Friday, March 13, 2015

Commoditizing Data

Data usage is a major concern shared by most mobile users and since advertisements, apps and websites are known to impose on data usage, mobile users constantly search for ways to conserve data wherever they can. To address consumer concern about increased data, Telefonica announced a new plan that will allow consumers trade brand engagement for mobile data.

It is critical for marketers to create meaningful experiences for their audiences, and while they have typically relied on ad-based models to gain audience reach, the time has come for advertisers and marketers to devise a new advertising model when interacting with mobile users who are concerned about data usage. In Telefonica's example, brands could ideally offset users' data costs in exchange for consumer interaction with the brand. Recently McDonald's has also announced it will offer customers in the Philippines free SMS messaging with food purchase. In short, advertisers have to think strategically about ways their brands can offer "bonus data" to consumers for spending with their brand. Whether it is giving them opportunities to watch a video, play a game, listen to music or spend time on a mobile website, advertisers need to think about ways to engage consumers that won't count against their data plans. As a reward for engagement, consumers get to conserve precious data. 

Advertisers will also benefit from this new ad model as they will be creating entertaining experiences for their audience besides increasing utility and value to consumers, which in turn helps shift brand perception. When advertisers can successfully capture consumer attention while addressing consumer needs, they will be the ones to win in this space.

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