I came across a rather interesting article out of the Philippines that talked about the concept of wireless carriers using digital marketing to help lower the costs of subscription rates for its customers- much like magazines use the revenue generated from print advertising to make the magazine itself inexpensive for consumers.
It’s a concept I’m surprised I never thought of before, most likely because I always thought wireless carriers would always charge what they charge no matter the revenue they’re generating elsewhere. “If telcos will get revenue from mobile marketing ads, the more they can lower subscription rates to customers,” said Emmanuel Allix, managing director of mobile advertising firm Pudding Media (Asia Pacific), during an interview with Computerworld Philippines.
To be fair, the interview was conducted with someone that obviously has an interest in mobile marketing, and therefore would love to see wireless carriers utilize the medium in large quantities, but the idea still makes sense. “Through simple mobile phone functions like ring tones when someone is calling or when you’re receiving text messages, we can insert ads of businesses. And ours is even non-intrusive, permission-based. It is both opt-in and opt-out,” Allix continued.
Wireless carriers are already using the practice to some degree, but as revenue from digital marketing goes up, prices will undoubtedly stay the same- at least for the foreseeable future. We’ve already seen telcos try to offer completely free wireless service based on ad-revenues, and while it does work, it’s by no means a sustainable business model for large-scale carriers. Finding a happy medium would be a boon to the industry, but It’s definitely a long way off.