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    …and moving beyond SMS models


    Another approach to tapping into communities of interest come from Bango, which is trying to take operators beyond the traditional SMS based approach to buying content.

    Bango is working with the SMS industry to marry the traditional approach to selling ringtones and games with the latest “browse and buy” technology available on the mobile internet.
    Bango says that repeat sales are tripled by taking users to a browse and buy internet site, in effect a content shop on the phone. Mobile content providers can add sophisticated mobile shopping services on the back of their basic SMS business, giving users the opportunity to buy further content after the initial download.
    Drum and Bass Arena, the leading global Drum and Bass brand, is one of the first Bango customers to make this move.
    “We found it very straightforward to integrate our content delivery platform and WAP sites with the Bango browse and buy technology,” said Dell Dias, ceo of Drum and Bass Arena. 
    “Bango’s system makes it easy for us to encourage repeat sales from customers purchasing ringtones from our web and print channels. We have added a ‘collaborative-filtering’ system which will present a personalised WAP site based on the purchase history of other users.”
    The site can be accessed by texting “go breakbeat” to 87121.
    The traditional way of buying a ringtone is to text a string of codes that takes users to a WAP page where they can download the tone — but that is all. Adverts selling ringtones off the page stimulate people to buy specific items, but there is no incentive to spend more money.
    Bango says its solution supports an existing SMS access and download channel, but also encourages users to continue to browse and buy further content from this initial point of entry.  Billing is integrated into the shop, as is customer profiling, security and operator content controls where needed.
    “Our partners in the mobile content industry have established, successful businesses but they are always looking at ways to improve returns on their marketing investments,” commented Anil Malhotra, vp of marketing at Bango. “Our data clearly shows that customers who can browse and buy spend much, much more.”

    Drum and Bass Arena can be found at