Optus is currently undergoing mobile advertising trials with a small test group as part of its parent company, SingTel’s new digital marketing strategy.
SingTel announced it will be splitting the company into three units to focus on different opportunities: Group Consumer, Digital L!fe, and Group ICT.
Digital L!fe will focus on digital products including offering mobile advertising services.
SingTel is keen to make a move on the mobile advertising space, buying US-based mobile ads company, Amobee, for $US321 million.
The telco group wants to leverage its 400 million mobile customer base to “offer a compelling proposition for brands wanting to reach customers in the emerging markets”.
This could involve a number of marketing methods including banner ads, targeted deals, and coupons being pushed out directly to the mobile handset of customers.
SingTel’s soon-to-be Group Digital L!fe CEO, Allen Lew, stressed the company is very conscious of customer privacy and information collected for the purpose of mobile advertising will be based on their full knowledge and permission.
While there has yet to be any solid plans for SingTel to launch mobile advertising in Australia, Lew revealed there is already a trial happening in Australia which started at the beginning of 2012.
Optus CEO, Paul O’Sullivan partnered with Lew for the trial.
“It is what we call a 'customer test lab',” Lew said. “They are coming in knowingly – we are not doing this without customer knowledge.
“We are trying out different offers with them and seeing which offers they like, which ones they don’t, and other ways of presenting information.”
The whole exercise is to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to mobile advertising as well as the kinds of information customers are comfortable with disclosing to the telco.
Optus has had a good response from participating customers thanks to a transparent approach by the telco, according to O’Sullivan.
“What is pleasingly surprising is the fact many customers are happy and positive about the experience when they are told right upfront what we are going to be doing,” he said. “They are able to, themselves, identify what they see as the areas [of advertising] they are interested in.”
Mobile advertising will be more about developing a closer relationship with customers, according to Lew.