Intent marketing in a mobile operator scenario is about reviving the purchase intent of a mobile subscriber who has earlier attempted to purchase a product or a service without enough prepaid balance. Presenting his views Hetarth Patel, VP Sales, Flytxt says that Its objective is to Identify lost opportunity due to temporary (timely) lack of balance or qualifications, and resurrect such opportunity by sending timely offers to subscriber once the balance is available and/or qualification criteria is met. It is estimated that on an average about 60% of those subscription transactions from mobile users online fail due to lack of enough pre-paid balance. The volume of failed transactions is so high that it makes a certain case for mobile operator’s to invest in Intent Marketing.
He said that mobile operator provides hundreds of products and services to their subscribers such as VAS products, Voice Calling Packs, Internet/GPRS packs, 3G service packs, SMS packs etc., which can be purchased either from retailers or via mobile enabled subscriptions where product is enabled and the charges are deducted from pre-paid balance. In mobile operator’s scenario, especially in developing countries like India where majority of subscribers are pre-paid, the easiest means for purchasing products and services is via subscription from mobile handset via SMS or IVR. Because of its ease, majority of subscribers attempt to subscribe for various services from their mobile handset itself.
The interest or the intent to purchase/subscribe to a service may be need based, driven by an advertisement or may be because of a recommended by a friend or a family member to the mobile user. The subscriber intent to purchase is instantaneous and once transaction fails it will remain dormant till it is revived by the operator. Unfortunately, there is neither a process, nor an efficient technology with the mobile operator to revive the intent. Therefore, mobile operators need to invest in Intent Marketing – the process to track subscriber’s product purchase intent from a failed purchase transaction and market the same service when the subscriber has enough prepaid balance. Every failed transaction expresses intent on part of the subscriber to purchase a product or use a service. The value of these 60% failed product purchase transactions are so large that it makes it imperative on part of the operators to address.
Patel further said that mobile operators can address this lost revenue in two ways – either with negative balance or Intent Marketing. In case of negative balance, the transaction will not fail, but the subscriber balance will be reduced by the value of the product. Next time when subscriber recharges the value of recharge will be adjusted. However this poses a high revenue risk for operator as this would still be a unrealized revenue. It may also lead to subscriber dissatisfaction when recharge amount is deducted for previously subscribed services.
Next option for operator is Intent Marketing in which every failed transaction from subscriber is captured as purchase intent. Operator revives the purchase intent by sending a communication to the subscriber when the context is right i.e when subscriber has enough pre-paid balance. This communication may even be embedded with the recharge notification sent to subscriber’s mobile number. In this case, there is a very high probability of product purchase because the subscriber’s pocket is full and the communication is on a service which subscriber has previously attempted to purchase.
For mobile operator’s, Intent Marketing is a cost effective means of Increasing revenue by recapturing lost revenue opportunity that would also lead to significant satisfaction among subscribers as the process of tracking subscriber interest and proactively recommending them will create a positive perception of operator. Mobile operators currently do not address Intent market for lack of capability to track intent and market it at appropriate time. However, with right technology partner, mobile operators can certainly generate lost revenue while at the same time address subscriber needs and preference with timely marketing messages.