• Consumer Research

Attracting new Mobile subscribers with free talk time and data

Daryn Smith
5 min read
Posted on September 03, 2012

In South Africa there are more mobile subscribers than people, in Nigeria nearly 60% of the population have a mobile phone and in Kenya it is just over 60% who have a mobile phone. For the telecommunications companies trying to attract new mobile subscribers then, especially in markets such as South Africa, buy winning a new customer, means a competitor lost a customer; there are no more new customers. Besides increasing the number of subscribers, telecommunications operators also want to increase the average revenue per a user (ARPU), one of the tried, tested and successful ways of doing this is to offer the subscriber free talk time, data or text messages. The subscriber uses the talk time for example, but talks too long, and then the telecommunications operator earns revenue. These offers are usually made when the operators network is quiet, and they are delivered in a variety of ways ranging from text messages to USSD updates. In research conducted by InMobi 51% of consumers in South Africa said they would be attracted to offers that include bonus free talk time, in Nigeria 62% of consumers said they would be attracted to offers that include bonus free data, and in Kenya, 52% of consumers would be attracted to offers that include bonus free data. It is easy for an operator to analysis how busy their network is, how much a subscriber uses, when they use, how often they overspend “ this is all work of an effective data warehouse, and creating offers out of this is what marketers term big data. But how does a telecommunications operator attract competitors customers with free talk time and data? Consumers who are visiting mobile websites and using Apps are already consuming data; they are then the primary target market. Any offer for free data, for example, would be gladly accepted! The precision targeting capabilities that InMobi provides allows Advertisers to select which telecommunications operators they would like to target, so Airtel can target Etisalat subscribers, for example. Targeting is also time sensitive so that ads can be set to only run during quiet times for an operator, for example. Lastly, banner ads and Rich Media ads can have call to actions such as click to dial a call centre, or click to USSD, or click to SMS. Combined, these features allow a telecommunications operator to effectively target competitors subscribers, let them try their service and convert them to loyal subscribers, using the value proposition they value most, free talk time and data.

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