They seem unreachable. Those prepaid users that buy a SIM card in a kiosk, leaving behind no trace of identity, preventing any future engagement around recharging, data packages and other products and services. These anonymous smart phone users are a frustration for marketing teams at operators. Indications are the problem will only get worse. Prepaid business for smart phones increased by 91 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year in the U.S, according to research firm NPD Group.
But this is just the beginning of the problem. If you add to prepaid users, users that can't be reached by bundled carrier app stores or software (iPhones, especially!) there are a huge number of subscribers who are out of reach from their operators. Where does this leave the marketers who are trying to engage with them?
Many respond with a “scattergun” approach – running massive campaigns in the hope that some customers will respond and make a purchase. However, this method usually results in low response rates and the offers are often perceived as intrusive, which can backfire with a negative brand association. Alternatively operators can create user profiles based on how often they recharge or where they recharge which is something to begin with, but it really is not enough to do effective mobile marketing.
With a new user engagement layer, operators can perform a more detailed analysis of prepaid likes and dislikes based on browsing patterns to determine which offers make the most sense and are most likely to be favorably received. Collecting user data including applications, devices, operating systems, and browsing patterns make prepaid users just as accessible as postpaid. This same solution can also unveil i-phone users, which can be hidden from mobile operators when purchased by third parties. With a new user engagement platform, providing the right message to the right person at the right time, operators can improve results dramatically. Compared with text campaigns, in-browser engagement can ensure delivery, more visibility, allow for multiple actions, and provide better measurements for success. This article will describe the technology behind the user engagement layer, including impact on user quality of experience and examples of how access to more subscribers can provide more revenue generating opportunities for operators.