Extending Telco insights to online advertising
By : Shashank Bhagavathula
AGM - Product Marketing, mADmart
The advertising world has evolved over a period of time. With the growing popularity of smartphones and affordable data plans, online advertising, especially, display advertising has become a hot inventory in demand for digital marketers. However, advertisers always had one challenge to prove the worth of online/display advertising; which has been the lack of having enough insights to do proper targeting. This is where Telcos can play a bigger role; they arguably hold the largest repository of insights on digital consumer behaviour as today’s consumers spend more time on these handheld devices.
Internet access buoyed by mobile revolution
The ubiquity of smartphones is undeniable with the mechanism for engagement stretching itself beyond the device. It comes as no surprise then that India is considered as the world’s second largest market in Asia Pacific for smartphone users. A research says that by 2020, the number of Indians accessing the Internet over mobile devices is expected to touch a whopping 600 million. A home network, with the smartphone at the crux, can now integrate with TV, internet, and all other communications mechanisms.
Online advertising on the rise
Online advertising is no more a nascent phenomenon in the Indian advertising industry. It has lived up to expectations and is giving other advertising mediums a run for their money. Over a period of time, it has brought tremendous value for publishers (web sites including social media) and advertisers (brands, agencies) alike.
In India, the digital advertising will comprise 12.7% of all the ad spend this year. There has been a tectonic shift from traditional forms of advertising with a larger focus on digital. While print and television still dominate the Indian advertising industry, digital remains the fastest growing platform with a year on year 40% growth.
Lack of ‘insights’ to capture right browsing eyes
Despite the increasing digital ad spend and the growth of the online advertising industry, it leaves a lot to be desired. Many companies in India are still using traditional mass advertising practices on online media. Most conventional data management platforms (DMPs) on the supply side use 3rd party audiences and rely heavily on their digital behaviour to build audience segments. This affects the quality and accuracy which in turn defeats the purpose which may result in less optimised ads, inefficient media spend, and more media wastage.
Advertisers need a detailed profile of users with regard to their location, interest, gender, age group, demographics etc. to target them with more precision.
Telco insights: The much needed adrenaline shot?
It is a known fact that a user spends more time on mobile than any other device. The user relies on this device for numerous activities – cab booking, buying movie tickets, payment of utility bills, salary credit updates, payment of insurance premium payments, etc. The user data available is extremely valuable with regard to location, device, customer information, demographics, household income, purchasing information and personal preferences for health, astrology, sports, music, film and drama.
The depth and quality of the data are the most coveted attributes that most of the sectors are looking for with focus on individual data classes like location and usage data. For instance, brands in the travel sector look for location data. Similarly, media and entertainment brands give weightage to data around content & application usage. When crunched and analysed by a DMP, the wealth of refined Telco data can be utilised for accurate ad placements in the online world.
Telco Insights and Online Media – A marriage made in heaven
As per Flytxt’s mobile ad network in partnership with Telcos, mADmart’s experience, mobile display ads and Facebook ads run through Telco targeting have resulted in higher CTRs and better conversion rates. These have also resulted in higher engagements and better ROI for the advertisers. Telcos can provide the authenticated user data and behaviour-based analytics as tools to differentiate and provide added-value to both advertisers and publishers. Telcos can even change the competitive landscape of digital advertising by establishing horizontal data and advertising technology partnerships across geographic boundaries.
Thus, telcos are perfectly positioned to provide hugely valuable insights for brands and advertisers to reach specific online audiences at scale, thanks to the range and depth of data and insight available to them. It is high time that advertisers recognised the data sets that telcos offered and how they can benefit from them.