Branded “RingBack Tones” Gaining Some Momentum

Turkcell, which has become the second largest mobile phone operator in Europe, has been having unprecedented success with a new form of mobile advertising called “RingBack Tones.”

The idea is really nothing new, it involves playing branded messages to callers instead of the normal “ring tone.”  In exchange, Turkcell offers free wireless minutes, data usage and SMS messages.  There’s been a few small startups that have seen success with such an idea, but it took an implementation on a major wireless network to prove its effectiveness on a larger scale.

Turkcell subscribers can become members of the “Tone & Win” program, as it’s being called, and choose the advertisement along with the corresponding music to be played to their callers.  It’s a highly targeted marketing channel for advertisers, but also gives complete control to the members of the program as well.  Overall, it’s a unique and highly effective marketing channel, and the numbers so far have proved it.

The program has reached over 200,000 members and created over six million monthly impressions in only six months.  There’s currently 50 different brands with 72 campaigns launched using the Tone & Win platform, and the ROI has been “unprecedented,” according to the company’s CEO.

It’s nice to see the actual mobile operators getting in on the unique advantages of well thought-out mobile marketing campaigns and methods.  Turkcell has always been an innovative wireless company, and it’s attributed greatly to their expansive growth and market share in Turkey where they compete with two other carriers.  With unique programs like Tone & Win, Turkcell has built a permission-based marketing database of over 7.5 million subscribers.   The company also launched some 650 mobile marketing projects with 276 brands in 27 industries in 2008 alone.  Well done Turkcell.