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Some companies have come up with a new trick to attract consumer interest by giving away free mobile data in return for watching their mobile ads.
Businesses are working with mobile service providers to offer extra data to their customers. By providing viewers with ads and free data, companies directly or indirectly benefit.

Curtailed Mobile Data Usage

Mobile service providers have shifted from limited to unlimited plans and vice versa. But unlimited plans are not actually unlimited; the speed in these unlimited data plans slows down after a certain point to the extent that using data becomes difficult and irritating.

People have become cautious about internet usage on their mobile phones. Instead of consuming content wherever and whenever, they have started to plan how they use it, by downloading and viewing only important things, to preserve their data. Whether the plans are limited or unlimited, users curb their consumption of mobile data so they don’t run out and have to deal with slow speeds.

Benefitting Advertisers

Google and Facebook have already benefitted with immense traditional mobile ad revenues. Records show that Facebook earned $2 billion and Google was expected to report $8.85 billion.

Advertisers have a tough time getting the attention of viewers. Their goal here is to increase their chances of customer engagement by offering free mobile data as a reward.

It’s hard to get users to pay attention, but this can be overcome by offering them something they value and receive easily.

To be successful with this new campaign model, advertisers need to be careful with who they target. For example, they should target people who are more money-constrained than time-constrained to improve their visibility to their target audiences.

Customer Benefits

Rewarding data to attract viewers to watch mobile ads was initiated to benefit both advertisers and mobile users. It is an alluring option for viewers who choose three options when they reach their data limit usage: pay overcharges, curtail the use of data, or upgrade their plans. The new concept helps consumers earn extra data without paying, when they finish their allotted data.

Brand Engagement

Mobile marketers can implement the idea in three ways:

  • Directly work with the cell phone company
  • Present ads to mobile users via iOS or Android apps
  • Work via third party apps or sites

According to a research, approximately 58% of mobile users are on limited data plans. With this new marketing scheme, companies can either allow users to earn data monthly or transfer it month after month if they don’t use it all.

Free Data Marketing Strategy in Practice

Some companies are already working with mobile carriers to offer free data to users willing to watch mobile ads.

Aquto, a Boston based company will provide viewers with mobile data in exchange for their engagement with ads. The startup has raised $8 million in venture funding for this project. As of now, Aquto is partnering with Vodafone to offer free data to customers in Portugal.

Apps can be designed for mobile users who watch ads, purchase items, download items, take surveys and try new apps to grab free data from their participating service carrier. But as of now, mobile marketers have been unsuccessful in making a profit.

What do you think about this new marketing approach? Would you participate as a user? What about as an advertiser? Will it help or harm businesses? Tell us in the comments.


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