Facebook has launched a missed call ad unit business specifically for the feature phone-heavy Indian market. To scale-up its reach across mobile devices, Facebook has partnered with VivaConnect, a voice and missed call company.
Said the press release on the matter, "...around 66 per cent Indians access Facebook on mobile devices of feature phone segment..." And around 95 per cent of India's mobile subscriber base has a pre-paid connection.
Moreover, this is a market in which 'giving someone a missed call' is common, both in terms of practice and parlance. Overseas, people typically say, 'I missed your call'; but here, a 'missed call' is something one deliberately places. Team Facebook is optimistic that the new missed call ad format will bolster advertising on Facebook, through the mobile device, in India.
Maxine Schlein, product marketing manager, emerging markets, Facebook, says, "Consumer behavior in high-growth markets is changing very rapidly and we are poised to respond to that as quickly as possible. We see brands delivering useful and entertaining content like sports scores, news, or celebrity messages that people find valuable enough to take the time to listen to and interact with. There is also a good tie-in for direct response advertisers who can use the missed call unit as lead generation, where a person is essentially raising their hand and expressing interest in a good or service."
Here's how it will work: When a person sees an ad on Facebook, he/she can place a 'missed call' by clicking on the ad through his/her mobile device. The person will receive a call back, one laden with content such as music, cricket scores or celebrity messages, and of course, a brand message from the advertiser. All this, without using up any airtime or data.
Users' 'social data', available easily on their respective Facebook pages, will help brands fine tune the way they target and communicate with people. The content will be personalised accordingly. Moreover, mobile access will allow for effective re-targeting of consumers.
Vikram Raichura, managing director, VivaConnect, says, "Facebook has been a hot trend over mobile in India and so have been missed call services. Together, they would be a perfect solution for delivering an enhanced brand experience over mobile. Missed calls offer an instant way to spark conversations."
VivaConnect connects brands and their consumers through innovative mobile marketing services. The company holds over 30 million interactions in a single day through services such as voice call, missed call, SMS, email and mobile apps.