Horatiu Dimulescu: SMS remains the main channel for mobile advertising in Romania in 2014

Advertising, Business, Digital & Media, Mobile

Horatiu Dimulescu, Manager Online Content and Mobile Advertising Vodafone Romania, spoke, in an interview for AdHugger, about Romanian mobile advertising market and some of its insights. According to him, the SMS will remain, in 2014, the main channel used for mobile advertising in Romania – as Romanians are used to receiving SMS-es – , but apps and internet sites are gaining speed.

AdHugger: Mobile advertising – who uses it and why, why companies should use it and how can it help them

Horatiu Dimulescu: Mobile Advertisng is a B2B service used by more than 300 companies in Romania. Many of the top brands currently use Vodafone Romania’s Mobile Advertising services in order to promote their offers directly to the potential customers. The most important business verticals that use our Mobile Advertising services are: Banking, Retail Chains, FMCG, Automotive and Services.

Horatiu Dimulescu - Manager Online Content and Mobile Advertising Vodafone Romania. Source: Mobile Advertising Congress
Horatiu Dimulescu – Manager Online Content and Mobile Advertising Vodafone Romania. Source: Mobile Advertising Congress

AdH: Mobile devices are, for quite a few years, omnipresent now. Therefore, the companies try to reach consumers in this medium also. What are the best way to reach consumers with mobile advertising?

H.D.: The best way for companies to reach their audience and to generate sales is through direct communication. About 4 million Vodafone customers have opted to receive mobile advertising messages, so we’re talking about a big market. We are not only talking about a large number of potential customers, but we also offer more than 10 targeting criteria, like age, gender, location, phone type, service used and many more.

AdH: Location based advertising – consumers are reluctant when it comes of specifying their location. In this circumstances, how can one make location based advertising work?

H.D.: Consumer respond positively if they receive the relevant type of messages on their personal devices. Aside from the targeting component, we also add the proximity of a specific store to the moment when the message is sent, so this makes the interaction even more relevant. We ask all our subscribers for their consent for location based advertising and less than 2% did not accept to be targeted by proximity.

AdH: Is SMS still working as a way to promote products and services on mobile? If so, which are the next ones in line?

H.D.: SMS still covers over 70% of the total mobile advertising business. Romanians are used to receiving SMS-es. What they do not accept is SPAM and that’s why, with Vodafone’s  Mobile Advertising solutions, we not only have an accurate targeting system, but we also ensure, by contact, a policy of maximum 4 messages per month. Among our many tools tools, we also have to mention: MMSs, advertising inserts in the recharge messages notification, Location Based Advertising and smart couponing. We plan more developments in the apps area as well, this year.

AdH: What one must be aware of before starting promoting its services via mobile advertising?

H.D.: A company must cover the following steps, before launching a Mobile Advertising campaign:

  • Objective: if the aim is to increase sales, there is a need for a relevant numeric segment for that business
  • Targeting : use as many tools as possible, in order to obtain a relevant segment for that campaign.
  • Selecting the appropriate channel: SMS, MMS, bill insert, mobile banners and so on. Vodafone can always help with recommendations and suggestions.
  • Monitoring: depending on how the campaign is built, the monitoring tools are different. A big percentual in-store offer can only be monitored as traffic in the respective store. But a personal offer for the targeted user can be easily monitored by the number of coupons redeemed.

AdH: Is mobile advertising a channel for everyone? Are there sectors where mobile advertising is a better bet than other means of promotion?

H.D.: One of the top areas where mobile advertising has proven its results is the sales campaigns. It’s also very useful for proximity offers and events, as well as a great tool for opening new stores, due to its geo-location capabilities. Our customer base ranges from small restaurants that promote their business to big multinational companies.

AdH: How is Vodafone Romania employing mobile advertising to reach its consumers? What is the answer from the public?

H.D.: Vodafone Romania uses mobile advertising tools to promote its own products and services, as well. SMS campaigns are frequently used, while for special events we choose location based advertising and couponing solutions. Launching a new phone in one of our stores is the best example for our geo-location capability.

AdH: How do you see the evolution of Romanian mobile advertising market in 2014? Will it follow the CEE and international trends

H.D.: This year, the SMS remains the most important channel, but apps and internet sites are gaining speed. We will continue to monetize our current channels, while bringing new features and some new areas. We will continue to enhance our capabilities, in order to help our clients fulfill their campaigns’ needs.

AdH: What about e-commerce? Did the mobile devices become more than before a receiver of promotional messages and a tool to act upon the info and buy?

H.D.: E-commerce is currently moving from web to mobile and our tools apply there, as well. We offer the same targeting capabilities in the mobile sites business. We are currently looking for more alternatives on this segment, as well, soon to be announced.

AdH: Smartphones or tablets? What do Romanian users prefer? How can you target the 2 categories?

H.D.: Both segments have experienced a strong growth last year and we can target both, through our mobile advertising tools and channels.

AdH: Considering the increased consumption of content from mobile devices, what do you think the future of online content will be? What must companies do to adapt this trend?

H.D.: In our ever-evolving mobile context, the brands that will have websites oriented to consumer needs, the ones that will offer the same experience to their fans regardless the access gate (web, mobile, shop), will be winners in the market and will differentiate from the competition. We will help our clients to differentiate, by offering a clear communication, precised targeting and a large number of consumers with whom they can communicate.