Are consumers actually receptive to mobile adverts for a cheaper phone bill?

Unlockd, is an Melbourne-based mobile tech start-up just raised an additional $15million, backed by big names including Lachlan Murdoch. This mobile based platform combines the telco and digital advertising worlds to offer mobile users data and discounts in exchange for their attention.
Will mobile adverts become mainstream?
What is it all about?

Mobile advertising shouldn't sound unfamiliar to most people, but it is no longer restricted to the traditional methods of using SMS, MMS or online channels to deliver campaigns. Unlockd's platform is changing the way people use their phones and pay for their bills. Mobile users will receive "smart ads, offers and other relevant content from major brands and media" every few times they unlock their phone in exchange for a discount on their phone bill or extra data.

So why are advertisers looking into this new 'Unlockd' way of mobile advertising?

In this technology friendly world, phones are increasingly interwoven with our lives. On average, consumers open their phones 150 times a day. This high frequency phone-checking behavior offers a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to reach out to users before they've opened anything else. In Australia alone, there are 5 million smartphone users and an opportunity to reach consumers in a targeted manner, no matter where they is incredibly valuable. If widely adopted, this will open up a $100 billion annual mobile advertising market.

Is it really beneficial and effective?

As Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research says:
"The future challenge for advertisers and their media agencies using this new, broad-reaching channel will be to achieve accurate and cost-effective targeting—and the only way to do that is to understand the people holding each device."

Some say that Unlockd is a win-win situation for both advertisers and consumers.Advertisers benefit from a new way to reach consumers whilst retaining the ability to retain targeted messaging. Consumers benefit from discounted phone bills and ads that are relevant them.Yet, the effectiveness of this new form of mobile advertising remains uncertain.Whilst 37% of Australia's smartphone users are open to the idea of receiving ads on their phone in exchange for a discount on their bill or extra monthly data, we won't know how effective it is until we see the ads in action.

For consumers, using Unlockd could be time consuming and could pose a threat to the effectiveness of the ads placed there. There is the potential that mobile users will just ignore ads, without taking the time to pay attention to their content. For advertisers, this means that content will need to be engaging and valuable for users – similar to YouTube advertisements needing to capture attention of viewers so that they don't skip over or ignore them.The question is what is their attention span worth to consumers?

Consumers are likely to consider these questions before signing up: 
  • Am I happy to see ads popping up on your mobile screen every now and then?
  • Would the ads restrict how I use my phone?
  • Are the ads worth the discount?
  • Am I willing to give up personal information to digital media companies and mobile companies?

To find out more about this new form of mobile adverts or to sign up (if your smart phone is running Android OS v4+), go to 
Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a leading marketing expert having pioneered two specialist marketing firms into operations all over the world.

With 20 years experience, Mellissah has worked with over 200 companies, emerging and large multinational, on developing and executing strategic marketing campaigns.

From developing strategic marketing plans to re-inventing old brands in a changing market place, Mellissah has creative flair, business acumen and a knowledge of all aspects of marketing. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications for companies listing on the ASX in both the small cap and large corporate arenas.

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