Orange Launches SMS/MMS Mobile Marketing Platform Powered By Partnership With Blyk

Orange Launches SMS MMS Mobile Marketing Platform Powered By Partnership With BlykI wrote recently about wireless carriers’ continued resistance to mobile marketing and advertising, and while I understand certain prohibiting factors, my faith was somewhat renewed with the news of Orange launching a new mobile marketing platform based on the technology acquired with its partnership with Blyk Media.

You may remember Blyk and the hype surrounding the service when it first launched.  The service was based largely on so-called “preference-based” mobile marketing where users would consent to receive a pre-determined number of SMS/MMS-based advertisements in exchange for free airtime and text messages.  While that model didn’t quite work out as they’d hoped, Blyk’s technology lives on with the launch of “Orange Shots,” a new mobile marketing platform from Orange Wireless.

Orange Shots is an SMS/MMS-based platform that allows advertisers to target and engage mobile users based heavily on their individual preferences and user-data derived from Orange itself.  It allows brands to engage with an extremely targeted segment of Orange subscribers if they choose, to tailor individual messages to be as effective and relevant as possible.  Two-way communication is encouraged as well, with every users asked to respond to marketing messages with views and opinions, and in return is offered a “variety of benefits,” including exclusive news and gossip, amusing and entertaining content, film and games previews, and up to date sports information.  Instead of being rewarded with free wireless airtime as Blyk introduced, Orange offers free “premium content” instead.

Orange claims that while working with brands directly relevant to the customer audience, it will allow companies to benefit from real time conversation with customers “happy to hear from them” and an opportunity to build an engaging and enduring relationship with customers as they get to know more about their profiles and interests.  Relevance is the cornerstone to Orange Shot’s strategy, and seems to be paying off.

Orange Shots has been in trial since September 2009 with brands including 4Music, Ubisoft, COI and Snickers, and according to Orange, they’ve found it to provide a higher conversion rate than any other media- offering response rates of between 21-39%.  “Orange Shots will transform mobile advertising as we know it,” said Marc Overton, VP of Wholesale, Business Development and Partnerships for Orange UK.  “It’s a win-win for brands, as well as our customers, with advertisers continually seeking new and innovative ways to engage with consumers, and our customers getting rewarded with access to exclusive, interactive content and offers, knowing that they’re tailored specifically to them and their interests.”

Launching with full service commercial offers on February 1, 2010, Orange Shots will initially be available to brands who want to interact with an audience of 100,000 customers from part of Orange’s Pay As You Go ‘Monkey’ customer base, with more audience segments being added overtime.  It’s a smart move and hopefully other carriers are taking notice.

As this example proves, wireless carriers who maintain a strong sense of relevancy and user-privacy when it comes to offering mobile marketing and advertising solutions can see huge success.  Response rates of 21-39% are encouraging and signals the extreme potential this type of solution can provide.  Orange definitely seems to be ahead of the game for the time being, hopefully other carriers will take notice and begin to follow suit.