The ad-supported model for delivering services for free is not new, but up to now at least, it does have certain limitations. We accept free services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter even though the data mining involved is geared solely to deliver targeted ads, often with creepy accuracy to our moods and tastes.
Mobile service based on such a model does not have much of a presence in developed markets, but it could happen. Once such an idea works in one environment, enterprising folks will look at ways to implement the notion in their own back yard.
Take a mobile market like the Philippines as an example. Mobile penetration is over 100%, but almost all of it is pre-paid type service, roughly 96%. On the flip side of that demographic, credit cards have reached roughly 11% of the market.
With such a dichotomy, one could see the marketing challenge with such a deep user base. Pre-paid usage leans toward inconsistent usage, and the lack of credit card usage prevents consumer data mining to target products and identify other trends in commerce. Still everyone has a cell phone, so how do you get more from your subscriber base?
Start by offering free service in exchange for completing web-based “micro-tasks,” downloading smartphone apps, and participate in surveys. A company called YOYO Holdings, based in Singapore, funded by Japanese investors, and focusing operations in the Philippines, is working on such a model. YOYO is marketing its flagship product called Candy.
Candy is an advertising network. Users that sign up for service are given “missions” to carry out. It could be a survey, or checking out a product in the store (or even buying a product). Once the mission is complete, the customer is given a code which is redeemed to reward the account with a “load” (as in re-loading the account).
The service is guaranteed to be 100% free, and in its first eight months of operations, has gained about 75,000 customers. YOYO plans to expand the service to Indonesia and Thailand, and the company has also launched its “Free Topup Club” Android app in Google Play. With that app, users can pick their “missions.”
YOYO Holdings is focused on finding ways to connect with the “next billion” customers, a theme we are sure to see more often as businesses shift more efforts toward these developing markets. Would you opt-in for service like this?
sources: Candy via VR-Zone