The last three years has seen huge growth and advancement in the market for mobile handsets and services in emerging markets. Of that there is no doubt. given that mobile usage and penetration outstrips fixed line Internet connections by a landslide in these same markets, mobile is the channel of choice for communicating with mass market consumers. Marketeers have been hot on the trail, but the content to hit the wires first and loudest are push marketing SMSes. The key to any good brand engagement is equitable value exchange, right? Your consumer gives you their time paying attention to you and in return you help her, entertain her, connect her, give her something that you know she values because you’ve listened to her. To smart companies, consumers are people, not statistics.
So in that context, I’m not sure where this latest start-up endeavour from Txteagle fits. While it uses airtime as currency, a concept that we’ve been talking about for at least the last 3 years now, I have to wonder how long it will be before even the most brand-loving consumers in reach a saturation point. Ultimately, the proof is in the product. Here’s the pitch.
Quick Pitch: Txteagle engages 2.1 billion emerging-market consumers via mobile phones.
Genius Idea: Compensating consumers in developing nations with prepaid mobile airtime for participating in surveys or branded advertising campaigns.