Vodafone purchased Wayfinder (Swedish navigation software firm) a few months ago and is planning to use Wayfinder to provide ad-funded LBS content by placing company logos on maps. The company is also introducing or trialing a number of new mobile advertising formats.
At this outset, Vodafone’s International Development Manager of Mobile Ads talks about the ad-funded business model.
Banner Ads Rule, SMS still reliable: Banners ads produce the “majority of revenues” for Vodafone, but it is seeing growth in other advertising products, including those based on texting. The “Please Call Me” service in which customers can send an ad-funded message that tells the receiver to call back is proving popular in emerging markets.
Branded apps: “Applications are very important..the carrier can offer an even wider net to advertisers, since apps built for Vodafone will supposedly work across the entire network, “for every single device from every single manufacturer.”
Will we ever see ad-funded minutes, like Blyk? ‘We’re already seeing that kind of model in some of our markets, though it’s not extended to voice. We’re not going to dismiss it..’
Exclusive ad sales partners: ‘We’re reviewing our options. We’re happy with Yahoo, but there are pros and cons to both [an exclusive partnership and having many partners].. Ultimately, what we want is a sales partner that has good relationships with agencies and clients and can sell the mobile medium effectively..’