May 05, 2009
Interview: IMImobile CEO Talks About Ad-Ring Multi-Format Advertising
By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The burgeoning growth of mobile phone subscriptions has opened up exciting new, personalized advertising opportunities for brands to reach the diverse consumer base. This has opened up a new revenue generation opportunity for the mobile operators.
To help mobile operators grab this opportunity of offering creative and effective advertisements, IMImobile, a provider of mobile and online technology platforms, has designed a fully integrated mobile advertising platform "Ad-Ring".
Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) recently caught up with Vishwanath Alluri, CEO and founder of IMImobile (News - Alert), to share more inputs on AD-Ring, as well as IMImobile’s role in simplifying mobile advertising. Our exchange follows.
TMCnet: Tell us briefly about IMImobile.
Vishwanath Alluri: IMImobile is a leading provider of converged mobile and online technology platforms and content services to mobile operators and media companies around the world. The IMImobile product portfolio includes a core Service Delivery Platform (DaVinci SDP), carrier grade messaging platforms and gateways, applications for data services, web services and voice platforms. Customers include leading operators and media companies such as Airtel (News - Alert), Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Google, Reuters and Yahoo!. IMImobile is a profitable fast growing company with operations in 40 countries and offices in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
TMCnet: What are the new products offering from IMImobile?
VA: IMImobile develops cutting edge products. New products include Ad-Ring™, Full Track Music Download (FTD), and mVaayoo.
Ad-Ring™: an integrated mobile advertising solution and an extension of the proven DaVinci Service Delivery Platform™. Designed to deliver multi-channel, multi-format advertising personalized for individual mobile subscribers. Available as a managed service or via a licensing arrangement, Ad-Ring is now delivering ‘push’ and ‘pull’ lead generation and brand building campaigns to millions of mobile users worldwide using text, image, video and voice channels.
The platform gives operators the means to capitalize on a multi-billion dollar mobile advertising market and to compensate for diminishing margins in the core voice services. For brand owners and their partners Ad-Ring™ delivers the advertising ideal – personalized and timely multi-channel interaction.
IMImobile’s Full Track Music Download (FTD): a fully managed digital music distribution service. With access to 3+ million tracks from all the major international record labels (including Sony BMG, Universal, Warner and EMI) and a wide variety of local and specialist labels it is a compelling revenue enhancing service. FTD users search for content by artist, track or album, preview songs and videos and download content directly to mobile or PC on a subscription or ‘pay per download’ basis. FTD is underpinned by IMImobile’s renowned DaVinci SDP™. It is a fully managed ‘white label’ service that can be comprehensively customised. Customers simply specify portal design and promote the service and IMImobile manages the rest from portal design and development to content ingestion and billing integration.
mVaayoo: a web-based two-way SMS solution which combines the speed of the internet and the ubiquity of the mobile phone to deliver an interactive and cost effective communication solution for enterprises. The platform enables business processes over the mobile, creates touch points for company and client communication and provides a cost effective channel for interacting with a wide audience.
TMCnet: What is unique about your new product Ad-Ring™?
VA: IMImobile’s mobile advertising solution, Ad-Ring™, is the industry’s first fully integrated mobile advertising platform. Unlike other offerings in the market, Ad-Ring™ provides an environment in which multi-format ad campaigns can be created and delivered to consumers over a full range of media including short messaging and multimedia messaging, voice, wireless access protocol, ring back tones and video streaming. Ad-Ring™ is equipped with a unique in-built rules engine compatible with various data sources such as billing systems, customer care and marketing repositories. This enables advertisers to make the most of their budgets by targeting the right audiences.
TMCnet: What are the key challenges in the mobile advertising market?
VA: Educating advertising agencies on how best to exploit the mobile advertising opportunities is a key challenge we currently face. Too many inexperienced agencies approach mobile campaigns as they would an online one. Yet specialist providers that have the experience and technology need to be consulted from the start to ensure a successful campaign. Also, by consulting a specialist provider, agencies do not need to work with a host of different partners for their digital campaign thus saving valuable time and money.
TMCnet: Who are your immediate competitors?
TMCnet: What are your target markets?
VA: Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia
TMCnet: Are there any expansion plans?
VA: IMImobile is expanding around the world. In November 2008 the company announced the first of a series of European acquisitions starting with dx3, the London-based digital content delivery services provider which pioneered the first legal digital music downloads in Europe. dx3 has relationships with all of the world’s major music labels, a library of over two million music tracks and provides innovative marketing solutions to major brands and creative agencies including members of WPP and OMD. Then in February 2009, IMImobile announced it had taken over of the Music2You (M2Y) division of Nokia Siemens Networks (News - Alert). Under the M2Y brand, Nokia Siemens Networks provided full-track music download and subscription services to leading telecom operators and media companies across the world including Vodafone in India, AOL (News - Alert) in Germany and Akado in Russia. As part of the transaction, IMImobile migrated those services onto its cutting edge DaVinci Service Delivery Platform™ to improve operational efficiencies and enable the delivery of innovative value added services.
IMImobile is also ramping up activity in Africa and Latin America with a series of new customer wins to be announced.
Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jessica Kostek