Optism expands its horizons and brings mobile marketing to West Africa
By Hani Ramzi, Feb 16, 2011
It’s celebration time again at Optism! We’ve just announced our recent expansion into Ghana, working with Tigo (Millicom International Cellular), a leading supplier of mobile services in West Africa and Latin America. Ghana is enjoying an exciting period of economic development and the mobile services market is extremely competitive. Tigo wanted to increase revenues and differentiate its services from its many competitors. It also wanted to meet the needs of advertisers and deliver value to its subscribers.
Tigo executives visited us at the last Mobile World Congress and they liked what they saw. The Optism team worked closely with them, reviewing their situation and how we could help them achieve their objectives. After several discussions and an exploration of the market potential, Tigo was ready to sign on.
In November, the company began the soft launch of the service, Tigo Ads. Forty thousand subscribers opted-in and shared a little information about themselves with Tigo. As always, participation in the messaging service is free for subscribers. A number of advertising campaigns using interactive text dialogues and text push messages were run promoting local and international businesses, including Nissan, Nestlé and Volkswagen. The response rates to the campaigns have been extremely good, ranging from over 18 percent to 44.7 percent.
The increasing prosperity of Ghana’s citizens means more people are interested in learning about goods and services that could enhance their lifestyles. For most Ghanaians, their mobiles are their only telecommunications-enabled devices and the phones they use are basic feature phones with little to no data capabilities. This means that the only form of digital advertising that will reach a wide audience in Ghana is text messaging.
The new messaging service also provided Tigo with an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to its community. The Tigo Ads service ran campaigns to deliver public service messaging about malaria prevention and keeping Ghana clean. Like the commercial campaigns, these messages achieved very high response rates, ranging from 20 percent to 24 percent. As well as showcasing Tigo as a responsible corporate citizen, the public service campaigns underscored the effectiveness of mobile messaging for reaching large audiences quickly with important messages. To learn more about Optism’s work with Tigo, read the success story.
We believe that Tigo’s success demonstrates the potential for Optism in emerging economies, where mobile access is spreading rapidly. Permission-based mobile advertising is a great opportunity for mobile operators to leverage their infrastructures to create new revenue streams. Offering a valuable service for your customers that enables you to stand out in the crowd isn’t a bad thing either.