This week sees Optism strike a strategic partnership with Etisalat — a UAE-based telecommunications services provider operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa – to launch the first permission-based mobile advertising service in the United Arab Emirates.
Based on Alcatel-Lucent’s Optism mobile marketing solution, Etisalat’s customers in United Arab Emirates will be able to opt-in to receive ads and offers that match their interests from their favorite brands on their mobile phones.
The announcement comes on the heels of news that advertisers in the region are becoming more and more conscious of mobile marketing opportunities and the pivotal importance of asking for people’s permission and preferences first in order to deliver advertising messages they are likely to appreciate.
Rich Dialogue advertising
As Khalifa Al Shamsi, Etisalat Senior VP Marketing, put it in today’s press release: The decision to implement an opt-in service that asks users to share their interests in order to enjoy promotions and discounts is strategic.
The main reason for choosing an approach that is interactive and focused on delivering what Al Shamsi calls “Rich Dialogue” advertising is the level engagement it can deliver. “It opens up the ability for brands to reinforce client relations by creating personalized dialogue messages between them and their customers, Al Shamsi said in a statement. Delivering ads based on “accurate customer preferences will result in higher response rates … and the outcome is 100-percent customer satisfaction.”
The impact is indeed measurable and Thomas Labarthe, Alcatel-Lucent VP Mobile Advertising, used his recent keynote at the Mobile Marketing Forum in London to show what a difference opt-in makes.
Specifically, Thomas drew on research conducted by the Alcatel-Lucent Global Youth Lab — a primary research program managed by Alcatel-Lucent to understand how users (teens to young adults) around the world experience marketing across a variety of channels including mobile.
The Youth Lab surveyed a total of 2,223 users across 11 countries. (992 respondents were Europeans, representing France, Italy, U.K., Germany and Spain.)
Among the findings for Europe alone:
• 82 percent said it was very important to ask their permission before sending mobile ads
• 71 percent wanted control of their profile to address privacy concerns
• 76 percent felt that ads should be interest and preference based
• 56 percent were more likely to make purchases from a preferred brand through a permission-based marketing service
• 42 percent were more likely to remain loyal to their mobile operator if they offered a permission-based marketing service
Optism is designed from the ground up to enable mobile operators to create “highly responsive, permission and preference-based mobile inventory providing advertisers with easy access to willing and highly targeted audiences. And it’s the sharp focus on enhancing mobile operator capabilities that paves the way for effective mobile marketing. As Thomas sees it, mobile operators have a central position in the business ecosystem. “Scale and data will make mobile marketing profitable, and mobile operators are the source of both.”