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Enhancing Mobile Revenue through Advertising

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Mobile network operators in the country have concentrated on voice services to generate revenue without looking at other avenues that can lift their revenue without much pressure on their capacity to delivery voice service.

This scenario could be explained by the late entrance of the country into the mobile communications world where much emphasis is laid on voice communications.

Mobile network operators in Nigeria today have the required technology to deliver short message service, video and picture messages. One then wonders why they are not exploring mobile advertising option to enhance their revenue base which invariable could help in driving down voice call tariff.

Mobile Marketing refer to one of two categories of marketing, first, and relatively new, is meant to describe marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a mobile phone this is an example of horizontal telecommunication convergence. Second, and a more traditional definition, is meant to describe marketing in a moving fashion – for example – technology road shows or moving billboards. However, this analysis is concentrating on the first definition of mobile marketing which has to do with using mobile phones as vehicle for advertising.

According to a survey conducted by a mobile marketing provider, approximately 89% of major brands are planning to market their products through text and multimedia mobile messaging by 2008. One-third is planning to spend about 10% of marketing budgets through mobile marketing.

Also, in about 5 years over half of brands are expected to spend between 5% and 25% of their total marketing budget on their mobile marketing. Already, 40% of the firms that responded have implemented this feature for their audiences. Strategy Analytics is forecasting that advertisers will spend $1.4 billion on mobile media this year, with that rising to $14.4 billion in 2011. eMarketer says mobile advert spending reached $1.5 billion last year and will grow to $14 by 2011.

What will and already has given mobile marketing’s attraction are: the ability to reach a specific target audience; information about how the user responded to a marketing message; and proof that a message has been received by the user’s handset.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that Nigeria marketing communications is worth over 4 Billion Dollars. Nigerian Marketing Association, Apcon said that the sector became vibrant with the liberalization of telecommunications sector which witness a boost as a result of operators use of the medium to reach their subscribers in one promotion or the other.

The association which is presently using television viewer ship mostly in their advertising campaigns is considering mobile marketing because television viewer ship is declining at a fast rate for some reasons, such as influx of cheap Chinese pirated movies, electricity failures, absence of prime time Tv shows and absence of national Television stations. Radio the association said has its own challenges too and outdoor is location specific.

According to a report by Apcon Mobile is the only meduim with anywhere and anytime advantage with possibilities to accommodate all array of features like video, Multi-media Messaging Service, pictures, Short Message Service , internet and among others. Mobile is more powerful personal meduim than any other. And it is time, that Nigerian Brands exploit the opportunity.Possible Channels

Marketing on a mobile phone has become increasingly popular ever since the rise of SMS (Short Message Service) in the early 2000s in Europe and some parts of Asia when businesses started to collect mobile phone numbers and send off wanted or unwanted content.

Over the past few years SMS has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. This is because unlike email over the public internet, the carriers who police their own networks have set guidelines and best practices for the mobile media industry (including mobile advertising). The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Mobile Marketing Association, as well, have established guidelines and are evangelizing the use of the mobile channel for marketers. While this has been fruitful in developed regions such as North America, Western Europe and some other countries, mobile SPAM messages (SMS sent to mobile subscribers without a legitimate and explicit opt-in by the subscriber) remain an issue in many other parts or the world, partly due to the carriers selling their member databases to third parties.

Mobile Marketing via SMS has expanded rapidly in Europe and Asia as a new channel to reach the consumer. SMS initially received negative media coverage in many parts of Europe for being a new form of spam as some advertisers purchased lists and sent unsolicited content to consumer’s phones; however, as guidelines are put in place by the mobile operators, SMS has become the most popular branch of the Mobile Marketing industry with several 100 million advertising SMS sent out every month in Europe alone.

In North America the first cross-carrier SMS shortcode campaign was run by Labatt Brewing Company in 2002. Over the past few years mobile short codes have been increasingly popular as a new channel to communicate to the mobile consumer. Brands have begun to treat the mobile shortcode as a mobile domain name allowing the consumer to text message the brand at an event, in store and off any traditional media.

SMS services typically run off a short code, but sending text messages to an email address is another methodology. Short codes are 5 or 6 digit numbers that have been assigned by all the mobile operators in a given country for the use of brand campaign and other consumer services. The mobile operators vet every application before provisioning and monitor the service to make sure it does not diverge from its original service description.

Besides short codes, inbound SMS is very often based on long numbers (international number format, e.g. +44 7624 805000), which can be used in place of short codes or premium-rated short messages for SMS reception in several applications, such as product promotions and campaigns. Long numbers are internationally available, as well as enabling businesses to have their own number, rather than short codes which are usually shared across a number of brands. Additionally, long numbers are non-premium inbound numbers.

Marketing communications companies in Nigeria lately are using SMS to send advertising content to mobile subscribers evident is during governorship election campaign in Lagos state when one of the candidates used SMS to solicit for votes from Lagosians. Also so few weeks ago an Abuja base estate consultant used the same medium to advertise its property in Abuja.

One key criterion for provisioning is that the consumer opts in to the service. The mobile operators demand a double opt in from the consumer and the ability for the consumer to opt out of the service at any time by sending the word STOP via SMS. These guidelines are established in the MMA Consumer Best Practices Guidelines which are followed by all mobile marketers in the United States.

Mobile Marketing via Bluetooth

The rise of Bluetooth started around 2003 and a few companies in Europe have started establishing successful businesses. Most of these businesses offer "Hotspot-Systems" which consist of some kind of content-management system with a Bluetooth distribution function. This technology has the advantages that it is permission-based, has higher transfer speeds and is also a radio-based technology and can therefore not be billed (i.e. is free of charge). The likely earliest device built for mobile marketing via Bluetooth was the context tag of the AmbieSense project (2001-2004).

Location-based services (LBS) are offered by some cell phone networks as a way to send custom advertising and other information to cell-phone subscribers based on their current location. The cell-phone service provider gets the location from a GPS chip built into the phone, or using radiolocation and trilateration based on the signal-strength of the closest cell-phone towers (for phones without GPS features).

This has started happening in Nigeria, during Celtel rebranding to Zain, the company used Imaging Concept Limited a proximity marketing firm to send to its subscribers pictures of their new brand Zain at all the event locations organized for the rebranding.

Ugo Okoye, managing director of iConcepts Limited, said that introduction of proximity marketing into the mobile marketing industry will no doubt make a big difference in the way brands reach their consumers with tailor-made messages that suit their purpose. According to Okoye, for the first time, brands using proximity marketing technology can ensure that they reach their target audience at a time and place that puts their messages in a direct and relevant context to the consumer’s current activity.

"The ability to communicate with consumers based on their presence in a fixed time and place is one of the great features of proximity advertising technique as it makes it possible to access people at various points with tailor-made offers precisely to suit them," he said.

Although, most operators in emerging markets are primarily focused on meeting rapid subscriber growth by expanding network coverage and capacity, as markets mature and revenue growth declines, operators will broaden their business scope. Mobile advertising could well make a useful contribution to their revenues.


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ipNX, USTDA Ink Partnership Deal to Develop Nigeria’s ICT Infrastructure

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ipNX, Nigeria’s pioneering and leading information, communications and technology (ICT) company and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have signed a partnership deal that will further support the development of Nigeria’s ICT and broadband infrastructure and help ipNX expand its fibre-optic network to more than 200,000 residences in Lagos and other locations, including Abuja and Port Harcourt.

A virtual signing ceremony that signalled the beginning of this far reaching relationship between the two parties was held on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Through this innovative initiative, the USTDA is supporting ipNX to promote inclusive, secure and sustainable connectivity across the nation.

The agreements were made possible as a result of several engagements between the USTDA delegation to Nigeria and the leadership of ipNX; and will advance the goals of the recently updated Nigerian Broadband Plan.

At the Signing Ceremony, Ejovi Aror, group managing director of ipNX, said: “We believe that world-class connectivity and broadband internet access will be pivotal to the digital transformation and socio-economic development of Nigeria.

‘We are very positive that this project will play a crucial role in making our belief a reality.”

Aror added that with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the case for a vibrant ICT sector has never been stronger and the new partnership will bring ipNX a step closer to achieving its mission to continually leverage technology to create innovative solutions that help mankind thrive, while making a crucial impact to the lives of Nigerians across the country.

Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, said’ “These projects will support the development of Nigeria’s telecoms infrastructure and help to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Plan.

“The U.S. Government has committed significant resources to improving telecoms infrastructure in Nigeria and this support is crucial as we believe that investment in critical ICT projects will strengthen the resiliency outlined in Nigeria’s economic sustainability plan.”

Also present at the virtual event, the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engr. Bako Wakil, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said: “The support this grant will provide to the telecommunications sector, in particular broadband, is in line with the National Digital Strategy and the National Broadband Plan.

“The NCC would like to congratulate ipNX as it shows the company’s integrity and commitment to be selected for this grant”.

ipNX also revealed that it intends to continue to work with USTDA beyond the preliminary stage, to execute many more projects into the future that will bring about the digital transformation and socio-economic development of major cities in Nigeria in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

With their partnership, both parties fully agree that further development of the nation’s broadband infrastructure is key to unlocking the potential promised by Nigeria’s digital economy.

According to the World Bank’s ‘Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic Report’ released in 2019, Broadband is a key enabler to harness the digital economy transformation and high-speed broadband has the potential to accelerate Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

 


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Manfa, ANSICTA Boss Pledges to Collaborate with NITDA for Establishment of Zonal Office in Anambra State

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Mr Theo Manfa, managing director/chief executive officer, Anambra State Information and Communication Technology Agency, (ANSICTA) has hinted that they are ready to collaborate with National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) for the establishment of the agency’s South-East Zonal office in the State.

 

He stated this when he led ANSICTA delegation to NITDA’s head office in Abuja recently.

 

Mr Manfa explained that the call for special requests by the state is necessitated by the fact that the state “has long been known as a home of innovation and entrepreneurship, through the various markets like Onitsha and Nnewi and the plethora of locally produced goods they spawned over time.”

Dr Vincent Vincent Olatunji, Director E-Government and Regulation NITDA receiving an award on behalf of the DG from Theo Manafa MD ANSICTA

He said that innovation and entrepreneurship are important elements to drive the digital economy which the nation is striving to create adding that the state has been watching with keen interest the activities of Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NITDA which necessitated the intended partnership.

 

He requested NITDA’s partnership with ANSICTA in building an ICT Hub in Anambra State; hosting a NITDA regional office; hosting NITDA events and programs as a State and region; trainings and Skills development programs of NITDA where the State hopes to train 40,000 residents in the next 2 years in Digital skills; establishment of cooperation on the Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA) and the provision of the Unity Board where 150 units were requested for a program for secondary schools in Anambra.

 

ANSICTA also presented an award to the Director General for his “Outstanding Achievements in Driving theDigital Economy” which was received by Dr. Vincent Olatunji on behalf of the DG.

 

Dr. Olatunji responded along with comments from some of the Directors and said NITDA would be glad to cooperate with the State.

L-R: Theo Manafa, MD/CEO of ANSICTA, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, DG of NITDA and Michael Orekyeh, COO of ANSICTA

He said it was gratifying to note that Anambra State now has an ICT Agency as Gov Willie Obiano had visited NITDA 6 years ago and the agency had worked with the State in developing an ICT policy for Anambra.

 

The success of that exercise is the take off of the agency (ANSICTA) which is the execution arm of the policy developed by NITDA.

 

He further said ANSICTA was by the speech of its MD really in tune with the affairs and mandates of NITDA and stated that ANSICTA should make a formal application for the things requested at this meeting will be looked into by Management for approval by the Director General.

 

He also thanked ANSICTA for recognizing the hard work of the DG through the award they presented, which he said was most encouraging.

Michael Orekyeh; chief operating officer of ANSICTA was part of the delegation from Anambra State. while the Director General of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi was represented by the Director E-Government and Regulation, Dr. Vincent Olatunji; Director Office of ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship – OIIE, Dr. (Mrs.) Amina Sambo Magaji; Deputy Director of IT Infrastructure, Dr. Saidu Kumo; SA Technical to the DG, Dr. Mohammed Yahaya; Corporate Strategy Department, Dr. Taofik Yekini and other Directors and Key Management Staff.

 

 

 


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Patanmi, Danbatta, Others Set for 2020 Virtual Internet Governance Forum

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Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and other key players in the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector are set for the 2020 virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF).

 

The 9th edition of the annual event, which will hold virtually this year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is scheduled for September 23-24, 2020 with the theme “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era.”

 

The vNIGF 2020 will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Istifanus Musa.

 

The organizers in a statement, observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical importance of digital technologies in fostering inclusive national development and this has necessitated the thematic focus of the conference, where Nigeria Internet Governance Forum Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG), the body of organisers of the event, will come together to chat the way forward, as a community of Nigeria’s Internet ecosystem.

 

The theme of this year’s event amplifies how the focus of the NIGF-MAG, from both the business and policy communities, is shifting from shaping a resilient Internet for societal sustainability to understanding the effect and impact of COVID-19 on individual and corporate lives and activities, especially with regard to women and youths.

 

While the NIGF-MAG has assured of a good virtual experience at the programme, it said that the virtual conference will be preceded by the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) and Women IGF (WIGF) on September 23, 2020, while the main event at which Dr. Pantami will deliver a keynote address on the theme holds on September 24, 2020.

 

Aside Pantami and Danbatta, organisers have also confirmed a lineup of eminent speakers for the vNIGF 2020 who will participate at high-level panel discussions on the thematic focus of “2020 to 2030 Digital Economy Strategy.”

 

The speakers are Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; Chair of the Global IGF MAG, Anriette Esterhuysen; Coordinator, West Africa IGF, Mrs. Mary Uduma; Prof. Adenike Osofisan of University of Ibadan; and Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo of Swansea University.

 

Others include a digital policy expert at Google, Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi; President and Chief Executive Officer, High Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youths, Dr. Wunmi Hassan; Coordinator, YouthIGF-NG, Uffa Modey, among others.

 

Members of the public from the private sector, government, civil society organisations and inter-governmental organisations, academia as well as Internet end-users are encouraged to register and attend the event live on the NIGF event website on https://2020.igf.ng and across its social media platforms, @NigeriaIGF.

 

According to the organisers, registration and attendance is free. Upon registration, participants will receive the event notifications and updates, free access to the digital edition of the event’s report and more.

 

The NIGF-MAG comprises stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA), in partnership with other local Internet stakeholders.

 

 

 


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