By Deepak Sakhuja
Nearly half of the world today is connected on mobile, and marketers have gradually been waking up to this fact. When it comes to emerging markets like India, there are currently 100 million active monthly Facebook users. With 75% of the country’s population accessing the social network through their mobile phones, it is evident that this audience has a lot of untapped potential.
Facebook recently decided it was time to leverage this insight and use it to target users in emerging markets through integration between Facebook ads and mobile. For this, they partnered with ZipDial, a mobile marketing and analytics company, based out of Bangalore.
A new and revolutionary ad format was introduced and the pilot project on this type of ad was done for Garnier Men, during the IPL (Indian Premier League) cricket season. Targeted at Indian men between the ages 15-35, it aimed at bringing about better brand awareness and brand association during the cricket craze of the IPL. They did this by coming up with a content strategy that also included an IPL-related gratification.
The ads promoted a campaign that gave users a chance to meet the Rajasthan Royals team. Users had to click on the ‘Missed Call’ button which would generate a missed call to a number. They would then receive a call back that asked them some trivia questions to answer for a chance to meet the Rajasthan Royals. They would also receive a link to Flipkart, Garnier’s e-commerce partner, to purchase Garnier products.
The success of this ad format was so phenomenal that Garnier Men experienced a 250% increase in their e-commerce sales year-on-year. This can mainly be attributed to the fact that the emerging market consumer follows a completely different approach when it comes to engaging with brands. The consumer experience needs to be as seamless and simplified, and driven by consumer interest. The Facebook-ZipDial interface works as a consumer chooses to generate a missed call and receive content they like. Here’s why this new product is set to revolutionalize the way we see digital and mobile:
Mobile is here to stay: Nearly 100% of emerging markets consumers are connected through mobile. 1 in every 10 Indians uses mobile internet, and this is true even of those who own feature phones as opposed to smartphones. There’s a whole market of untapped potential waiting out there for brands to target, and this unique ad format helps reach this huge set of consumers.
Content gratification works: In the age of pull marketing, it is more important than ever to consider what value you can offer your customers. With this new ad format, the brand offered a gratification around what the target audience loves i.e. cricket and prompted users to engage with the brand. The gratification was the initial point of interest, which made them choose to receive contest questions and updates via mobile. Eventually, many also converted into leads.
Localization is more vital than ever: The emerging market consumer delights in things he/she can relate to: more and more brands, especially FMCGs have started adapting their products to the local environment, whether it is Pepsi’s Minute Maid with a ‘Nimboo Fresh’ variant or a brand like Garnier targeted specifically to the Indian male. Providing content that is both useful and relatable is the key to better ROI.
Recreating the call-to-action: We Indians love our missed calls. From informing someone that we got home safe, to asking someone to call back, the missed call has been used so creatively due to our love for what we call jugaad. Offering it as a call-to-action is taking this very normal consumer behaviour quirk to the next level. Missed calls are part of Indian life by now and so having ads that encourage giving a missed call will definitely encourage higher click-through rates.
User experience: One of the most commonly overlooked yet one of the most important aspects of any campaign or product is its usability. The user experience for the consumer must be as seamless and as free from hurdles as possible, thus encouraging a higher response rate. A direct call-back to the consumer through this ad is much more valuable than asking users to fill a form or scan a QR code.
Higher conversions: A person’s mobile phone number is one of the most unique and personal data points a marketer can have access to. Through the new ad format, consumers choose to share this information with the brand, with the option to choose what content they would like to access. A consumer that willingly shares their mobile number with the brand is far more likely to convert because they are intentionally looking out for the brand’s content.
Cost-effective, targeted marketing: The cost of developing a Facebook page app and investing in sponsored Facebook posts or ads is much higher than that of this new ad format. This could set a new trend for brands as well as for Facebook to tap into the 100 million plus Facebook users in India as opposed to the already well-saturated US market.
It is evident that this partnership is set to transform the digital space as we know it, as two media – the social channels and mobile, come together to effectively and accurately target the users that want to consume relevant, interesting brand content.