as well as position small-ticket items for young and impulsive pre-paid subscribers.”

According to Tushar Vyas, Managing Director, mOne, “Mobile operators can use the Internet to reach a quality set of users with higher average revenue per unit (ARPU) and non-voice service users to generate leads, to induce viral behaviour and to deliver an interactive personal experience.”

Sunil Miranda, Vice-President, Mediaturf, said, “Internet users are an ideal audience to push higher-end features and services like GPRS, email, m-commerce, surfing and search, as well as bundled handset upgrades.”

Agreeing with Miranda, Vyas said, “Mobile services providers can provide value-added services to subscribers by offering compatible content on WAP sites, like themes, wallpaper, ring tones, screensavers, games and utilities. They can also offer PC to mobile interactivity like email, Messenger and VoIP.”

“The Internet serves well to highlight value-added services. It can be highly contextual as most of the VAS services are available on the Internet in a different format. It’s also a great option to sample mobile premium content. For example, users can sample a ring tone or game before downloading on the mobile phone,” Vyas said.

“To advertise new plans, prices and features, mobile operators should use innovative campaigns, targeted banner ads and contextual and behavioural advertising. These should be backed up by contests, which can form the base for database generation. Ring tones and other mobile content work well as a communication hook only for users of the same OS (for example, Nokia gave the Snakes game to Symbian users) and can be given out as freebies,” Vyas pointed out.

Mobile operators could also use the Internet to create self-service models. “Mobile operators can take a leaf out of the banking industry and bring down their customer servicing costs by promoting the use of their portals, instead of call centres, for service modifications, billing enquiries, bill payments, etc, making ‘good’ of the synergy of these two mediums,” observed Desai.

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