Looking back over 2007, Bango has reported strong commercial gains for UK operators that moved to open up the mobile web, with Vodafone UK rising to first place in the value of off-portal content sales. Measured across its total base of content providers, Bango saw traffic grow fastest on networks where steps were taken to encourage more browsing off-portal and payout rates increased to content providers.
Key drivers in opening up the mobile web include putting a search box onto the operator portal for off-portal content searching; introducing flat rate data charges to encourage more mobile web browsing; and providing higher price points and high payout rates which encourage content providers to run promotions on these networks as they receive a better return on their marketing investment.
Vodafone has benefited from being among the first to offer a clean, consumer friendly WAP billing interface. It also supports the move from a portal model to a more open search based model by placing a search box prominently on the Vodafone live! home page. The payout rates are among the highest of all the UK operators.
"2007 was a good year for all UK networks but by moving decisively to support off-portal content sales, Vodafone leapt to the top of the league in value of transactions," commented Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango. "We foresee the UK operators battling to offer even better payout rates, approaching that of credit cards."
Compared to Premium SMS where content providers market through the web or in print, today's content providers are choosing to market more efficiently to users who are already actively browsing the mobile web. Using mobile advertising and search marketing, content providers buy traffic on specific networks and can choose users with certain handsets.
The mobile web gives content providers other important benefits. For example, offers can be targeted to users with Bango identifying between new or repeat customers; marketing campaigns can be tracked to calculate the return on investment and there's more repeat business within the browse and buy WAP flow.
"More businesses are now launching a mobile web presence so they can engage directly with their consumers anytime and from anywhere," added Anderson. "Through a common integration point, Bango makes it easy for them to drive traffic to a mobile website, understand who the visitors are, track marketing campaigns and collect payment for digital content world-wide."