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Interview: Alcatel-Lucent Brings Mobile Ops Targeted Ad Solution

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Interview: Alcatel-Lucent Brings Mobile Ops Targeted Ad Solution
June 29, 2009


Saying telecom operators have a critical role to play in the emerging “new media” (translation: not newspapers or TV) value chain, officials with a Paris-based company today announced that Germany’s EPlus Group is the first to use their new platform to deliver profile-targeted advertising across to mobile devices based on individual subscriber profiles and preferences.

 
Officials at Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) – a company that focuses on fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services – say that EPlus is using their “Advertising Selection Server” for mobile advertising through Gettings, a subsidiary.
 
Rudy Broos, Alcatel-Lucent’s strategy and marketing director of the company’s digital media and advertising business, told TMCnet in an interview that just as, today, mobile operators have subscribers as customers, they can take that same group and build them into audiences for targeted marketing campaigns.
 
“IF you want to do an advertisement, you need consent from the consumer that his profile will be used to send him targeted advertising and, in return, he will get something back, some sort of a reward,” Broos told TMCnet. “That forms some of the basis for the marketing campaign creation.”
 
Deployed as a hosted service, Alcatel-Lucent’s “Advertising Selection Server” is an important new piece of the company’s digital media and ad solutions. It’s designed to create a whole new a new level of control in the management of mobile advertising campaigns, with advanced targeting algorithms that make it easy for mobile service providers to offer advertisers highly focused, impactful advertising campaigns.
 
The advertising is targeted specifically at increasingly popular mobile devices, and can be delivered through technologies such as text-messages or SMS, MMS and ring-back tones, Roos said.
 
“If you opt into the service, if you’re willing to give a little of your profile information, then you get a reward and you can choose the reward, and that may be so many voice minutes or so many SMS messages per month,” Roos said. “The more rewards you want, the more you’re exposed to advertisements, but those ads are in line with your profile, so they should be relevant for you, so we expect the click-through ratio to skyrocket.”
 
The Alcatel-Lucent offering is expected to help mobile operators answer a long-troubling question: How do we monetize our network assets?
 
And it dovetails with a spike – generally attributed to the success of Apple’s iPhone (News - Alert) 3G one year ago and a slew of other touchscreen smartphones that have mimicked the device’s virtual app store model – in the reliance of consumers on their mobile devices and the so-called “mobile Web.”
 
The product for EPlus has been in the works for nearly two years, Roos said.
 
“Almost every discussion we have with mobile operators involves advertising, because now what we’re starting to see in other places around the world is that as the increase in the revenue of voice over mobile comes to a stop, or in some cases starts to decline, they’re now looking for alternative ways to make money,” he said.
 
In a prepared statement, Daniel Euler, managing director of E-Plus’ Gettings, said that advertising “must not be perceived as a nuisance.”
 
“This is especially true for ads on a mobile phone,” Euler said. “Mobile advertising only works if it strictly centers around the recipients' interests. The hosted Advertising Selection Server, offered by Alcatel-Lucent, is clearly contributing to fulfill such demand for customer orientation through the Gettings offer. It also works well with our existing system landscape.”
 

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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