Stay in Touch Mobile: Taking Location Based Services BeyondSmartphones

30th Apr 2012
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Stay in Touch Mobile

The winners of the Businessworld Innovation award share their views on Location Based ServicesStayInTouchMobile is a location based mobile advertising platform which extends services to all phones; not just smartphones. LBS has been at the focal point for quite a few years now but still hasn’t bloomed as expected. “Yes, true. Every year has been touted as the Year of LBS over the last couple of years, but we firmly believe 2012 is that year,” says Prithvik Kankappa, Vice President, Stay In Touch Mobile.

Stay In Touch has implemented a unique "push" and "pull" infrastructure that allows consumers to receive the right offers at the right time via a variety of mobile media, including location-based SMS, MMS, 2D barcode coupons (WAP), and smartphone apps.

“The Telcos have been more forthcoming in accepting an innovative technology into their fold that is away from your regular VAS offerings; The Retail has been keen to put the reach of the Mobile to better use while moving away from bulk SMS,” says Prithvik about the positive response that SINT has received.

It is a win-win situation as the customers are willing to latch on to a service which provides value on a daily basis. The rate of adoption has been excellent with nearly a 100% increase in Subscriptions month on month, with more than 300,000 users today.

Conversion Rates and Obstacles in Adoption

The carrier partnership has allowed continuous customer communication though various telecommunication touch points. “This reach and speed of execution from our partner operator has helped us achieve good numbers,” said Prithvik. The Conversion rates vary based on the campaign, offer, retailer, context, time and many other factors but SINT has had campaigns with conversion rates as high as 10% and on the flipside, a low of 0.75% too. The adoption from retailers and educating them about the relevance of campaigns to run is the challenge according to Prithvik. Retailers typically want to run a generic offer which doesn’t really utilize the full potential of location. As both consumers and advertisers understand this better, the conversion rate will move up.

Competition

Prithvik


“In the US market we have someone like Place cast who we compete directly with. In India, there isn’t a direct competitor to our business model,” informs Prithvik. The entry barriers are strong when one thinks upon why new players haven’t queued up

  • Closing carrier partnerships
  • Retail Tie-Ups

There are a couple of parameters one has to keep a check on while rolling out LBS; one of which is the privacy aspect for the consumer and the other thing is adding relevance to a very powerful piece of information one is dealing with- location.

Expansion Plans

“Our immediate agenda is to complete the pan India rollout with our current partner (Tata Docomo) and take it all 18 Circles,” mentions Prithvik.

SINT Mobile is also partnering with 2 International Media Houses who are looking at SINT to drive traffic for their content with location and mobile, adding a new dimension to their marketing mix.

Key features about LBS and trends

  • SOLOMO (Social Local Mobile) will be the main driver for LBS. SINT will also build on social and personal aspects of the consumer to enhance the consumer-mobile engagement.
  • Location is a powerful layer that when combined with Augmented Reality and Customer personalization will lead to real-time, dynamic value addition to customers daily needs.
  • In the near future, LBS will be used for personalized advertising enhanced by Rich Media mobile content; that will become an essential supplement to traditional advertising.
  • Emergency services and Alerts will be fallout services riding on LBS that will be tailor-made for individual consumers and B2B needs.

More about Stay In Touch Mobile on their website.

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